Tony Roma’s became a successful franchise that has spread all over Asia, with branches in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.
In Malaysia alone there are 13 outlets, and the oldest Tony Roma's restaurant here is the one at Sunway Pyramid which opened in 2006.
We ventured to Tony Roma’s Sunway Pyramid to check out their new and improved set lunches, and also to try Tony’s world famous beef ribs.
Among their current lunch promotions in August, the 'Order 3 sets and Get 1 set FREE' deal from the set lunch menu seemed particularly enticing!
Upon our arrival, we found that the TR outlet at Sunway Pyramid is very spacious. It had undergone another renovation in 2013 to include a wine bar, giving the place a brand new look and a more vibrant ambience.
However, the restaurant was rather quiet when we arrived for lunch, so we could sit anywhere we wanted. We plonked ourselves at a table by the window. This is clearly the best spot in the restaurant, because we had a glorious view of the swimming pools in Sunway Lagoon from where we were seated.
The selection of food in the Set Lunch menu include pasta, salad, New York steak, a variety of chicken dishes, Lamb Cevapi, Fish & Fries, and last but certainly not least – Tony Roma’s signature Bountiful Beef Rib. The Bountiful Beef Rib came under the 3 newly launched lunch combos - Bountiful Beef Rib with Mojo Chicken, Fish & Fries, and Lamb Cevapi.
All the set lunches came with soup and bottomless soft drinks. So we ordered both the chicken soup and potato soup, along with iced lemon tea.
First, our soups arrived together with a loaf of bread (which was placed in the center to be shared by all) and a tiny bowl of butter. The butter had a garlicky taste to it which was quite delightful.
Boy oh boy, the chicken soup and potato soup were both delicious! The most staple seasonings were used for these soups. Mildly hot spices such as black pepper, white pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and cumin were thrown in that paired well with the chicken soup. The potato soup was a thick broth that embodied the taste of real potatoes. There was none of that watery weak, canned soup stuff.
The first lunch set we had was the Mojo Chicken (RM16.90); a grilled chicken breast basted with Tony's citrus and brown mustard mojo sauce, topped with house-made pineapple salsa and served with rice and broccoli.
While seasoned well, we found the chicken meat a little dry and tasteless. It was missing the elements of tangy citrus and garlic flavors. Also, the meat was slightly charred at some points and slightly undermined the flavour of the chicken.
That said, the rice that came with this dish deserves some praise. Cooked with shallots and garlic, the rice was garnished with fresh cilantro leaves for a tasty and fragrant finish. Every spoonful of the rice gave us a wholesome feeling, redeeming the entire dish.
The next set we had was the Lamb Cevapi (RM22.90); skinless lamb sausages seasoned with black pepper, garlic and rosemary. It was grilled to order and topped with brown sauce, served with fire-roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes.
The lean lamb sausages were chewy and meaty in a satisfying sort of way, though a tad bit on the salty side. The rich taste of herbs was distinctive and complements the lamb well. We loved the mashed potatoes. It tasted pleasantly creamy and rich, with bits of chopped onions blended into the chunky mash. The vegetables provided a nice contrast of textures and gave the dish a bright burst of colours.
Finally, we had the Bountiful Beef Rib with Fish & Fries (RM34.90). We were looking forward to this set the most as we were keen to try Tony Roma's signature beef ribs. We figured having it as part of a lunch set was value for money, as the normal price for a Roma Rack is RM63.49, while a Full Slab costs RM91.05.
But since this is a value lunch set, don’t expect to get served the same sized portions as a Roma Rack, where you get 3 pieces of beef ribs. For the lunch set, there is only one piece of hearty beef rib combined with hand-battered fish fillets, fried to a golden brown. It comes with French fries, coleslaw, Thai sweet chili sauce and tartar sauce. Unfortunately, the combo set did not have any additional signature sauce for the beef rib.
The beef rib tasted wonderful. Smoky on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, with bits of fat intact. The meat was soft and flavourful, it came off the bone easily when sliced with a knife.
The fish fillets did not disappoint either; having a nice meat to batter ratio, so neither taste overrides the other. The crispy fish fillets tasted delicious when dipped into the tartar sauce. Like the beef ribs though, the portion of the fish fillet here is smaller than what you’d get in the regular Fish Fillet & Fries dish. The fries came out a bit soggy and cut too thin, but tasted alright.
Overall, we can heartily endorse two out of three Set Lunch meals that we ordered that day, with only the Mojo Chicken being a little underwhelming. Clearly, the hero of our meal was the mouth-watering Bountiful Beef Rib, which left us craving for more. We feel compelled to come back and order the Roma Rack or Full Slab of Beef Ribs next time, and try their Lamb Ribs too.
These set lunches are reasonably priced, at the expense of smaller portions of meat.
So, if you're interested to try the value set lunches at Tony Roma's, it's available Mondays to Fridays from 11am - 3pm, except on public holidays. However, do take note that the 'Order 3 sets and Get 1 set FREE' deal from the set lunch menu is only applicable until 31 August 2017.