Farro’s (Birmingham) Review

My Rating: 4.5/5

Family Friendly: Yes

Address: 402-406 Stratford Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham. B11 4AD

Parking: Yes – but limited. Easy street parking available nearby; try Beach Rd, Alfred Rd or Fulham Rd for proximity.

Payment: Cash and (thankfully) Cards accepted

Farro’s is new to Birmingham and the 2nd restaurant of its branded Grillhouses, the first being in Nottingham. Opened on the 16th August 2019 it serves a blend of Portuguese and Italian inspired food – and they do burgers and steaks too.

Farro’s is located in an imposing converted pub right at the junction of Warwick Road and Stratford Road in the Sparkhill area of Birmingham. For those of you familiar with Brum you might recall the once mighty ‘The President’ buffet restaurant was on this site for many years before it closed and dereliction followed. I’m glad to say the site has been refurbished and the blight of broken windows and dumped rubbish is gone. The exterior is bright & breezy with a large new courtyard complete with a Birmingham Bull, a kindred spirit to the one outside the Bullring perhaps?

farros board

We parked on a side street as the main car park is relatively small and was already full. As we arrived into the lobby we were swiftly greeted by the front of house manager who took our name and advised us that being a Saturday evening and having requested a table for 5 we’d have to wait up to 30 minutes. Happily the wait was shorter than expected but it did give us time to absorb the atmosphere and observe the hive of activity represented by the waiting staff flitting from kitchen to service to tables and back again.

Once ushered to our table we were provided menus and quickly realised that ordering was exactly Nando’s style. Bottomless drinks as standard with a single refill area.

farros menu

Menu

Starters

We had the lamb chops which were succulent, perfectly cooked if a little towards the rare side on parts but still downright tasty. Served with a nice mint sauce.

farros lamb chops_

lamb chops

We also punted for the garlic bread with mozzarella, which was generally well received but seemed to lack a bit of garlic for something with garlic in the name!

Mains

Avoiding the build your own burger and steak options this time around we opted for the following:

The Sizzler (mixed chicken & beef in small strips), presented on a hot platter and cooked with onions and peppers it was literally sizzling when it arrived on our table and remained piping hot for a good while afterward. I

farros sizzler chicken beef

sizzler – chicken & beef

found the beef to be lovely (although my husband complained he had to work at it) and like the chicken it was flavoured nicely with the juices from the onion and pepper mix.

The Sizzler menu has great flexiblity as there were chicken, beef, lamb & prawn only options with the ability to mix any of them.

The peri peri chicken we had was also piping hot and we had to let it cool a little before tearing into it. We opted for medium spice (I would go up a spice level next time if eating with the family, it simply wasn’t a medium for us) however the flavour from the rub was excellent and gave it the edge over many other peri peri restaurants.

farros peri peri full chicken

peri peri chicken

I would have preferred if the chicken skin was crispier, but that’s my personal preference. It came with a side of chips but we also ordered an extra side of sweet potato fries which were the best ones I’ve had so far. They were perfectly cooked. Delicious.

We also ordered the lasagne which was not as creamy as you normally get in other places which is a good thing, often the béchamel sauce overwhelms everything else layered into a lasagne. The kids found it easier to eat as it wasn’t too heavy.

farros lasagne

The margherita pizza was stone baked and it was enjoyed by all. We didn’t try any toppings on it but the kids rated the pizza as one of the best they’ve had so far, next time we’ll go all out! We always prefer the stone baked pizzas to the usual you get from your local pizza joint, which is one of the reasons we miss La Favorita so much.

farros margherita pizza

The general atmosphere of the restaurant was nice and buzzing, it is quite spacious overall with plenty of seating and good separation between areas. The music was in the background so you could easily hold a conversation without shouting at each other. Male and female toilets are in separate areas but below ground level down a flight of stairs, they were clean and had a dedicated wudu area as well as a separate prayer room for men and women. There is a disabled toilet available on ground level.

Desserts

Although we didn’t order any desserts this time, the options to chose from were quite limited. The usual waffles, sundaes and old school desserts feature on the menu. It would have been nice to see Portuguese and Italian desserts on the menu such as Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese custard tart) or Tiramisu.

Drinks

Bottomless drinks to choose from as well as juices and mocktails. Cold water, ice and a mixed option available too. I had the Pina colada which is my favourite mocktail and it did not disappoint.

