This hit chain’s purchase by Tesco ruffled a few middle-class feathers, but so far Giraffe does not seem to have changed its spots. Quality bangers and burgers, check. Esteemed coffee supplier, check. Global grab-bag of ingredients, check. The firm is renowned for its zippy service and happy accommodation of children, so we were surprised to find these qualities somewhat lacking; the waitress confessed she had a hangover. Our food was true to form, however.
The winning dish was a menu staple: hot Thai-style duck stir-fry, which showcases the moreish combination of chilli jam, basil and mint. Giraffe’s burritos and waist-conscious salads are also reliable, as are the skin-on fries. The kids’ menu has options that appeal equally to parents and their offspring, including grilled salmon, a couple of chicken dishes and pasta pomodoro. Ice-cream comes from the admired producer Jude’s, but otherwise desserts tend to disappoint – apple and cherry crumble was predictably over-sweet.
If you want something yummy, mummies, browse the list of cocktails instead. Giraffe’s menu changes according to the time of day; various (sometimes confusing) deals are offered at certain times, so hit the right moment and you can eat and drink cheaply indeed.