“ Address: Royal Exchange Building / Cross Street / Manchester / M2 7DH „
For the past few years we have had a bit of a family get together on the run up to Christmas where my sister, cousins, myself and my son will usually head to the Christmas markets, do a bit of shopping and grab something to eat. The past couple of years we had been to Liverpool where my cousins live and so this past Christmas we decided to meet in Manchester which was easily reachable for us all and would be a nice change. We decided to eat at TGI Fridays at Manchester Royal Exchange and this is my review of our day. ==What is it?== TGI's is a classic American style food place. You will find grills, burgers, chicken and other such items on the menu and you can expect to get a big portion on your plate! It isn't a cheap place to eat and so I would personally recommend it as a bit of a treat as opposed to a place to regularly eat but it is good quality and a bit of an experience when you do go there. ==Where is it and how can I book?== You can find the restaurant at: Royal Exchange Building Cross Street Manchester M2 7DH They are contactable on 0844 692 8903 or can be emailed at RoyalExchange@tgifridays.co.uk. You can actually book a table online for 1-4 people but larger tables would probably need to contact the restaurant to find out if they can book and if any deposits are needed to hold a table or anything. We booked online and found that when we arrived 15 minutes before our table time we were still shown straight to our table and this was on a Sunday at 4pm so not particularly a quiet time. ==Our experience== When we walked in to the restaurant I was pleased to see that it was suitably decorated for Christmas. There was a cool red and white bauble Christmas tree in the foyer which looked really modern and cool and inside the restaurant was also decorated nicely. Inside the restaurant there was a cool American theme and there were a lot of dark wood booths and tables. The whole atmosphere of the restaurant was quite cool and chilled and we were all quite surprised at how large the restaurant was as there seemed to be tables going on forever! When we were seated in our booth we were given menus and asked would we like to order drinks. We all ordered soft drinks as it was tea time on a Sunday but I know that they do cocktails and alcoholic drinks at TGI's based on a previous visit to the branch in London's Picadilly Circus. Soft drinks cost £2.39 for a bottomless glass. We had a male server and he stayed our server all the way through the meal which was nice as we knew whose attention to get should we need anything and I do like the consistency of the same server. He was a pleasant man and took our orders down quickly and efficiently running through it with us to make sure that he had got everything right. As we had been mooching around the Christmas markets we had all been sampling various little sweet treats earlier in the afternoon and so none of us decided to have a starter in TGI's. The starters ranged from things like chicken wings, bruchetta and potato skins and were around £5-£6 each. Sharing platters were also available for around £14-£15. The main meals as I mentioned earlier have quite an American theme running through them and so you are going to be looking at things like steaks, chicken, burgers and such like but they also have a section on the menu with things like fajitas, pastas and salads too. I chose Cajun chicken quesadilla with fries for my main meal whilst others in the party went for burgers or steak. My main meal cost £10.99 which I felt was reasonable really and in line with places such as Frankie and Benny's. What I didn't see on the menu was the option to upgrade your fries to sweet potato fries which is what a couple of my cousins did after I had ordered and I was a bit jealous! This costs around 50p more on top of your meal I think. My son ordered a hot dog and fries off the stars menu and this cost just £2.99 which I thought was good value. This price is just for a main meal though and you do not get a drink or a dessert as you would in other places for a couple of pounds extra. My son was given an activity pack with a workbook, pencil and things in to keep him entertained whilst waiting for his meal. Our meals arrived reasonably quickly and there were no major issues. My sister had ordered garlic mayonnaise with her meal which she had to pay a little extra for and this didn't come with the meals but the server did go and sort this out for us though not as quickly as we would have hoped. The portions were a really good size for all of our main meals and we all struggled to finish our main course completely and we were all really full as well. Everybody enjoyed their food and agreed that they would come back to this restaurant to eat in the future. We didn't order desserts because of how full we were but we did see some people having them taken to their tables and they looked amazing so I think the next time I visit I would really like to try a dessert off the menu! ==Overall== We were happy with the service we received at this restaurant. We were seated quickly and without fuss and the whole layout of the restaurant made us feel as though we were eating in a fun yet fashionable and cool establishment. Our meals were all really good quality and you do get plenty for your money here. I personally liked how well they catered for children because being the only child in the party on that occasion my son would have been bored had there been no activity pack offered. The restaurant was really clean as far as we could tell. We did have a bit of an issue finding the toilet because it was on the totally opposite side of the restaurant to where we were and then was down some stairs but inside the toilets were clean and modern and well maintained. I would certainly eat here again should I be in Manchester as it was a good experience for us all. It isn't somewhere you would go for a cheap meal but it isn't so expensive that it becomes a total luxury. Thank you for reading my review!