Franzos Piri Piri 4.5/5
VALUE FOR MONEY: 5/5
VENUE & ATMOSPHERE: 4/5
NOTE: All meat is halal. No alcohol is served on the premises.
Alhamdulillah. We are back from Hajj. What an experience. Amongst the pushing and shoving, the 47 degree heat, the diverse and sheer volume of people, falling ill, and re-learning to use an Indian toilet, you learn A LOT about yourself. And not only that. You learn about how to be humble *insert Kendrick Lemar reference here*, how to share, how to compromise, and most of all, how to be PATIENT! Alhamdullilah. Now, before this turns into a Yasmin Mogahed talk on Hajj, I will cut to the main topic of blogasation – FOOD!
I was mostly vegetarian on our trip as I got a bad bout of food poisoning, so much so that daal, rice, yoghurt and fruit became my friend. Let’s just say we were craving the delights of home cooked food when we got back from Saudi. So in true Gujurati fashion, we indulged in some daal gosht and dhokla upon our return, before turning to our next craving, Nandos. Not going to lie, after the expense of Hajj, it’s time to balance the books. A meal for 2 at Nandos can cost close to £30 these days, WITH an NHS discount! What could we do to satisfy our desire to devour a plate of piri piri chicken?
Que the lightbulb moment. We had wanted to try Franzos piri piri on Ilford Lane forever, but we were always put off by the queue out the door. It was a Friday night, but it was relatively early, and Franzos is local to us, so we risked the wait and headed over.
Despite the fact that the restaurant was heaving, we managed to get a table immediately. It was like watching Coming to America, and seeing McDowells trying to say they are different to McD’s. I couldn’t see the prince of Zamunda but the system IS identical to Nandos, you choose what you want, order and pay at the till, and you help yourself to extra cutlery and condiments. ShakerFries ordered within 5 minutes and we received our food in a rather snappy 10 minutes. Happy days.
We ordered a Single Platter for £12.00, which included a whole grilled chicken quartered, 2 large sides (garlic bread and piri fries) and 2 soft drinks. Because our eyes are bigger than our bellies, we also ordered an additional portion of lamb chops and 2 extra portions of halloumi. What was shocking was the bill.. £20!!! Yep. No, that’s not a typo. We paid £20 in TOTAL for all of that food.
Now for the taste test. I went straight in for the chops as they looked charred yet juicy. It’s probably the longest I’ve gone without eating chops and I was not disappointed. Given that one wouldn’t normally order lamb at a piri piri chicken restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised. The seasoning was perfect, the meat was so tender that it was falling off the bone, yet was also slightly charred so had that crispy BBQ taste. Big tick for me. Chips, also left an impression on me, although ShakerFries commented that they were a bit too salty for his palette. However, you wouldn’t base the decision to come here on the above so onto the whole chicken…It blew the size of Nando’s whole chicken out of the park. The chicken was juicy, tender and tasty – I would argue that the marinade was even better than Nandos. My only complaint (this is in no way directed at Franzos) was that it was a bit too spicy for me, as the wonderful ShakerFries had ordered it hot.. hence why next time.. I’M ordering! The bonus was that you didn’t have to pay for perinase (WIN!), as they had their own Franzos perinase bottle on each table, which went perfectly with the meal. Halloumi and garlic bread were as you’d expect. Unsurprisingly, we bit off more than we could chew (no pun intended) so half the chicken came home with us.
After visiting Franzos, we made a deal that it would probably be our ‘go to’ from now on over Nandos if we were local, as you can get way more for your money, without comprising the quality or taste of the food. The process was fast and easy, and we were in and out within 45 minutes. Perfect for a quick bite. I didn’t take too much notice of the décor, but the place was clean and buzzing which speaks for itself in terms of the stir this particular eatery has caused. Service was good and fast. Overall neither of us were at all disappointed, and felt incredibly satisfied. Simple menu, simple process, easy on the pocket, and great food. You can see why the queues can sometimes reach up to 45 minutes..but after where we’ve just been, that’s easy..sabr ya haaji!
Update: I must admit after writing this post we visited YET AGAIN a week later! This time I indulged in a chicken burger loaded meal. In summary, don’t waste your time on the wings, but if the thought of half a chicken is too much for you, definitely give their burger a try. I loved it! Large fluffy bap, a good portion of perfectly seasoned chicken breast, with mayo and crunchy salad. This time I went with the medium spice and it was perfect for me.
Franzos Piri Piri
Address: 318 Ilford Lane, Ilford, London IG1 2LT
Phone: 020 8553 5657