“ Address: Churchill House / 137 Brent Street / London / NW4 4DJ / Telephone: +44 (0)20 8457 2776 „
Belsize Park - London
Established in 1998
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Before I bit the bullet of entering a Giraffe; of my own accord - I did envisage the establishment via logo and brand as an affiliated joint connected to 'Glee' comedy clubs; 'having a Giraffe, laugh!' Easy mistake to make for a brand fiend such as myself, the elongated Giraffe type-set deemed mildly satirical, blatantly friendly; perhaps on the goofy side of serious humour. Funnily enough Giraffe's branding portrays nothing what it is... yes, it is a restaurant. I was deeply disappointed that satire wasn't at the foremost of thought, but it gave me food for thought. I then scanned earnestly to see if giraffe was on the menu, I was again let down. Why 'Giraffe' then? They are having a giraffe, laugh! I felt - until, I delved into the philosophy of 'Giraffe' to find a leafy connection. Here it is... "Giraffes are so tall they see a different view of the world. We LOVE fresh ideas." There you have it, just in case you pondered why Giraffe is called Giraffe - I suppose I get the gist a little more if all their establishments were situated on skyscrapers, hilltops and at 18 feet, 5.5 metres (height of an adult giraffe) above sea-level. Maybe if the restaurant chain manifested a menu from tall leafy trees and developed berry orientated concoctions that giraffes would daily chomp on - and then swilled down with some 'Boost' vegetable or fruit swamp juice, I could relate to 'Giraffe' better? I confess; I take branding literary after having a poetical brain-wave while digging my pearly whites into a 'Byron Burger.' Will I feel a foot taller after entering a 'Giraffe?'
Noticeably, there were no six foot six Peter Crouches when I entered, alas, there were no dwarfs either, most were of normal stature perched on sturdy chairs and slab bulky tables, reminiscent of Safari eateries. Designed to muscle out mass animal table invasions, the food won't survive, but the table may do. The 'Giraffe' furnishings are not exactly built for comfort or for a long grazing; their model implies 'fast-food' and service for small intimate groupings of up to four. Easy mobility is high on the business model, although seems cluttered when it comes to the décor. Odd, considering that the spacious interior is airy and has a decent amount of natural light - 'Giraffe' works well as a recognized chain of restaurants which is different to the agglomerative wine-bar styled eateries of the mid 1990s, however now 'Giraffe' has expanded to 43 establishments across the land. I wonder if their uniqueness has been diluted because of their notable establishment influx; the cultural eatery concept is no different to a 'Nandos' - I would even put 'Giraffe' in the same encampment area.
The menu is mongrel; why? There is a combo of Asian, Mexican, Italian-American dishes, fusions of continents under the umbrella of an African animal - absolutely... mongrel. "It's about exploring the wonderful foods from around the globe and opening our ears to music from around the world." As described by Juliette and Russel (with one 'l') 'Giraffe's' hands-on founders, who're London based. The menu doesn't say giraffe to me; on the general knowledge that giraffe's natural habitat is in Africa, mainly in Chad; sadly they're diminishing in numbers. 'Giraffe's' menu says, 'Goat' to me, because goats' eat anything. If you want to experience Jean Michel Jarre instrumentals that remind you of cows walking in a meadow while tucking into a meaty burger, 'Giraffe' is the place for you. I opted for the 'Chicken Schintzel Kiev' and perused over Robert Fisk's Kiev.
You know you've been served well and efficiently when you're aware of the smoothness of the 'order of service operation.' Thankfully, no deplorable idiotic recommendations of offers you've no interest over, or any emotive offloading of lip smacking or any weird introductory; such as, "My name is... Mishka; your sunny giraffe waitress; so imagine yourself somewhere in Sydney to Israel and I'll bring it to you in a form of a meal." I was disappointed that the staff didn't have long necks or long eye lashes or grind their molars in concentration, or moved with long legged grace - perhaps I should mark the establishment down for not recruiting giraffe orientated elegance, a noted corporate identity flaw you cannot ignore. My breaded chicken breast was succulent and had a giraffe kick to it; inside drizzled out garlic butter which moistened the well seasoned bed of mashed potato; the roasted fruits was plausibly from a giraffe diet cooked in the stifling African sun; thumbs up there - the garnish was rocket salad and char grilled lemon; this freshened up the palate and complimented the taste of garlic - all washed down with a frothy latte and an iced tap water and I observed the chaotic primitivism displayed on the walls, to try to make 'head or spirally tail' of it - I failed; maybe it suppose to encourage world travel discourse, but all it reminded me of was Prince Harry's art course-work several years after puberty, printed in the 'Observer' during a quiet day.
