Fridays

Special thanks to Fridays for extending this food review invitation.

The TGI Friday's outlet in Queensbay Mall has been refurbished earlier this month. The new facade, reading "Fridays Restaurant & Grill", is part of the restaurant chain's rebranding strategy. Unlike the TGI Friday's outlet at Gurney Paragon Mall, this Queensbay Mall restaurant does not provide al fresco dining.
Since my previous visit, the dining area has received a revitalizing makeover. Still preserving the American-style casual dining ambience, Fridays also receives a modern touch which resonates well with younger demographics.
There is also a new drinks bar with numerous selections of spirits on the gantry behind. The bartenders at Fridays can concoct hundreds of different cocktails including those that are not included in the menu. Occasionally, customers also get to enjoy spectacular flair bartending; another reason to be seated at the bar.
In conjunction with its reopening after a brief hiatus, Fridays is offering The Platter for a limited duration. There are two choices for The Platter: The Boss (RM249.90) and The Chicks Platter (RM117.50). The former revolves around red meats like beef and lamb, while the latter revolves around poultry. Each set is meant to be shared among 3 or 4 people.
For The Boss, the spotlight is cast on succulent red meats on the wooden platter. Arranged tightly in between are 4 pieces of Corn Cob and 4 pieces of potato accordion. Potato accordion is cut to thin slices just like the musical instrument of the same name. Also included are 3 types of dipping sauces: BBQ, mint and wild mushroom butter sauces.
BBQ Ribs is the most visually appeasing element on the platter. The ribs are slow-cooked until the meat becomes tender. It is so tender that the meat falls off the bones effortlessly! The ribs are basted with signature BBQ sauce to infuse appetizing flavors.
Not many people know how to enjoy lamb due to its intense, somewhat repulsing aroma. Nevertheless, I find the Lamb Chumps to be delectable too. The chump chop is marinated to perfection, then grilled over fire to pleasant juiciness.
As for Sirloin Steak, the premium grain-fed beef is specially air-flown from Australia. As the beef is chilled but not frozen, the steak retains the lovely texture in nearly pristine state. I feel that the steak goes best with BBQ sauce.
On the side is a heavy iron pot filled with generous servings of Marinara Farfalle. Farfalle is a type of bow tie-shaped pasta with decent softness when cooked. The pasta is nicely seasoned with sweet-tangy marinara sauce. I cannot recommend this pasta highly enough.
Caesar Salad consists of romaine lettuce tossed in tangy salad dressing. The salad also contains crispy croutons and grated Parmesan cheese. Overall, I feel that this salad pales in comparison with other dishes. Perhaps onions and tomatoes can help to improve the aesthetic and gastronomical appeal.
Last but not least, there are several pieces of Garlic Bread Rolls. Personally, I prefer the garlic butter to be stronger in garlic and more plentiful.
As for drinks, Tropical Berry Mojito Shaker (RM36.00) is a special mixture of Havana Club rum, sour rocks mix and soda. Fruity constituents are guava, passion fruit, strawberry and limes. The mojito is infused with cooling sensation of mint leaves. As the drink is still primarily fruity, it is suitable for entry-level drinkers.
Top Shelf Mojito (RM31.35) is a signature Cuban highball cocktail. It is prepared from carbonated drink spiked with a decent amount of Havana Club rum. The drink also contains lime juice and cane sugar as counterbalancing soothing sensation.
Despite its unassuming name, the Ultimate Long Island Iced Tea (RM33.70) is not a cocktail to be trifled with. This drink is primarily a mixture of Absolut Vodka, Beefeater Gin and Havana Club rum. Cola gives a reddish color which resembles iced tea, hence its name. The origins of this cocktail is disputed: it is either from Long Island, Tennessee or Long Island, New York.
In Malaysia, there are 16 outlets of Fridays and TGI Friday's. Each outlet undergoing rebranding exercise in tandem fashion. The parent company also manages other restaurant brands such as Italiannies. In fact, a new Italiannies outlet is opening next to this Fridays outlet in Queensbay Mall next month.

Name: Fridays Restaurant & Grill
Address: GF-131, Queensbay Mall, 100, Persiaran Bayan Indah, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-641-3363
Business hours: 11:00am-11:00pm
Website: http://www.fridays.com.my
Coordinates: 5.33456 N, 100.30674 E
Directions: Fridays is located on the Ground Floor of Queensbay Mall, next to Italiannies near the north entrance. Queensbay Mall has a multilevel parking garage and several outdoor parking spaces.

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