We have been going to Franco’s for the last couple of years since it opened in its new premises in Sotherndown in 2014 and I openly admit to being a big fan.
So what it makes Frolics so special?
For us, a lot has to do with the owner and front of house himself, Franco. He is very much a family man and welcomes children to his restaurant as if they are his special guests. His attentive approach to little ones means that this is hands down my sons favourite restaurant, even beating Pizza Express, so that’s saying something!
Franco is also very good at recognising repeat customers, showing just how customer service should be done. This isn’t to say he isn’t welcoming to new visitors too; it’s just nice that he recognises customers, even if like us, they haven’t been for a while.
The restaurant itself is small, about six or so tables upstairs and not many more in the basement. With it being both small and very popular, booking is definitely advised.
We went recently as a party of three children and five adults for dinner to celebrate a family birthday.
Being mid-week, only the upstairs of the restaurant was open. Every table was filled and there was a nice and cosy informal atmosphere.
Once we had ordered and received our drinks order, Franco presented us with a generous basket of garlic bread on the house, which we all tucked into.
Our starters soon followed. Between us we had ordered the asparagus, goats cheese, scallops and king prawns. As Franco had spotted that the garlic bread had been devoured he quickly got us some more so we could mop up the sauce with our starters.
I had the king prawns, which were already de-shelled and were coated in plenty of garlic butter with a little kick of chilli, which was lovely. I was glad of the extra garlic bread as I used it to mop up the sauce, however with only two prawns, I would have liked more.
Around the table there were satisfied nods, with the goats cheese being reported as especially nice. My husband thought his scallops were yummy. My dad who had the asparagus, thought it was very tasty with a cream sauce.
For mains, my father and I both ordered the Beef pasta, my mum and sister the spaghetti marinara, and my husband the spaghetti carbonara.
My beef course was packed with tender, melt in the mouth beef in a tasty tomato sauce. I found it quite unusual to have beef like this with penne pasta, but it did work really well and was a nice change from my usual spaghetti marinara.
My dad who had the same, also really enjoyed it and said he would order it again. The beef pasta portion was very generous, I couldn’t finish mine but my Dad polished his off.
The marinara’s were also very well received, with plenty of prawns, mussels and squid seafood and topped with a king prawn in it’s shell. This is my usual favourite Italian dish, I tend to order it here and I have always enjoyed it.
There’s no children menu as such, but they will prepare dishes from the menu in smaller portions.
Mine had the pepperoni pizza and the lasagne, both of very good quality. They were both tucked into with gusto.
We didn’t have desert, as we’d taken along a birthday cake. Franco brought this out for us on cue and the whole restaurant joined in singing happy birthday.
We had a great time as always at Franco’s, for us it is so nice to have an Italian close by that guarantees great service and tasty unpretentious food. Franco is passionate about Italian cuisine and in making sure that his guests have an enjoyable experience, which we certainly all did.
As an aside, I can also recommend the lunch special. It’s verg good at £12.95 a head for two courses.
Family Friendly Rating: ****
High Chairs – Yes
Baby Changing –No
Childrens Menu – No
Smaller Portions Available – Yes
Other Info: N/A
Address: Frolics, Southerndown CF32 ORT
Tel: 01656 880127