As I left a crisp twenty pound note for the service which covered the bill and then some leftover for my server's trouble for popping to my solitary table four times - I nearly said to an immigrant server while leaving to spend the crisp note on some orange town-hall chairs, I didn't, I smiled and nodded my gratitude instead. Well, Juliette and Russel (with one 'l') would approve of my smile, because a smile goes along way according to their website business ethics - in my case it went three feet towards the door. Again, you don't want to overdo it, otherwise the giraffe staff would think you're having a laugh. Worth noting also, I didn't gain an extra foot either but found out on a A4 note stuck pedantically beside the sealed outdoor menu I can go in on Orange Wednesday and get 20% OFF before going to the movies. Not all giraffes have this offer; therefore check beforehand as it appears the offer is an endangered species, close to extinction; just like the four-legged-kind whereby only 200,000 now exist. Shocking because man kind is making it tougher for giraffes to survive by industrializing Africa - the irony is, 'Giraffe' the chain of eateries could fill the African giraffe void in forty years or so. The diabolical fact is... 'Capitalism supersedes Conservation.'
Great food, curious sounds - 'worth hanging about in' - surely that's monkey business!©1st2thebar 2014
*This concerns the westfireld Stratford Branch at 304-305 The Loft The Gallery, Westfield Stratford, London, England E20 1ET 020 3463 9808 *
Having booked to go to the cinema at Westfield Stratford, my friend and I had yet to decide where to eat. We went to the food places near the cinema first, and contemplated our options. Wagamama and a few other places looked busy and had queues outside, but Giraffe looked busy but not rammed. I had eaten in this branch before (one Saturday lunchtime last autumn), and found it quite efficient, so we elected to go there.
Typically when we decided to go to Giraffe a small queue started to form, but they were just one party so we were seated in no time. Giraffe are an established chain of informal restaurants throughout the UK, concentrating on 'world' foods - burgers, Mexican dishes, and noodle dishes can all be found on their menu, which they claim are always freshly prepared. Being situated in a shopping centre there is no particular atmosphere at this branch, you can even sit 'outside' in the centre and look at the world go by (and I think half the world were in Stratford that Saturday). However, I often end up going to a Giraffe as they have a varied menu with plenty of veggie options. There is a bar area inside and either banquette seating with wooden tables, or dull silver metal round tables. There was nothing outstanding about it. Giraffe restaurants usually play world music but I couldn't hear it in this branch. I didn't visit the loo this time, they are at the back - but as all are on one level, they are suitable for disabled access. Décor generally is simple and unfussy.
Coming at other times you may want to have a breakfast or brunch here. They serve breakfast until 12 and have a good range of options including cooked breakfasts. Some classic brunch dishes are also available until 4pm. Our server was friendly and helpful, which was good as I was dithering. My first choice was which cocktail to have - a classic mojito or the mango and lime daiquiri. I am glad he recommended the daiquiri (they also have a strawberry one but I was concerned it could be too sweet) at £6.75. The cocktail was thick - a frozen daiquiri - and gave me brain freeze, but it was lovely. I would definitely have this again. My friend had a bottled beer.
I don't think their individual starters options are hugely appealing and quite limited (although the halloumi skewers could possible have tempted me) but they have a good range of sharing platters. We didn't want to be late for the film, so we passed on this and went straight to mains. I have never been particularly decisive when it comes to choosing what to eat, which is one advantage of being veggie - I often don't get so much choice. However in a Giraffe they do have lots of veggie friendly items and narrowed my original short list of four down to two as I decided I fancied chips. My next decision was do I have the falafel burger or the veggie focaccia? Our server was definite that the falafel burger was the best so I followed his advice and just asked for it without peppers (£9.75). My friend went for the chicken 'club' at £9.45, although he opted to have sweet potato fries.
