Frankie and Benny’s, Cardiff Bay

On Wednesday evening we had, at short notice, a childless evening after my lovely mother in law agreed to have the children to stay for the night. Staying with ‘Gu’ (pronounced Gee with a hard G as in grape rather than as in gee up horsey! Oh, and it’s short for Mamgu which is Welsh for Grandma) is always seen as a special treat by my children as they are spoilt rotten every time they visit, so we had no difficulty in persuading them around! With our free hours we decided to go out for a meal, as it is rare that we make this sort of opportunity for ourselves.

We were undecided for a long time as to where to go. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to go somewhere that had good puddings! We tried TGI Friday first, as that is nearer to where we live, but when we got there we were told that we would have an hour’s wait for a table, and the bar area was full so we couldn’t even have relaxed while we waited. So we passed on that and made our way to Cardiff Bay and to Frankie and Benny’s. We’ve been there a few times before now and have always enjoyed the food, so it was a fairly safe bet. They were also busy when we arrived, due to a Wednesday offer they run of a large pizza and two soft draught drinks for just under a tenner, and the hostess told us there would be a thirty minute wait for a table. However, in contrast to TGI Friday there was plenty of room (and seats) in the bar area so we went and sat ourselves down with a drink each.

I don’t think we did have that long a wait in the end before we were seated. The restaurant all of a sudden seemed to quieten down as a couple of large family groups finished and left, and so we had a very attentive waiter (who I am sure I’ve seen somewhere before, he looked very familiar!). We ordered a tomato and pesto garlic pizza bread to share for a starter which was delivered promptly and was delicious. For our mains, we both wanted the calzone but knew that if we had a full one each we would never have room for a pudding, so instead we opted to share a calzone and then share a (smaller) pasta dish. It actually worked out quite well that we chose to do this as the wrong pasta dish was brought out initially (one with mussels, yeuch!) and so we tucked into the chicken calzone while they cooked the correct pasta dish. It was ready in plenty of time before we had finished the calzone, so all was well with our world. Then, to carry on our sharey themed meal, we shared an ‘East Coast Sundae’, which was chocolate and toffee ice cream with mini maltesers, mini marshmallows, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Mmmmm! We left the restaurant two very happy bunnies, well satisfied with the quantity and quality of our meals and not even significantly poorer, the bill having come in at under £30. The only minor ‘beef’ (as my husband phrased it!) was the volume of the music. They play easy listening music such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Buble, which is great. We just would have liked them to turn the volume down a little, as it was a bit too loud to carry on conversations comfortably. Great if you want to sing along though!

A very satisfactory late Valentine’s Day meal, I think! And not too extravagant, given that we haven’t had a meal out together since before Christmas, and they were only lunches. It was really lovely, spending time with my lovely husband. I’m still quite happy to sit and gaze at him with a soppy smile on my face, even after twelve and a half years together! Long may it continue!

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3 Responses

  1. That sounds fab, might have to try there next time we’re looking for somewhere to go.

  2. That sounds like a lovely way to celebrate valentines day. I like the shared meals too, very romantic. Might have to steal that one and surprise hubby one night.

  3. @WPT – it is really lovely, can get a bit pricey when we all go, but we always enjoy it as a treat, and we were pleasantly surprised (as I said) by the price when we went this week.

    @Leechbabe – the shared meals thing worked well for us, as we had the best of both worlds that way and got to try two dishes each instead of just one! I’d definitely do it again!

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