Frankie and Benny’s, Friar’s Walk, Newport
First opened in 1995 in Leicester, the 1950’s Italian-American themed restaurant chain now has around 200 locations across the UK.
One of it’s most recent opening is in the state of the art new shopping centre, Friar’s Walk in the vibrant city of Newport, South Wales.
Friar’s Walk opening in November 2015 and reportedly had around 350,000 visitors in the first weekend so it has already proved to be very popular! It forms a significant part of the city’s emergence as a regeneration success story with improvements and development taking place in a number of areas around the city.
The shopping centre is fairly typical of the modern designs creating a ‘high street’ feel as opposed to an enclosed Mall, but most of it does have a roof so you can shop largely in the dry, as it has been known to rain in Wales!
There is a Cineworld cinema, gym and the shops include independent retailers as well as household brands, including Debenhams, TopShop, H&M, River Island to name just a few. The food area is mainly located on the ground floor facing the river and the University of South Wales’ impressive campus building opposite.
Most of the major national restaurant brands are present, including amongst others Nando’s, TGI Friday’s, Prezzo and Le Bistrot Pierre (which will feature in a forthcoming review) as well as the subject of today’s review, Frankie and Benny’s, so there’s plenty of choice.
The chain itself manages to create a convincing theme and most of their restaurants we have visited are generally quite cheerful and clean places, with the food being usually fairly average and typical of the standard for a large chain of this type, however the menu choice is excellent and there really is something for everybody.
The booth seating is especially good and quite private if you are holding a meeting, as is the free WI-FI which usually we don’t have any issue with although today it wasn’t working effectively at all, and we were told by our very friendly and personable waiter, Lewis Boucher, that they have had some teething problems with it, so we hope this is a one off because part of the attraction for us, and many business users, is the ability to get on the web quickly and easily, which today was not the case.
Aside from that the food offers good value on the lunch menu in particular in our opinion, with main dishes priced at £6.95 which includes a broad range of dishes from spaghetti bolognese to pizzas, as well as ‘American Classics’ such as burger and fries, fish and chips, beef lasagne, and BBQ Philly Cheese Dog! There is also good range of salads, sandwiches, wraps and deserts.
Overall the food quality is average in our opinion, the portions are quite large, the atmosphere is excellent and in our case today, served by Lewis, the service was exceptional!
We have to give our honest opinion to make these reviews count and regretfully with the lack of fully functioning WIFI today we are going to give Three Forks based on today’s review, but don’t let this deter you from visiting what is a very family friendly, and business friendly restaurant overall, and it is well worth a visit to Friar’s Walk and Newport generally for a look around!
What we ate and drank:
1 Spaghetti Bolognese
1 Spaghetti Carbonara
1 Orange and Lemonade (Free Refills)
Details and Facilities:
Frankie and Benny’s
Friars Walk Shopping Centre, Usk Plaza, Newport, NP20 1DS
Mon:9am – 11pm
Tue:9am – 11pm
Wed:9am – 11pm
Thu:9am – 11pm
Fri:9am – 11pm
Sat:9am – 11pm
Sun:9am – 10.30pm
Fear On Food Rating: Three Forks