When we found out that The Cheesecake Factory was coming to town, we had no idea we would welcome the arrival of one of, if not the, largest menus in the upper casual dining realm. A menu unlike anything we have seen, this editor finds it difficult to decide if there is anything on that menu she didn’t wish to try. Like its original namesake offerings, The Cheesecake Factory restaurant‘s menu is not only filled with internationally inspired recipes, but each and every recipe is original—a signature touch overseen by Founder, Chairman and CEO of The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated, David Overton. Originally founded by Overton’s parents as The Cheesecake Factory bakery, Overton expanded the business to include a signature restaurant he opened in Beverly Hills, California in 1978. The Cheesecake Factory restaurant promotes his parent’s delectable cheesecakes while evolved into America’s favorite dining destination known for inventive menu selections, all made fresh daily with quality ingredients and presented in generous portions.
Alas, it was with much delight when we were invited to beat the lines and waiting lists, to finally have our taste of The Cheesecake Factory experience. The atmosphere is immediately inviting, given the staff’s impeccable hospitality services. Created with an open air dining experience in mind, the restaurant offers both cozier ‘indoor’ covered booths and ‘outside’ (Patio) tables to let you enjoy The Grand Avenue’s lively ambience, filled with people leisurely strolling by, queuing up to book their table to dine at The Cheesecake Factory or even ordering the delicious Cheesecakes from the bakery right at the entrance of the restaurant.
Our friendly host took the time to recount stories of his Cheesecake Factory experiences from the US, describing how it is his absolute enjoyment to create a dining experience like no other for every customer; from arranging wedding proposals, arranging a surprise for birthday events, to simply taking the time to tell you stories behind the creative dishes on offer. Rest assured that the friendly staff will make your dining experience enjoyable and unforgettable.
Before we dove into the freshly baked breadbasket, we tried out one of the many delicious cocktails on offer, the Island Cooler. Expecting a heavier fruit cocktail, the mango, passion fruit, and pineapple juice mix is mixed with fresh lemon and Sprite, making this cocktail a light and refreshing treat. The freshly baked breads are delicious, as the brown bread is also lightly sweetened with molasses to deliver an unexpected flavor.
When it comes to ordering at The Cheesecake Factory restaurant, our recommendation is to share your dishes with your loved ones, unless you are in the mood to truly indulge, as the portions are quite generous and the menu is filled with appetizers and entrees to satisfy every taste and palate. We decided on the signature Avocado Eggrolls, along with the Mexican inspired, Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes and the Luau Salad, a tropical tribute to the beautiful flavors of Hawaii. Digging into the Tamale cakes, prepare for a burst of flavors and textures, as the slightly sweet cakes are topped with sour cream, salsa, fresh cilantro, avocado, and salsa verde. You might think that’s too much salsa, but your taste buds will be pleasantly amused. As far as the legendary Avocado Eggrolls are concerned, the tamarind-cashew dipping sauce will steal your heart when combined with the crispy eggrolls. One bite delivers an expert mix of the crunchy wrapper, creamy avocado and sundried tomato filling, and tangy tamarind sauce. We couldn’t stop feasting on these until the Luau Salad arrived, a festive salad true to its name. Tossed in an in-house vinaigrette sauce, you’ll savor the sweet and tangy taste of juicy grilled chicken breast with greens, cucumbers, red and yellow peppers, green beans and onions, tangy mangos and crisp wontons with macadamia nuts and crunchy sesame. More than anything, you’ll love digging into the artfully presented tower that is your Luau Salad, slicing through the crunchy layers to mix up all the different ingredients.
Because the menu at The Cheesecake Factory is created with Overton’s vision of traveling the world and sampling different flavors, entrees offer a stunning variety, from the signature Glamburgers, to main dishes that will leave you coming back for more.
Hearing about the famous Cajun Jambalaya Pasta and never having tasted Creole cuisine, I was so eager to try out the restaurant’s most popular pasta dish, along with the Portuguese-style, sautéed Chicken Madeira.
Madeira sauce is rich, full-bodied and slightly peppery, you will not resist the temptation to devour every bit of this sauce that covers succulent sautéed chicken topped with fresh asparagus and melted mozzarella cheese, or even dousing the side of mashed potatoes in this amazing sauce. The jambalaya pasta, perfect to break the mellow Madeira flavor, will jolt your taste buds with its very spicy Cajun charm, as the freshly made linguine pasta combines shrimp and chicken sautéed with tomato, onions, and peppers.
Where any dining experience at The Cheesecake Factory is concerned, saving room for dessert is an absolute necessity; after all, those dreamy cheesecakes are always worth it. However, the dessert menu at The Cheesecake Factory will take you to greater heights of sweet temptations that go beyond the realm of the divine cheesecakes, with Fresh Strawberry Shortcake with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream that will equally delight, or a fabulous Chocolate Brownie Sundae. In pure bazaar fashion, we ordered both a slice of cheesecake and the two desserts and mixed the creamy, fruity, and chocolate flavors, dipping the large strawberries in the hot fudge sauce, and having a bite of the creamy cheesecake—an experience that will surely be repeated in the near future.
The Cheesecake Factory is open 7 days a week, offering a Saturday breakfast menu that is equally delicious and originally inspired. Head on over to The Cheesecake Factory restaurant, or get your cheesecakes to go from the Bakery at the Grand Avenue – The Avenues. For more information, please call 2228 3064/5.