Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tony Roma's in Thailand

While immensely good, Tony Roma's in Thailand proves to be an extremely expensive proposition.

By Karn G. Bulsuk

Tony Roma's is famous for its ribs, which are done so that they literally fall off the bone. Cooked in a variety of sauces, the restaurant has gone upper-scale since leaving the US and landing in sites in Asia.

In Thailand, the price of Tony Roma's puts it squarely into the range of the expensive and luxurious, suitable fare only for the affluent bourgeois willing to blow over 1,500 Thai Baht (45 USD) for a meal for a family of 4, in a country where 1,000 baht is more than what the average person earns in three days of work.

Starters cost around 300 baht up (9.12 USD), while main courses start at 250 baht (7.68 USD) and go up to 600-800 baht (18.25-24.33 USD).

The taste is authentic, and are cooked using the same techniques as the ribs in America. The meat is tender and sweet, and does fall off the bone according to Tony Roma's lore. The coleslaw is delicious and feels home made, while the baked potato skins has a generous helping of cheese and bacon bits smothered on top.

Tony Roma's is known for its ribs, but the same can't be said for its burgers. Arriving with a barely cooked beef patty, it felt as if even the average Joe could've thrown it together. The toppings on the burger are decent though, as are the freshly fried, hot and crispy french fries.

We went as a group of 10, and we averaged around 350 baht per person for the entire meal. It's an expensive proposition to go eat at Tony Roma's alone, so unless going with a group, on company budget, or desperate to get some excellent ribs, it may not be the first choice on my list.

Tony Roma's Burgers


  1. How can they stay in business in Thailand?

    Thai food is much tastier and much more baht-friendly. I have eaten at TR's once in 10 years (their rest. is two blocks from my house) and could easily afford to go there frequently but won't because there pricing is so ridiculous. I would rather eat a great steak at a 5 star restaurant like the JW Marriott for the same price.

  2. Hi Blurb

    They can afford it as, like in every society and country, there are people who are rich and can afford it, and Tony Roma's happens to be located in one of those shopping malls filled with normal stuff as well as high-end brand name stuff.

    Where are you located? I'm curious as to the price there as well.

  3. I am located in Bangkok and there is one other stand-along TRs on Sukhumvit near Soi 5. It has been there for many years, 8 or 10 at least that I am aware of. I t appearsto be targeting tourists in the lower Sukhumvit area because there aren't many Thais or ex-pats eating there.

    There used to be another TRs in the Emporium (in the "hi-so" food court) but it might have closed and moved to Siam Paragon.

  4. Ah, a fellow Bangkokian :p

    Yeah, I've passed the one near Soi 5 before but have never tried it. I remember the one in the Emporium before it closed. There is one at Siam Paragon at the food floor, but wayyyyy at the back on the left, if you have your back towards the BTS. Did I mention it was expensive? :p

    I think Tony Roma's stays in business because of three main groups:

    1) Tourists who come to Thailand to have...western food (-_-)
    2) Expats who prefer western food or have a craving something more from home
    3) "Hi-so" locals who have the money to burn - either families, students or professionals

    At the prices they've set, and the low cost of actual ingredients, I bet you they're making a massive profit margin Blurb. Wish I could make that type of cash too :p

  5. My grandfather loves Tony Roma's, but to be honest, I think the best place to eat ribs is at an American rib cook off or outdoor BBQ fest. When in Thailand, eat Thai. Actually, I bet a Thai spiced pork rib would be incredible. They should start a signature Thai recipe at Thai TRs. As for the pricing, those look similar and actually cheaper than TRs in USA.

  6. I just updated the prices - I got them wrong. They're actually much higher than the ones I remembered.

    Thai spared ribs are good, but I love the honey glazed ones you get in Hong Kong - even Tony Roma's can be edged out by them!