WITH A GROWING and lively food scene in Riyadh, it's best for establishments to make their brands stand out in any way possible. Meet TSC Signature, the full dine-in restaurant of the popular "The Sandwich Company" shops, ergo the "TSC", which has been bubbling with great reviews lately. I was lucky enough to get a treat from one of my friends to come and eat here and I've already seen people talking about it on Foursquare that I simply ought to try it.
First off, I will apologize for not taking any photos of the interiors of the place because it's a shame that I didn't because the place was pristine! The whole set-up of the restaurant spoke to me...It wasn't a huge space but it appeared that every inch was utilized efficiently and decorated attractively. Upon entering, you will be welcomed by a lush, white seating for waiting guests and inside, you will find dining booths that are aligned along the glass windows that served as a frame for a beautiful garden landscape situated just outside. Open seating was also available.
It would appear that TSC Signature was a fancy, expensive place to eat in, but in fact, it was really quite affordable for a casual dining restaurant. We gazed over the menu and found ourselves less worried. :P They primarily offered burgers, pizzas and pastas (Italian-inspired mostly) and it was a good thing that we hadn't had anything to eat hours before so we were ready to gorge in.
First up, on the appetizers...our friend J is a big French Fries Addict. I mean, she can definitely survive on planet Earth if fries were the only thing left to eat. So when we saw the Fries Lovers item on the menu, I knew she would definitely order it.
|For the French Fry Lover|
The selection is made of regular fries, curly fries, sweet potato fries and potato wedges. I liked the sweet potato fries the best and it's good for sharing. Good thing even though J is a French Fries Addict, she doesn't mind sharing. :P (Love yah moight!)
Our generous benefactor of the night was G, who ordered an appetizer platter that came in an interesting kind of serving plate that was black and felt like it was made of wood. We would later find out that the rest of the main dishes were served on that same plate.
Unfortunately, I found the chicken on this platter dry and a bit hard. Especially the skewered ones. So it was only the jalapeno cheese that we ended up enjoying. I'm not too sold on this one.
Meanwhile, I am a big fan of rocket leaves / arugula / gerger and a year ago in our trip to Maldives, I fell in love with figs. So when I saw that they had a Fig (+Arugula) Salad, my heart skipped a beat and it was my first, definite choice.
It was tasty and the flavors went well together, but I guess it was too much for just one person to eat all by himself. Too bad my companions weren't a big fan of veggies so there was a lot of arugula left to ignore. In times like these, it's safe to say that one order of this salad is good for sharing. I did eat all the figs tho....it's a rare find! (At least for me).
We also wanted to try one of their soups so we had the Seafood Chowder. It looked very classy and was also very sumptuous. It was the right kind of creamy with enough varied seafoods like scallops, fish, shrimp and even a big piece of mussel. This dish deserved a thumbs up!
|Very, very delicious chowder.|
You would think those appetizers alone should have had us filled already...and we were. But in true Filipino foodtrippin' style, we still orders some main course (and dessert!). We couldn't let the treat of our good friend, G go to waste... :P I'm just teasing. Of course we had to try their signature items!
From their long list of seemingly delicious burgers (I was torn between the one with avocado and the one with portobello mushrooms and this one!) I ended up ordering their Pesto Burger with mozzarella and parmesan cheese topped with sun-dried tomatoes and, you guessed it, a handful of arugula. The waiter helped me decide among my choices and it was a real winner! I think this burger was only 35-38SR and it was definitely, definitely great value for my money (well, my friend's money..haha). Every bite was lip-smacking...the richness of the cheese and the subtle sharpness of the pesto went perfectly with the meat. The sun-dried tomato gave it the right amount of tang and the arugula gave it a crunchy texture -- Howaw! It was a party in my mouth! (Do I still need to give a two thumbs up for this, or did my manner of describing it told you I loved it already?)
We had high hopes for this burger. It was novel. It sounded quirky. But as intriguing as the name was, it felt a bit lacking if stacked against the flavor standards already set by the pesto burger. The sauce just didn't have that much of a "punch" to add to the burger. I mean, what could this sauce do for me that ketchup wouldn't do? That was the honest thought in my mind. Other than giving it a fruity aftertaste, my verdict on this Blackberry Burger is just Oh-kay. Nice try. :)
|Their version of Chicken Carbonara|
G ordered pasta to detour from our burger choices and it was another delicious choice. Creamy and tasty with fresh mushrooms (you could tell). Plus it was hefty and good for sharing. Will recommend. :)
Other popular items on their menu was their Signature Burger and their Tenderloin Steak (which I believe Sundrenched has already tried).
To round off the evening, along with a free serving of tea (they have this promo on Foursquare when you check-in, you get free tea/coffee) was their version of a Chocolate Fondant. Nothing too special on my book (as you know I am a Chocolate Fondant aficionado) but it was enough to end the night on a sweet note.
Service was really good by the way, thanks to an almost all-Filipino staff, if I am not mistaken. Top scores for ambience and decor. Total wallet damage for all that we had? Less than 300SR. There were three of us so I would say that's not bad. If you ask me if I'll be going back there, my answer would be a definitive, YES. And I can sign in on that. ;)
You can find TSC Signature along Abdullah Al Hamdan St. (adjacent to Tahlia St.). It is across Ketchup and Munch Bakery (if you know that area). If not, check out their location on Foursquare and make sure to check out their Facebook and Instagram page.
Happy food trip!