My friend's burger came up first and I waited patiently for mine. We nibbled a few of his sweet potato fries and found them to be not that warm, and a bit soggy. My burger then came up, and them my chips followed. I was luckier with mine as they were piping hot, but I think they could have done with another minute in the fryer as they were a tad undercooked, noticeable only on the bigger chips. Fries are 'skin-on' but this only affects the ends, and I so like them this way. My 'deluxe' falafel burger was held together by a skewer, which stopped gravity having its way. The generous portion of falafels and rocket was balanced between a chunky burger bun with beetroot and dressing, with a big slab of halloumi on top. I ended up taking the 'lid' off and eating the rest of the burger with my knife and fork, as the bread was too much. It was served with a spicy harissa dip which I smothered on the halloumi, and it certainly had a kick to it. My friend enjoyed his club, saying it was tasty and well cooked.
We decided not to have a dessert as we decided to have a quick mooch around the centre before the film instead. We got the bill which came to about £30.
All in all, the restaurant was not as efficient as I have experienced in this branch before or in any other Giraffe. We came away a bit disappointed, but would no doubt return to this chain at some point.
I have nothing but possitive feedback after visiting Giraffe for our daughters birthday! We went to the Giraffe restraunt on The SouthBank and it was absolutely lovely. But don't be put off by the amount of young children inside as you honestly would ot notice!
When we first arrived it was noticably child friendly, we knew this by the amount of strollers and prmas in the entrance which has been purposley designed for families that want to eat with there children there is stacks of room for at least 20 maybe even 30 pram and strollers. The restraunt itself is very big spacious and has high ceiling which I am sure is why you can not hear all the children inside.
We got shown to our table very quickly, which we had not booked but this was no problem to them. They gave us our menus and a colouring book with crayons of a big variety that were in a cup on the table. Every child also gets a balloon attached to there highchair/chair which gave our lil one at least 30minutes of entertainment. All carefully thought about to keep the children from reaking havoc! Our waiter came over very quickly 'Shane' he was a lovely man very friendly and was very good with our two year old playing with her balloon and asking her what she would like. He was very friendly and did not rush us and was not bothered when we all changed our mind half way through oredering. He did not write anything down (I automatically thought he was going to forget) but he didn't and all the food arrived and was given to each of us correctly.
The menu was extensive but much of a much ness, sandwiches, burgers, wraps. You could have cold food or hot food and they came with chips. All the food was designed to come out quickly so children were not left ages for there food but not so fast you were rushed through your meal experience. I had a lovey steak sandwich in ciabatta bread, cooked to perfection, my husbamd had a burger which again was gorgeous good quality meat and a large helping of salad. My mother had a vegetarian option which consisted of halumi cheese and butternut squash with peeper is a wrap which oozed when you cut into it and looked rather scrumptious. The menu I do not want to go into too much detail as the waiter explained it was changing that week so will not explain what was on the old menu.
We made a conciuos decision not to order our two year old anything but they did have a children menu one for young children aged 0-6and another one aged 6-12, averagely priced at 3.95 and 5.95 which I think was fair for the portion sizes I witnessed. With all of us giving M some of our food she did not need a meal to herself. The Adult portions are very generous you certainly do not leave hungry but don't leave any food either.
As it was our little ones birthday they brought her out an Ice Cream with a strawberry in it and a candle for her to blow out, everyone sang to her and she loved it - this was free, no charge which was an added bonus.
For four of us to eat ad have drinks including coffee at the end of the meal it came to £60 which Ibelieve to be very good for the location and the quality of food we ate. We were in there over an hour, we were not ruched at all and made to feel very welcome and special, there were families in there that got there before us and were still slowly going through there meal again no rushing. This made everyone very relaxed and not on edge which you can feel like when you have a young child.
