One of our eagle-eyed Twitter followers (many thanks, @zombie_jeebus) spotted the arrival of Mr Frango’s Grill (which I’m sure will be known simply as Frango’s) on Leith Walk, just a few days ago. It has taken over the premises previously occupied by the Yummy House Chinese.
Promising the delights of Portuguese grilled chicken, on the face of it, it seems to be playing in the territory of a chicken restaurant with a name that’s somewhat similar to Frango’s. I’ve never visited Nando’s, so don’t have that comparison at my disposal, but I have visited KFC (of which there is a branch just nearby), a great German chicken place called Wienerwald in Istanbul, and, what’s more, Domenico’s does a pretty mean breaded chicken sandwich, too.
The staff members were all very welcoming and gave the strong impression of working hard to get the kinks out of their operation, as it powers-up to full speed. In fact they said as much. They have the shopfront and counter setup looking clean and tidy, so that’s always a good place to start.
Service needs a little work, but fresh staff were being trained on the job, so things will improve in that regard, I’m sure. Certainly, the pace needs to be a bit quicker, but such is the life of a new place in its first few days.
From the wide selection of chicken dishes (there are a few veggie options, too), I opted for the “grilled bird and brie” with one side dish. I initially opted for Portuguese rice, mainly on the basis that I had no idea what that might entail, but that was switched to thick-cut chips, as the rice wasn’t available.
Once I had my food, I toddled up the road and was soon snapping photos of the items, prior to tucking in.
Let’s start with the bad news, which was the chips. These were not thick-cut chips, but thin-cut fries. What’s more they were totally non-descript and eminently forgettable.
The good news is that the chicken was pretty decent. An accurately cooked and well-seasoned chicken breast was accompanied by good melty brie and crisp salad. The piri-piri mayonnaise added a nice light kick to proceedings.
The bun was an Italian-style roll, which was beautifully soft and fresh. It could have used a light toasting, as it was just a touch on the doughy side, but in comparison to many burger and hot sandwich buns you find, it was heady luxury.
So it was a bit of mixed bag from Frango’s. The chicken sandwich was fairly good, but the chips were a complete let-down. Also, £7.45 for the two items is a chunk of change, I reckon. But once they have service on point, the chips thicker cut and entirely more tasty, then a few little tweaks to improve the sandwich it might just work out as reasonable value, but for now I’ll keep on watching brief on the place, rather than rushing back.
Blythe scores Mr Frango’s Grill
2.5/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
2.5/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 11/20
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: grilled bird and brie; “thick-cut” chips
I drank: nowt
I wore: blue overcoat
Total bill: £7.45
154 Leith Walk