“ Address: Unit 3 / Omni Centre / Edinburgh EH1 3BN „
Frankie and Benny's are classed as 'New York Italian' restaurants and are dotted up and down the UK. They offer a mixed menu of American and Italian cuisine and are often open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
~Frankie and Benny's Edinburgh~
0131 557 2077
The restaurant I will be reviewing is located in the Omni Centre in Edinburgh. It is a 5-10 minute walk from Princes Street and is within a complex with other restaurants and a cinema. It is open 7 days a week from 9am - 11pm.
The entrance to the restaurant is inside the complex. Inside, various tables and booths are crammed in. The kitchen can be viewed at the back of the restaurant and there are toilets (disabled downstairs and female/male upstairs) at the back of the restaurant. Tables can be arranged to suit various sized parties and it is recommended that you call to book a table during peak hours. They do have high chairs for babies.
I will keep this brief as the full menu can be viewed on www.frankieandbennys.com.
The menu in this particular restaurant is the same as every other Frankie and Benny's. They offer a breakfast menu with pancakes, waffles and cooked breakfasts for £5.00 a pop.
There is a set lunch menu for midweek dining until 5pm. which includes various selection of starters, mains and desserts. This menu is priced at £5.95 (one course), £8.25 (two courses) and £9.25 (three courses). Options include dishes such as soup, potato skins, various pizzas and pastas, salads, omelettes and even hot dogs. Desserts include crumbles, ice cream etc.
There is a specials menu in the evening priced at £10.95 for two courses. Options include chicken wings, calzone, burgers, wraps and fruit salad. Vegetarians have limited choice on the set menus. The main menu can be opted for at any time of the day and has lots of dishes to choose from including lighter options for those watching their weight.
*Starters are priced from £2.95 - soup, dough sticks etc.
*Main courses - lots here from £7.95 including pizza, burgers, pasta (various), steaks and sides. The most expensive option is the steak platter which has chicken, sausage etc with it. It is priced at over £20.00!
*Desserts from £3.25 - ice cream, sorbets, sticky toffee pudding, cheesecake and various sundaes are up for grabs.
*Drinks - Frankie and Benny's stock lots of drinks including cocktails, wines and spirits and also hot and cold drinks. Cocktails are around £6.00 (pitchers £11.95) and soft drinks are priced between £2 and £3.
F&Bs also have a childrens menu. Younger children have the option of chicken nuggests/fish fingers etc whilst older children can opt for larger portions and dishes such as pizza and pasta. A drink and dessert is included and priced from £3.99.
Despite living near a Frankie and Benny's, my sister and I opted to visit here during a night away in Edinburgh. We had actually planned on dining at The Slug and the Lettuce across from F&Bs but it was too busy and we were short on time. The Omni Centre itself is ideal for a bite to eat - plenty of choice. Anyway, we thought the food would be up to the same standard as our local F&B and armed with a 20% off voucher on my sisters iPhone, we went in for our dinner.
We were seated quickly and shown to a table for 2 up the very back of the restaurant. The restaurant isn't particularly spacious. It was very busy when we arrived at 5pm. I cannot say that the staff were the friendliest or the most professional. They appeared harrassed and difficult to communicate with as they were always in a rush. As we had an offer code, we had to order 2 main courses from the main menu but were given the specials menu too. I wish we had opted for that menu to be honest.
We ordered some drinks including a Long Island Iced Tea pitcher and a bottle of Irn Bru. I would have appreciated a proper glass with our cocktails but we were given a small tumbler and one of those straws you get with a Kwenchy Cup - felt like children to be honest! The table was tiny but clean. It just felt a little cramped. Our meal order was promptly taken and food was brought at a reasonable pace. We did ask to order our desserts before our main course arrived as we realised we were short on time. The waiter didn't seem impressed and was adamant we wouldn't have time for desserts as the main courses would be a while. He was quite cheeky about it but the other waiter was much more helpful.
During our dining experience, we did have to complain. Most restaurants would take the dish away and resolve it or bring the manager over. The waiter seemed confused as to why we weren't happy and went to speak to the manager and returned with a feeble excuse which I will discuss further on. The manager stropped off in a huff and was not very professional. I can tell you a tip was not left!