I also saw buisness meetings in there and older couples in there having a spot of lunch on the south bank. You can chose to eat outside (we didnt as it was raining), the poutside area looks very clean and has umbrellas for the hot days.
The toilets are very clean and tidy, there is a baby changing area that both sexes can use and a disabled toilet.
I would strongly recommend anyone going to Giraffe but especially those with young children, as you will be made very welcome and not rushed though your meal.
I attended the Giraffe restaurant in the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford for a friends birthday.
With my friends usual lateness, I was there first, and asked a member of staff if I could sit and wait until I arrived. My friend had not made a booking so The waitress asked how big the group was (even though the restaurant was especially empty) i informed her there was 7 more people to come and in my opinion she was quite rude to tell me that they needed to come quickly as the kitchen closed at 10. (it was 8.30pm at this point).
As I waited I asked for a drink at the bar, but the waitress there said she was "busy" (she was cleaning glasses) and so I asked a male waiter who asked if I was ok for a drink. To be quite Frank he was the only courteous member of staff in this branch.
In the end my friends came and we sat down to order. The menu is quite varied, but with typical dishes eg burgers, chips, ribs, chicken etc and with other culture foods like enchiladas and pasta as option, so in terms of food I would say there is definitely something for everyone and prices for starter are average around £5 which is reasonable. I ordered a mature cheddar cheese burger with chips which was about £12. I was happy with this price as I have eaten practically the same burger at Byron burger branch for same price and it comes without chips. I ordered an additional filling of avocado for about £1.50 and was quite annoyed when my burger Came without the avocado. I tried to get the waitresses attention but felt she kept trying to ignore me (honestly the service here was terrible!) so wen she finally paid me some attention she took the burger away and said she would change it. Then a minute later she brought it back and said she would bring me the avocado. Then sitting there for 10 mins whilst everyone else happily tucked into their food and I waited for my avocado she brought me out half an avocado, which I had to slice myself and put in the burger. To be quite honest I was not impressed! The food itself was fine I just did not find the experience recommendable as it was my first time in the restaurant.
My friends had the ribs which were a good size portion (whole rack) and you do find the price reflected in the substance of the food is the positive of this restaurant. It was just a casual evening out with nice restaurant atmosphere just seemed that as we came close to closing the staff seemed rude and probably just wanted to go home. I'd eat here again just definitely not this branch!
In contrast to many of the reviews here, I actually really enjoy eating at the Giraffe chain of restaurants, my favourite being the restaurant in High Street Kensington - although I have eaten at the Giraffe restaurants at Victoria and the South Bank Centre. While Giraffe is a chain restaurant, I do believe that this is one of the better chain restaurants as they don't have the feel of a chain restaurant.
I like the menu and I find that dishes are prepared with fresh ingredients. There are also a ecclectic range of dishes on offer - my favourite being the Szechuan Sesame Noodles and the Jambalaya Risotto - although there are all of the usual suspects also of burgers and pizzas. They are licensed to sell alcohol and also do a small range of cocktails which are freshly prepared. On average, a two course meal will set you back about £15 which, considering this is London, is not to bad at all.
Although the service at some of the restaurants can be a little hit and miss, the service at Giraffe Kensington High St. has great service and the waiting staff are always friendly, helpful and pleasant. They are willing to have a laugh and a joke with the customers, but at the same time remain professional, make recommendations and are prompt and courteous with service. They have always made me feel welcome.
I like the bright and cheerful decor in all Giraffe restaurants. Its fairly basic and Ikea like, but there are some really nice and funky paintings on the wall and its always clean. Some of the busier restaurants, like High St; Kensington can be a little cramped at times as they do try to get everyone seated as quickly as possible, but its still comfortable although you may need to fight past people if you want to get to the toilets!
Overall, I like the Giraffe chain. I think there are some that are better than others, but isn't that always the case with chain restaurants? I will continue to frequent the Giraffe in Kensington whenever I'm in the area.
