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Fire, spice and everything nice at Tony Roma's

EAT’S EASY - Ernest Reynoso Gala () - March 10, 2011 - 12:00am

Grilling, broiling, barbecuing — whatever you want to call it — is an art, not just a matter of building a pyre and throwing on a piece of meat as a sacrifice to the gods of the stomach. —James Beard, Beard on Food

A good meal soothes the soul as it regenerates the body. From the abundance of it flows a benign benevolence. A good and copious dinner begets a mellowing influence; it permeates the bosom with a bland philanthropy of sentiment, embracive of all classes, sects and races of man. —Frederick Hackwood, Good Cheer

The gourmet options for the adventurous foodie can be difficult.

A worthy dining destination must include an enticing menu to sample, inviting promotions for that occasional treat, and a healthy dose of good taste that has been consistent since the beginning. Diners seek that unique culinary enjoyment, an establishment that offers extra value to customers and moments that call for an exquisite meal filled with mouthwatering discoveries and all in generous portions.

Tony Roma’s owner George Pua: “Our ribs should be exceptional and there is no room for compromise.”

Fire, spice, and everything nice — look no further for that sumptuous treat because Tony Roma’s, the Rolls-Royce of rib restaurants, is at the top of the game. With an extravagant spread and plenty of creativity to woo you for return visits, there are lots of soul-satisfying meals that customers are happy to shout about.

Once you’ve managed to veer your attention away from the beautiful interiors, indulgence begins with the art of simplicity, using only top-quality and fresh ingredients as evidenced in their pumpkin soup. With a refined touch, the chef has expertly brought out the refreshing combination of cream and pumpkin, providing a balanced flavor that will tantalize your tongue and is a true gastronomic masterpiece. I was especially taken by the Caesar salad. I thoroughly enjoyed the crisp texture of the lettuce and marvelously blended dressing that was flavorful, smooth, and caressed the palate like liquid silk. The grilled chicken accompanied with the salad looked deceptively plain, but don’t be fooled; its savory flavor and juicy meat complements well and does not stifle the overall structure of the salad. I liked that the dressing was drizzled over the dish, and required little work on the part of the hungry diner to toss them together to enjoy its distinct goodness. 

The Rolls-Royce of ribs: Tony Roma’s baby back ribs

The Buffalo wings are a crowd pleaser, and its spice level does not go overboard. Each bite reveals a tender, moist flavor with a crisp exterior, fried to perfection and accompanied with a blue cheese dip so low-key as not to upstage the chicken.

The star dishes are the baby back ribs, which feature prominently on the menu. They have mastered the art, and when done well, ribs are deliciously addictive. Simply seasoned, well executed, and extremely comforting, the dish is a happy marriage of flavors, and its sinfully huge portion exemplifies the level of commitment when it comes to ribs. Voracious meat eaters like me will be squealing in delight as some meats boast a dark, roasted caramelized crunch, like the Carolina honey, a perfect blend of molasses, honey and secret ingredients, while other varieties like the original recipe and spicy Red Hots were fork tender and melted in your mouth. Many say they’re simply the best. Complementing this dish are huge baked potatoes, and I was ecstatic with the potatoes’ full-bodied texture and how every spoonful bore crunch, rich flavor, and bite from the bacon, cream, and cheese. Yum. Indeed, expectations are high and understandably so, and this why Tony Roma’s emphasizes that their ribs should be immensely exceptional for their clients and that there is no room for compromise. The ribs are so good that one can hardly find fault as it is freshly prepared, beautifully presented, with flavors that can be described as poised, balanced, and well-blended. Every bite was worth savoring, with every mouthful you wanted to taste some more, leaving only bones as an appreciation of the chefs’ expertise.

Great start: The appetizer sampler

Then came the beef ribs that made you want to draw out each titillating mouthful. It’s a must order that I particularly enjoyed. The perfect dousing of savory sauce around the meat gives a unique flavor burst, a reminder that the experience is indelible and the food wholesome. 

To end on a sweet note, save space for dessert. Baked in a skillet, the chocolate chip cookie topped with vanilla ice cream is way too tempting to ignore. The tantalizing mix of thick, full ice cream and belly-warming cookie is irresistible.

The longevity and consistency is a testament to Tony Roma’s excellence — a world-class franchise that has made its mark in the restaurant industry. Their mantra that taste reigns in a foodie’s consciousness and that eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures shows owner George Pua’s understanding of what his clientele demands. With a delicious repertoire and huge following, Tony Roma’s surpasses expectation and more.

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Sweet ending: The chocolate chip cookie topped with vanilla ice cream is baked in a skillet.

Tony Roma’s is located on the ground floor of Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Makati City. For reservations, call 757-1926. A second branch is located on the second floor, Expansion wing, Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City. For inquiries, call 771-1388 or visit www.tonyromas-mms.com.

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For recipes and schedule visit www.sylviareynosogala.com or Facebook at www.facebook.com/SylviaReynosoGalaCulinary.

CENTER FONT GEORGE PUA RIBS TONY ROMA VERDANA
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