Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Superb Sweet Seventeen.

Ever since Queensbay Mall opened in Penang, the already mall-crowded island, back in December, I've been dying to try out the latest Thank God It's Friday (T.G.I.F) outlet that was opened along with the mall, located at the right wing entrance of the mall. Of course, the red-bricked wall and the red and white awnings (signature colors of T.G.I.F), plus the huge sign which decorated the exterior of the restaurant sparked my interest on my first visit to the mall. It even got Grace and I occasionally ooh-ing and aah-ing at the mere mention of T.G.I.F. Plenty of times we've tried entering the restaurant but it was usually fully occupied or that we were broke after a day long of tiring shopping. That usually leaves us relentlessly walking away to look for McD instead, after flipping through the menu depicting scrumptious food on the stand at the restaurant entrance.

Considering that it's been so long since I wanted to try T.G.I.F and the simple fact that it has been a while since the last time the family had a fancy dine at a fancy restaurant, I jumped at the opportunity and made reservations for eight all by myself, which included me looking for a number online and in the telephone directories (a.k.a Yellow Pages) which proved futile when I had to call the mall up and asked for a number. It's 04-6413363, by the way. Trust me, you'll need it, seeing the fact that one can barely get a seat on weekends without prior reservations. After all, it was my birthday on Monday (11/6) and being in this family, your birthday treat, your choice - a tradition of some sort. Nothing to extravagant though. For me, it's usually restaurant visits like this. Hey, birthdays and Christmas seem to be the only logical reasons for mom and dad to fork out extra cash from their daily budget.

I decided I have to try T.G.I.F out no matter what. To be honest, I was more eager to check the condition out for myself rather than believing in what others say cause I've read a few unfavorable critiques towards the restaurant in various blogs where I'd go, it couldn't be that bad! Oh, I was quite unsure myself when I suggested the place but upon entering and checking the menu out, it was everything I imagined it to be - even more. The setting was cozy, warm, inviting and delightful, not to mention with the little vintage look thrown in, like the big black and white picture of Elvis Presley and a very old Superman comic cover hung over the walls while figurines of Batman and some other old thingamajigs decorated the shelves. The music was soothing, which suited the setting and the lighting were a soft glow, inviting peers from outsiders through the glass windows. Typically western, I thought to myself. And then I spotted the huge KITCHEN sign lighted in bulbs when being led to our seats, giving the entire 60's look a complete touch, making me hum the tune of Christina Aguilera's Candyman to myself.

Flipping through the menu was already tempting enough to get me drooling while the waiter introduced his humble self to dad, sitting at the opposite end of the table. Everything looked so delicious and it was hard for a fickle minded person like me who, if it was possible, to try everything on the menu (greedy, I know!). We waited for ah jiu and jiu mu (notice the new title for ah jiu's wife) whom we invited earlier when making reservations while taking a relatively long time to make up our minds, flipping the menu over and over again, going through the description for multiple times. It was almost 9p.m. when ah jiu and jiu mu arrived and all the dishes were served. I ordered the Texas Ribs while Grace had Friday's Burger, Edmund with the Spaghetti from the Kiddies' Menu, dad with the Jack Daniel's Shrimp and Ribs, mom with Half Roast Chicken, aka with Chicken Fingers, ah jiu with a Whole Rib which looked beastly with the rib bones jutting out and jiu mu with Grilled Salmon.

To Grace's surprise, the portion served by T.G.I.F was way huger than she feared it might be. The picture above pretty much speaks for itself. That was even managed with the other side of the burger hidden in her palm! The food looked so fabulously delectable that it was a great feat for me to keep my saliva from escaping the corners of my mouth everytime I spoke. My hands were shaking, probably due to the hunger, (or should I say, desire to devour the food!) hence, the blurred photos and from the shaky hands and the over-pumped ISO, explaining the noise.My pictures don't do any justice to the real thing, really. Forgive me but food photography is undoubtedly an area which I'm weak at. Thankfully, given the size of the servings, no food was wasted at the end of the dinner - everyone took a fair bite out of Grace's burger to help the poor girl finish while jiu mu cleverly divided her salmon to everyone at the beginning of dinner. Speaking of the new member of the family, she surprisingly bought a cake for the occasion - a green jelly cake, that is, bringing memories of the past when I once had this cake. Truly and old time favorite cake of mine.

And who else is there better to celebrate your birthday with if not with the family? Or at least, that's what I think. Obviously not the gregarious sort who fancies night clubs and mindless drinking with friends. At least, not yet, I hope. Akak was there, so was the newlywed couple. Mom decided to give them a break with a hearty meal after all that wedding massacre that took place over the weekend, so mom invited them. I realize, there's still a lot more gaps to fill up (oh, the explanation I owe!) but at the moment, I'm putting this first as I've promised to the T.G.I.F crew there in the little note I've left them with. What I didn't mention was that the crew did an amazing job in throwing a little celebration for me when the cake was brought out - there were the songs and other paraphernalia - that made the whole day a memorable one. That definitely was the cherry on the icing for me. Just check it out in the video below. In short, the service was excellent, the food great and the ambiance lovely. Definitely defied the not-so-good feedback that I've read so far.

Now, doesn't that make you wanna have your birthday there? Another satisfied customer, I'd say!

4 comments: said...

Happy Birthday and may the good Lord bless you with straight As!

matrianklw said...

Hahaha, thank you!

FarahD said...

Wait, you're only 17? Haha. Anyways, TGIF has won my heart too. I'd recommend you try the to-die-for Mocha Mud Pie and the Nachos and the Hot Chocolate the next time you pay them a visit. =)

And hey,


*throws confetti*

matrianklw said...

Will do that, Farah! Thanks!