I first discovered Giraffe a couple of years ago when living in Hampstead. I often popped into the small Hampstead branch for a smoothie or for breakfast pancakes but until recently I hadn't been for dinner. Over the past few years Giraffe has expanded rapidly, not only are they all over London but also in Bristol, Manchester, Oxford and various other places.
* * * *Restaurant/ Location* * * *
Giraffe now have 41 different branches with many of them being in London. I visited the large Southbank Centre branch. We arrived at about 7pm on a weekday without making a reservation. We waited about 10 minutes for a table as the restaurant was quite busy. Having not made a reservation this wait was reasonable and there was a comfortable seating area in which we could wait. The décor in the restaurant is bright and airy with bright colours typical of a chain restaurant. As the restaurant is quite large the tables were placed spaciously apart. The restaurant itself is very child friendly, children were given balloons and high chairs were available.
* * * * Menu/ Food * * * *
Giraffe claims to serve world food. This means that the menu seems to serve a mish-mash of burgers, pasta, stir fries, salad and a range of Mexican food. Although this can seem a little bit confusing, with no clear 'type' of food, it does mean that there is plenty of varied choice. They also have a range of specials which change on a monthly basis.
I dined with a few friends and we all chose something different from the menu. I went for the Jambalaya Meatballs (chicken and lamb meatballs with peppers, onions and tomatoes in a spicy cajun sauce) they were served on brown rice (I had also had a choice of fettuccine pasta.) When they first arrived the portion looked quite small and as we had opted not to have started I was worried that it wouldn't be filling enough. But I didn't need to worry as I only just managed to finish it. It was really yummy and filling and tasted very fresh. The sauce was not really a Cajun sauce and was not particularly spicy it was more tomatoey than anything although I did enjoy it very much.
One of my friends chose the Sushi Rice with Smoked Salmon (smoked salmon, brown sushi rice, avocado, cucumber, radish, baby spinach, green onion, toasted sesame seeds on a crispy nori with wasabi and soy dressing) This is a really tasty option if you like sushi. Although it doesn't contain any actual sushi it is sort of all the sushi ingredients in a salad. This is a relatively healthy option but is also very filling as the portions are generous.
My other friend went for the Classic Burger (a grilled beef burger with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickle, mayo and relish.) this came with a side of chips. The burger itself looked very nice, it was very tall and came upon a seeded bun. There was a large amount of salad on the bun.
There are a wide range of drinks including beers, wines, smoothies, juices and coffees. I had pomegranate juice which was very sweet and had a nice fruity taste. I often find that certain types of pomegranate juice can be a little bitter but this was nice and easy to drink.
* * * * Service/ Overall Experience* * * *
Overall I enjoyed my meal here very much. The staff were friendly and helpful and the service was very good. The menu is quite varied and full of healthy options. The bill for 3 of us came to about £37 which although not particularly cheap seemed reasonable, this included a main meal and a soft drink each. Perhaps with starters, deserts and alcohol it could work out to be quite expensive. The food is something a little bit different from usual chain restaurants with many different options on the menu.
There are Giraffes all over the country and I have now visited a couple of them, and yet I still don't really understand what is going on with Giraffe.
The restaurants all have a pretty standard look, bright, welcoming and the usual for a chain. The staff are generally friendly, and the service is usually reasonably good.
Giraffe offer a great breakfast menu, including pancakes, porridge and the good old full English. These are teamed with great coffees and tasty smoothies. Breakfast is one thing Giraffe do well. There is also a brunch menu with some more adventurous dishes on it. And then Giraffe's menu starts to become confusing, at best, and at worse, a tad messy.
Giraffe claims to serve 'world foods' and this is where the menu becomes confusing. Most restaurants stick to a food theme, whether that be Italian, Chinese, Japanese, or traditional English, or something else. Most pubs may have a bit of a variety, but they tend to have menus that consist of simple dishes. Giraffe, however, seems to be totally baffled as to what kind of restaurant it is. There's simple burgers and pizzas, sitting next to Enchiladas and Mexican dishes, meatballs, curries and more. It's just confusing. There's no cohesion to the menu and I feel this may explain why none of the dishes are particularly great. There must just be too much going on in the kitchen with all these different types of dishes and styles of cooking happening in one place.
