I set out on a balmy winter evening with the sole intention of visiting a good steakhouse in Delhi. Having worked up a gargantuan appetite after watching a re-run of America’s best steakhouses on TLC, I came out looking for the best, and the first steakhouse that came to mind was TGIF.
It was some time before I got there. I had gone to the mall with a friend, and she wanted to shop. All the mall-crawling whetted my appetite even more.
When we finally reached TGIF, we were greeted by a fantabulous deal on Tequila shots flashing at the door. We ignored, and walked straight in, with the settling evening sun and the aroma of steak in the passageways. I couldn’t believe I wasn’t flirting with the idea of a good steak anymore – I was tantalizingly close to gobbling one down.
We preferred a table by the window with a view overlooking the Mandela Marg. The music was good and the sitting area was less crowded. My glance bounced over an old lady busily munching down chicken strips by the dozen, barely managing to take notice of anyone around her. We stepped up to a table and took our place next to a couple caught in an embrace over plates and full cocktail glasses.
I have always been some kind of a beer connoisseur, especially with home-brewed draught beer. It didn’t take long before we were greeted with two mugs of TGIF draught beer. We started our meal with some spicy chicken wings sautéed in a house-special sauce to go along with the beer. The succulent wings looked fiery on a plate accompanied by celery sticks and cheese sauce. I picked one and as I steered it towards my mouth, I was hit by a rush of pungent vinegar aroma. I felt super jittery – I can’t quite say I enjoyed the sensation. I quickly chewed on a celery stick – the freshness and blandness of the celery stick toned down the acute tangy taste. The cheese sauce was equally sour, if not less.
In some time, the much anticipated Tenderloin Asada made its way into our table along with a plate of Spaghetti – the latter, for a moment, looked even more sumptuous and appealing than my steak. My friend loved Italian food and she was pretty adamant on sampling some Italian. I didn’t waste time and dug into my steak with a razor-sharp knife. Usually, tender beef is not served in restaurants around Delhi, so the tad harder and fibrous Buff meat is used as an alternative. The steak was a little stringy, but well-cooked and richly spiced. The only disappointments were the oven roasted potatoes, and the onion and pepper rings which came with the steak. They were soggy and horribly presented on the plate unlike the steak. The onion rings looked like rags and the potatoes were better left untouched. Not quite the potato incarnation I had in mind.
The spaghetti was the catch of the day. Consistently and brilliantly cooked beyond perfection and garnished with the right mix of spices and vegetables, including some lovely skewed cherry tomatoes and mushrooms. Not too much mozzarella, but if it was not cheesy enough for you, you could help yourself to more. The steak was exactly how I wanted it to be – juicy, succulent, well-bodied and evenly grilled, if not barbecued. It went perfectly well with my beer-aided appetite. I downed the last morsel with the last swig of beer from my mug.
There is nothing sadder than the end of a great meal, knowing what comes next. But my gastronomical tryst with TGIF is far from over. I have my sight on the legendary TGIF Loaded Potato Skins and Spicy Jack Glazed Ribs. That’s for another time.