As we were away on a rare night out, we decided to splash out a bit with our orders. The menu choice is varied aslong as you like pizza, pasta or burgers! There are a few vegetarian options on the menu but most dishes contain some form of meat so you really need to be a non fussy vegetarian! We are both meat eaters though so no issues there. Portion sizes are good.
For starters, my sister ordered Calamari (lightly fried and seasoned with salt and cracked black pepper. Sprinkled with a warm, Neapolitan dip - £5.95). She received a good big portion which was well presented with her dip on side and a lemon wedge. Usually I would have a try but was previously fooled into believing this was pasta and not baby squid - no thank you! If you like that sort of thing, I can confirm she was very pleased with her calamari - very fresh, tasty and plentiful.
I opted for the Amazing BBQ Chickens Skins (fully loaded and served with sour cream - £4.95). This is always my favourite starter but I felt it was poorly presented. I had three filled potato skins on a tiny little plate so it did get a little messy! They were tasty enough and plenty of filling. The BBQ sauce was lacking a little in smokey flavouring and I felt there was more sweetcorn rather than chicken. The dip was fresh and the skins weren't hard or dry. I did enjoy my starter but could have been doing with a bigger plate!
As we were somewhere different, we decided to go for a steak each. We opted for the 8oz Larder Trim Sirloin at £16.95. We were promised a thick sirloin with a mushroom, rocket, cherry tomatoes and had the option of fries, a salad or a jacket potato. I opted for fries, my sister opted for a jacket potato. Our meal was presented well but the outside of the steak looked a little burnt despite being 'medium' cooked. The fries were lovely and seasoned well. The tomatoes were sweet and fresh as was the rocket. My sister opted for peppercorn sauce which was served in a tiny pot.
All looked ok. I did notice by sisters steak had a lot more visible fatty bits than my own. It wasn't until I started chewing a piece of my steak that I noticed that most of it was fatty. Cutting any fats bits off our steaks resulted in about half of the steak being cut away. We weren't impressed. The fries and other garnish would be cheap enough but you are really paying for the quality of the sirloin. I have had better steak in Weatherspoons!
We complained and we were asked if we would like another main course. We had to decline as we were pushed for time. The chef passed on a message though that apparently the steak was the way it was supposed to be and they had used that supplier for a while now. Sorry - a steak should be edible! In the end, they agreed to take it off our bill which saved us nearly £34.00 but we were still without a main course and ended up at the chippy later in the evening.
Anyway, by this time we had already ordered our desserts. Surely nothing else would go wrong? We both have sweet tooths so choosing a dessert is always a hard thing. We decided to order two different desserts and share. The desserts are reasonably priced and there is plenty of choice. One dessert we ordered was the Banana Cheesecake (Rich and creamy vanilla cheesecake topped with freshly slice banana, toffee sauce, toffee crunch and cream - £4.95). Absolute heaven! The cheesecake was nicely finished (I assume a blow torch gave the effects) and melted in the mouth - creamy and deliciously sweet. There was just enough toffee and banana to make it different from a regular piece of cheesecake and the cream was very fresh.
We also ordered an sundae. I refrained from ordering the 'Sherbet Dip' sundae and opted for the Eton Mess (vanilla and strawberry ice cream layered with meringue, sweet red berry sauce and topped with whipped cream - £5.25). This was more than enough to share and was well presented in a tall glass. The vanilla ice cream tasted a little cheap but the rest of the sundae was tasty if a little sickly sweet! The red berry sauce was nice and tangy and there were plenty of meringue pieces which added texture and crunch to a regular sundae - very satisfying!
Starters and desserts fab - main courses and general service very poor. Despite having both main courses taken off our bill (and therefore we couldn't use our 20% discount), we still paid nearly £35.00 for two starters, a jug of peppercorn sauce (they did not discount this even though it was useless), two desserts, a pitcher and a bottle of Irn Bru. Expensive. I do feel the set menus offer better value for money. I wouldn't eat here again even if I was down that way in Edinburgh. The toilets were clean too and the restaurant is the perfect location for the cinema. I feel they could have handled our issue a little better hence why I am awarding 3 stars.
Thanks for reading :)
Originally posted Ciao June 2012