Once you've navigated the menu, your food will appear and it always tends to just be a bit bland. Boring. The flavours don't pop and there's just nothing to write home about in the slightest. The prices are pretty standard for a chain restaurant, at around £7-£12 for a main meal, but I feel there are other places that do particular types of food on Giraffe's menu better.
Overall, Giraffe is an alright chain restaurant, but the lack of cohesion in the menu is frustrating and the food quality is certainly nothing special. The breakfasts are worth visiting for, but that's the only thing to get excited about.
Giraffe is one of the best chain restaurants that I have ever set foot in. Its a great allrounder for the following reasons.
Its fantastic for a laid back late morning breakfast. The good morning brekky and pancakes are top notch and the smoothies go down a treat after a rough night out. Also the coffee is of a high standard and the tea comes in a nice little pot.
Lunches and dinners take the form of a querky yet very tasty 'world food' menu. They have great burgers, salads, nachos, noodles and ribs. All topped with mouthwatering sauces and complemented by wondrous sides and all the condiments you could think of.
Also they have a great drinks menus including fine wines, world beers and great cocktails.
Admittedly this is all quite pricey. Breakfast usually sets you back about £10-£15 per head and lunch and dinner you are lucky if you can eat for less than £20. However, the staff always serve with a smile, the atmosphere is great and the food and drink is definitely worth forking out for. I never leave this restaurant hungry or disappointed!
I went to a Giraffe restaurant a number of months ago with my girlfriend. It was winter and snowing and we were in the Spitafield area of East London. She had just got back from Scotland and it was colder in London than up there. It became unbearable and we were hungry so sought refuge in the nearest heated establishment we could find. This came in the form of the restaurant chain Giraffe.
I'm not usually one for restaurant chains as i find them characterless and stale... and I'm not going to change my mind after visiting this one. That said, this is probably one of the better ones... feint praise indeed.
It was still fairly stale and characterless but at least it was warm. Or so we thought. Why do patrons of restaurants feel the need to hold the door open when it's freezing outside? Worse still, here they left it open. One thing I will say in favour of this place is that mostly congenial waiter was very quick to see our shivers and graciously shut the door... which he had to do on numerous occasions.
This was a perfect example of the pleasant and helpful staff at Giraffe. You can't help but think they are spoon fed their pleasantries but they do it well at we felt very welcome.
Giraffe is quite a bright place and family friendly. If you don't like children you're better off at you're local oyster bar because there are lots of them here. And yes, they are noisy and no, you can't turn them off. And yes, sometimes they run around in an unruly manner like they've been on a diet of espresso all day.
The food is diverse and is consistently unexceptional. You can eat most things here from burgers to pizza to Thai to Mexican. Everything is of a standard standard and is relatively well priced with mains coming in at between £7 - £12. If only the food was as colourful as their menu (I mean literally colourful) then we would be in for a treat but unfortunately it's quite bland. I had an enchilada which was OK but a little tasteless. The burger was better and of a good size and tender but I guess a burger is quite hard to get wrong (although many have).
In all, this isn't a bad place to go and they do have chains everywhere. Just know that you are going to get OK food, hyperactive children and friendly service.
I recently went to Giraffe at the Lakeside shopping centre. They have a new part called the Boardwalk which comprises of restaurants and a cinema. There is so much choice here but as we had never been to a Giraffe before we thought we would give it a try for lunch. The restaurant itself is relaxed and friendly and we felt comfortable and well looked after - the service wasn't exceptional but pretty good and seemed in keeping with the laid back vibe. They have a cheap menu which is just over £7 for two courses but there is limited choice and my partner is quite fussy. Most of the meals are reasonably priced anyway - around £4-5 for a starter, the average main course is about £10 although many are cheaper and only the steaks are really more expensive. They have an extensice wine list and cocktail menu but unfortunatel as we were driving we couldn't try them out! The menu is very varied which is perfect for a fuss pot like my partner but less so for me as i really couldn't decide what to have! In the end we settled on hot cheesy garlic bread as a starter which we shared and as a main i had a duck stir fry which was delicious and my boyfriend had a burger with added cheese and bacon. We bth enjoyed our food and will definitely return when we are next on a shopping trip to Lakeside. Giraffe regularly have offers like buy on get one free on main courses which you can find on money saving expert.
