While walking around Ibn Battuta Mall around lunch time, I was looking at what to have (Somehow after Dubai mall, this place felt tiny!). I have never tried Tony Roma’s Restaurants so this was a good chance to try it out!
The seating was plenty outside, in big dark leather booths.
The place was rather empty and there was 1 more occupied table only. The seating outside was pleasant and had sufficient views of the China Section of the Mall (Including the gigantic Ship Wreck they have there). The place does need more lighting as it was pretty dark. There weren’t anything special about the seating compared to the other restaurants, nor any special place settings.
The Menus were brought and had a good selection of Meats, Chickens, Seafood and Starters.
When I come to a place like this, my head automatically shifts into my “Chilis Mode”. Let me explain, Generally when I go to a place with a general menu as this, I tend to default with Mushroom soup, Buffalo Wings/Chicken Strips/Or Similar and a main Chicken or Steak dish. I am sure there are people who have, like me, a Default order when offered a general menu, unless something comes out of the menu and strikes them!
I started with their Mushroom Soup. This is not in the Menu as they have “Soup of the Day” on the menu only. I usually prefer a set menu for soups but that is how they function.
I am not going to judge anything too fast but if I do not find an appetizing color to my food, it begins a lower expectation. The soup was Below Average in taste. It was thick and warm enough but lacked in flavor. The soup was slightly lacking in salt but was a bit peppery. I did not enjoy the soup. I have had plenty of Mushroom Soup and this didn’t compare.
On the side of the Soup, I ordered the Boneless Buffalo Bites.
If anyone is following my “Chilis Mode” I still am on it, thus nothing so far caught my eye other than the ordinary.
So, Boneless? Check. Buffalo? Check. Bites? Check.
It came with a side of 2 Carrots, and 2 Celery Sticks.
It tasted alright.. The Buffalo sauce was plenty (Although was not drenched or wet) and seemed to have been cooked well with the Chicken, rather than just tossed on. The Chicken was a little dry inside. There was flavor but nothing mind blowing. It tasted normal.
The Sauce on the side was lovely and helped cool off the Buffalo Sauce.
One thing interesting was that with the Starters they brought Complimentary Nachos.
The Nachos were an interesting touch, even though it made no sense why we were offered these. So, 1 more thing to review. They were salted Nachos. They were not very flavorful as the Cinema type, nor warm. The Dip was similar to the one’s found at Cinemas. They didn’t look similar but the Tomato Sauce with Vegetables tasted really similar.
The Salad had arrived. I ordered the Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad.
Things started to disappoint!
First of all, the plate was messy. Something that was noticed lightly on previous dishes. The problem began on inspecting the Salad. The Vegetables were not very clean, and the Tomatoes seemed old. The Dish was sent back, and was re-done. The servers tried to portray what the chef said in his defense, but would it really matter? We just wanted a decent Salad right? Is it technically so hard? No.
The replacement was slightly better, but still, its gone.
It had decent sauce and tasted quite nice.
After that mess, I could not wait for the Main Course, as it was appealing on the menu. The dish was the Roasted Garlic & Rosemary Chicken.
It looked appealing when it landed, and was not messy. I guess perhaps the Chef took extra precautions? (This kind of thinking initiates when something gets messed and replaced)
There were 2 Big Chicken Breasts, a side of Rice and a side of Broccoli (This was supposed to be Vegetables, but I was informed beforehand that it will only be Broccoli, and I agreed)
The Chicken: It was dry. It was nice juicy or delicious. A good Chicken Breast Over-Cooked. The menu specifically stated:
“Two grilled chicken breasts smothered in our Roasted Garlic & Rosemary BBQ sauce and sprinkled with grated Romano cheese. Served with rice and mixed vegetables”
Smothered? As far as I could tell, it was merely brushed with the sauce. The Sauce was more BBQ than anything else. It tasted good as a BBQ Sauce but I tasted no Garlic. The real problem was that the Chicken Breasts are big and the Sauce are just a little on the top. I needed more sauce, especially since the Chicken was dry. Another thing I noticed was the missing “Grated Romano Cheese” I didn’t see it or taste any Cheese.
The Rice: Bland Yellowish rice. It needed plenty of salt and pepper, and could have used some sort of Sauce. The Chicken was dry, as I said, so the rice didn’t help much.
The Broccoli: Yummy. Steamed fresh Broccoli. Nothing much to say there other than it tasted like well Steamed Broccoli.
The Service: It was good. The staff were helpful, attentive and polite. Even though there was a problem with the food, the staff are not to ever be blamed (Unless it concerns the delivery), and they did well to satisfy the table. The Chef came later on trying to explain his view (That this salad requires all vegetables to be cooked, and that is why there was discoloration, not that its not clean), which we didn’t buy. It was a normal Chicken Caesar Salad, but I appreciated the attempt even though I do not like too many people coming and going from the table. At the time of the bill they were quick and kept apologizing for the mishap. Upon leaving they were all smiling and wished to see us again.
The Value: 1 Soup, 1 Starter, 1 Salad, 1 Main Dish and 2 soft drinks came up to around 150 Dhs which is fair value for the quantity of food. Considering the food wasn’t all that I expected, I wouldn’t consider it good value.
The Place: 4 / 10
The Service: 5 / 10
The Food: 2 / 10
Overall: 3.7 / 10
I would not recommend this place.
Notice: I have heard experiences from friends of other branches that were Significantly better than my review. I stand by my review on this visit, but I shall in the near future, Re-visit Tony Roma’s Restaurant and provide a Deviation Rating of how the experience differed.. or not.