My Rating

My 4.5 rating for Farro’s is based mainly on 3 criteria, but I factor in additional observances such as cleanliness, location etc.

Food: 4.6/5

Service: 4.0/5

Atmosphere: 4.8/5

 

farro's steak options

farro’s steaks options

farro's exterior

farro's ordering

farro’s ordering

farro's entrance

farro’s entrance


Chicken Tikka Pizza

A super easy cheat’s pizza ready in less than 20 minutes! This is syn free when using the wrap as healthy extra B choice and the cheese as part of healthy extra A choice. You can add any of your favourite Free Food toppings, I’ve used Haloodies Chicken Tikka slices for this pizza as they are pre-cooked already making this even easier! You can find the syn values for Haloodies products here. The chicken tikka is available in most supermarkets in the halal chilled food section.

I cut these into slices of 8 making it perfect for tasters sessions for Slimming World groups or any other party.

You can get the pizza seasoning from Aldi, I’ve recently picked it up from my local Aldi for a bargain 29p!!! If you can’t find the pizza seasoning then you can use mixed herbs instead as it works quite well too.

I know cottage cheese may sound weird on a pizza but believe me it does not taste like it once cooked. The cottage cheese gives the pizza a lovely effect, it looks like mozarella cheese once cooked!

Serves: 1

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 20 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Chicken Tikka Pizza

Chicken Tikka Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 Weight Watchers white wrap
  • 20g light cheddar cheese
  • Tomato puree
  • Pizza seasoning or mixed herbs
  • Mushrooms
  • Haloodies chicken tikka slices
  • Cottage cheese
  • Spinach
  • Cherry tomatoes

Method

Spread tomato puree all over the wrap and sprinkle some of the pizza seasoning. Add all of your favourite toppings and a dollop some of the cottage cheese around the pizza before sprinkling the cheddar cheese on.

Bake in a pre heated oven on gas mark 6 for around 12-15 minutes till the cheese is melted and golden.

 

Pizza-Topped Chicken

This is a delicious alternative to pizza, saving you syns without compromise on taste! I served it with white flesh sweet potato chips and a large speedy salad.

Serves: 1
Syns: FREE when using cheese as part of your Healthy Extra A choice
Time Taken: 40 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • Thin chicken breast fillet
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • Sprinkle of oregano
  • Pizza toppings of your choice – red onion, jalapenos, mushrooms are my favourite
  • 20g light cheddar cheese
Pizza-topped Chicken

Pizza-topped Chicken

Method

Place the chicken breast in a frying pan with lots of fry light and fry on both sides for around 5-7 minutes on each side.

Remove from the pan and spread the tomato puree over the top of the chicken. Add the oregano and all your toppings before sprinkling it with the cheese.

Cook in a pre-heated oven on gas mark 6 for around 20 minutes till the chicken is cooked.

It’s a wrap!

Wraps can be so high in syns, it can vary from 5 syns up to 9 syns each in some cases! It is great that there are a couple of options for us slimmers to choose from as part of healthy extra B choice – BFree Gluten Free Wrap or Weight Watchers Low Fat White Wraps. You can choose to have either as a B choice or if you want to syn them, the BFree wraps are 5 syns each and the Weight Watchers one is 5.5 syns which is not that bad at all if you love wraps!

They are really handy for a packed lunch, you can load it with any Free Foods you enjoy, or if you fancy something else, have a look at the following ideas.

Wrap Pizza

Wrap Pizza

Pizza – Spoon some tomato puree all over the wrap and sprinkle in some mixed herbs. Then just top it with all your favourite Free toppings and add 40g of light cheddar cheese as your healthy extra A choice. If you prefer a different cheese, just look up on your food optimising book for the amounts you can have for a different cheese.

Egg & Sausage Wrap

Egg & Sausage Wrap

Breakfast Wrap – Fill the wrap with two cooked sausages of your choice, I love the Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Sausages (0.5 syn each), a fried egg or two and fried mushrooms. Then lightly toast the wrap for a warm breakfast wrap.

Masala Fish Wrap

Masala Fish Wrap

 

 

Masala Fish – Cook your masala fish as normal and fill your wrap with the fish, lettuce, tomato and cucumber. So simple and so good, perfect served with syn free chips.