I'm reviewing this under 'Giraffe Restaurants London,' though it's mainly focussed on the Walton on Thames branch, which is just down the river a little!
Giraffe.. I'd never heard of the place until we got one near to us in Walton on Thames, I wanted to straight away as I liked the name! We've been back quite a few times since, most recently a glorious sunny May bank Holiday, where we sat outside...and watched the traffic. Well, you can't have everything!
Looking at the website I see they are ever expanding and are up to 28 branches, mainly in the south of England, however I've not (yet) tried any other branch but this one. They have a relaxed style, and have the 'world' theme, world music and world cuisine. Well, 'world' cuisine for the masses anyway.
We went there for a proper lunch but they are forever advertising the fact they do breakfasts, snacks and encourage you to just pop in for coffee or cocktail. I know many eateries offer this but it's one of the few places I know where I'd feel comfortable doing so. The place really is chilled. Whatsmore they aren't that badly priced, the Walton one is right round the corner from Starbucks and Costa and they undercut them on all drinks. I might make this my local 'coffee' shop as well as restaurant.
As I mentioned they are open for drinks, and drinks you must try. They have an extensive cocktail menu, being adventurous I stayed away from my usual 'Margarita' and tried an 'Appletini'.. I'd seen JD and Turk drink these on Scrubs but had never been anywhere that served them here to try them! I'm in love with 'Appletinis' now. In fact our table did pretty well at sampling the cocktail menu, though before you assume we were a load of drunks they weren't all boozy. The fruity non alcoholic cocktails also just hit the spot on a sunny day.
We were served by about three different members of staff throughout our meal, which I don't object to, the place was busy and we were taken care of and served at a brisk pace which is all that matters. This company however clearly drum into their staff to be happy cheery and super helpful, and sometimes it just seems like they are trying too hard. The waitress that served us more than any was just that. I find people who bubbling over with personality like that exhausting... maybe I'm just a moody cow!
Anyway, we ordered our drinks and mains and as with all restaurants now they always ask if you want extras to get you to part with more money. She offered us garlic bread to start, two of us wanted it, two didn't so she said she'd bring us one of thier 'really nice cheesy garlic breads to share.' Only two of the (addmittedly rather fussy) friends I was with didn't like cheese. Why offer one thing then when the customer says yes, change it to something else?!
Onto mains.. the food as I mentioned is 'world' food so there's pretty much something for everyone. They really have tried to not leave anyone out there so you can have 'English' Sirloin Steak, 'Thai' Duck Stir Fry, Enchiladas if you're in a Mexican mood, Curry, Sushi and even a Chicken Shnitzel Burger. I've had their Prawn Mango Salad and Enchiladas in the past and I recommend either. This time around I thought I'd see how Giraffe fared on my favourite -Ribs.
The food came quickly and we all enjoyed what we had. The 'Thai Duck Stir Fry' was a hit and my two friends that ordered the 'Chicken Shitzel Burgers' got through them eventually, they looked really good but as my friend said 'I can't eat that, it's a big as my head!' My ribs were good, the meat was cooked well however, I felt the marinade wasn't as rich and sticky as it could have been. I've had better elsewhere. The ribs are described on the menu as being served with 'the house slaw.' I love Coleslaw so it sounded good to me. What I actually got was a lettuce leaf with what I can only describe as a purple blob on it. We commented that it looked like the Milka Cow had left us a little pat. I guess they put beetroot in their 'slaw'. A bit of a bizarre thing to do I thought, I hate beetroot and I think it's quite a aquired taste. It certainly didn't make thier 'slaw' look appetising either.
