Restaurant Review: Frankie & Benny’s, Edinburgh Ocean Terminal

THERE is a certain foodie snobbery around chain restaurants but, when it comes to getting good value for money, there’s little point in turning your nose up at Frankie and Benny’s.

A few years ago, I wouldn’t have dreamt of suggesting a precious evening out should be spent surrounded by fake Italian-American decor, with Frank Sinatra blasting out of the speakers on a loop and having to dodge meatballs thrown by the over-excited child at the next table.

But a few years ago I did not have a child in tow and competing pressures on my bank account, so here I was with wife and daughter staring at the menu outside the Ocean Terminal branch, wondering where it all went wrong.

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The experience, as it turns out, could not have been more different.

We were attended to promptly and shown to a quiet table with a highchair for the wee one. She immediately set to work on the free colouring and puzzle book which, while a little too advanced for a 16-month-old, nonetheless kept her admirably quiet.

The waitress couldn’t have been more attentive, especially to the needs of her youngest diner. The value of talking directly to a child and making eye contact cannot not be underestimated.

As for the food, no complaints. It does exactly what it says. Good quality, quickly served, reasonably priced Italian-American fare. If you remember to visit its website beforehand to print out a £10 off voucher, it’s even better.

So, while it might not be top of the list for a quiet romantic meal, when it comes to a family meal out, it’s not to be sniffed at.

Frankie & Benny’s, Edinburgh Ocean Terminal, 0131-555 4803