After the 'purple pat' incident, we felt we needed something sweeter and the puddings here were to die for! I always look at the puddings before I start my meal so I know what to leave room for. True to form I went for chocolate. Their Chocolate Brownie is gorgeous, served with ice cream, and if that wasn't calorific enough they poured over a good puddle of chocolate sauce. (I decided not to look up the calories on this one like I did after going to Pizza Express! I think it's better not to know!) Two of my friends shared a huge 'Rocky Road Sundae' which was ice cream, marshmallows, brownie and all other manner of decadance in a sundae glass. It must have been good as I've not seen a battle of the spoons like it! Maybe 'fought over' is a better phrase to use than 'shared!'
Bill for four with cocktials and three courses (though we shared the first) came to £120. The cocktails were £4-£7 each so you can see that the food was fairly reasonable. If you are visited a Giraffe, expect to pay £7-£11 for your mains, starters and pudding around £5 or less. Also, they do deals during the week where if you get there early evening they do two courses for £7.95. Various offers go on throughout the week so it's work seeing what's what. Also, I would recommend visiting their website and signing up to their newsletter, I often get sent print off vouchers for two for one meals or drinks.
For more info visit www.giraffe.net
They also have a list of branches here to see if there is one near you.
It took me a long time to finally get to Giraffe, after I'd heard so many things about it. Everyone told me about the wonderful breakfasts they have so I decided it was high time I made my way to the restaurant in Brent street.
I was delighted to discover a colourful, vibrant and unique looking place that had loads of things to look at and enjoy. It has a great atmosphere, the staff are all extremely nice, chatty and helpful. The chairs are all a bit different and the tables don't all match. You might think that this wasn't a very nice look, but actually it's charming.
The breakfast I ordered was the veggie brunch (which is served until 4pm) and included beans, veggie sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms, potato wedges and lashings of toast. It was a nice full plate and at £7 it was well worth the money. In terms of other foods there are lots of sharing platters and such which are ideal with the mid week cocktail offers that giraffe have. They also have a small menu available during the week between 5 and 7. There are a range of burgers, pastas, pizzas, currys, all sorts of really unique dishes. It really is world food and there is evidently influence from all over the world.
There is often world music also playing in the restaurant, so when you wait for you food (which by the way comes REALLY quickly, with a huge tub of dips and sauces) you have something to listen to. Vouchers can often be found online for giraffe, and it's well worth signing up to their mailing list and online club for extra deals. A main can cost anywhere between £7-12 but is definitely worth it for the quality of produce and the atmosphere.
This is a restaurant chain and many branches can be found across London. I knew there is one in Chiswick but never had courage to visit one after looking at their diverse menu.
I visited one at Bishops Gate near Liverpool Street station last night with my friends. Most of the restaurants at old spittalfield market are part of the chain with nothing unique to offer. We decided to give Giraffe a try and thus we ended up there.
Located in Spittalfield market, which is undergoing re-development. So lots of shops are yet to open. The area is quite buzzing with descent crowd. There are lots of standard chain restaurants though..
Quite trendy with mediterranean feeling. Staff was very attentive and friendly. Open plan kitchen, so you can see whats cooking. Walls were with all the shades towards Orange, giving you the feeling of African Safari and Giraffe (as an animal).
Menu is very confusing with dishes ranging from Thai Curry, Naan & Curry, Mexican food, Burgers and pancakes. They tried to be jack of all, but ended up with Master of none. The menu is very limited and taste is ok.
I opted for Veggie Thai Curry, and others went for pork thai curry, burgers etc. We all had same opinion about the food that it is good but not excellent.
The worst thing about the restaurant is the size of a portion. For £8, I got very small bowl of thai curry with tea-spoon-full of rice noodles. I had to get extra portion of rice to get myself stuffed. Otherwise we were thinking of visiting Burger King after that. My friends got very tiny chicken part (particle !!) in an expensive £8 burger with the tiny bowl of chips.
OK restaurant, with OK food. But very expensive for that category and portions are very tiny. Limited choices and no focus on particular kind of food. Just like local Kebab shop, which does Kebabs, Curries, Pizzas, Pastas, Fish & Chips, Jacket Potato and almost everything.
I would not bother visiting Giraffe again.
A vast menu with meal choices from all over the world.