Giraffe, Cabot Circus: February 2017 Review

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Izzi Surridge, a content creator from Bristol, visits Giraffe at Cabot Circus, which has recently reopened with a brand new look…

I have to admit being slightly apprehensive when I was invited to review Giraffe. I’d been a handful of times a few years ago and hadn’t remembered it being anything special. A national chain, they are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with various meal deals – all based around the ‘World Kitchen’ concept. The Bristol branch occupies a pretty enviable position, right next to the bridge to the Cabot Circus car park and a stone’s throw from the cinema. That said, there’s a lot of choice when it comes to chain restaurants in Cabot Circus, and Giraffe wasn’t usually one I’d consider for a pre-cinema or post-shopping meal. I was ready to be proved wrong!

The restaurant has recently re-opened after a refurbishment and when we arrived I had to admit it looked great. The décor has definitely been designed with an international theme in mind, with inspiration borrowed from around the world, including a particularly funky sombrero-style light fitting and brightly coloured murals on the walls.

Giraffe - Restaurant

We had a bit of a wait before we were shown to our table. We arrived at 7.30 and the restaurant was packed with a mix of families and couples. The team were rushed off their feet and did seem a bit understaffed, with tables available but no one to clear them for the next diners. In fairness, several groups seemed to be leaving at the same time which I’ll put down to it being peak cinema showing time, although I do think having an extra person to keep on top of things would have helped.

We browsed the menu while we waited for our table. Giraffe offers food inspired from cuisines all over the world, with dishes from Thailand to Mexico. I’m always suspicious of restaurants that try to do too much but I was relieved that the menu didn’t seem too big while still offering plenty of choice.

We were shown to our table by the friendly manager who was also our server throughout the evening. We really liked the fact that we had a booth, it felt cosy and private without being out of the way and we had a great view across the restaurant and open kitchen.

I’d heard that the cocktails were delicious so we decided to order a couple. My Bramble Garden (£6.95) was refreshing but was lacking in blackberry flavour and I couldn’t taste much alcohol either. My boyfriend, on the other hand, loved his Cuban Mojito (£6.95) which came served in a Havana Club tin can, a nice touch. Cocktail prices hover around the £6.95 mark, a little on the pricey side for a family restaurant but happy hour is Sunday-Friday after 5pm where they are all £5.

Giraffe - Cocktails

We kicked off with starters. My Chicken Yaki Gyozas (£5.95) were fantastic: crispy and delicately flavoured with an amazing orange miso glaze and sweet chilli dipping sauce. They were delicious and I’d go back just for these. Tom went for the Chicken Taco Locos (£4.95) which were fine but nothing special. They were light and fresh and topped with a great hot sauce but the chicken itself was lacking in flavour and totally underseasoned which was a real shame.

Giraffe - Gyoza

Giraffe - Tacos

Things were also hit and miss with the mains. The Texan BBQ Brisket Burger (£11.95) was brilliant. The balance of flavours was spot on and we loved the combination of smoky brisket, melted cheese and tangy slaw. It came with sweet potato fries which were perfectly crispy. The Thai Duck Stir Fry (£10.95) came packed with fresh vegetables and a decent amount of duck. It was tasty but let down by an overpoweringly sweet, thick teriyaki sauce which coated everything and didn’t feel particularly authentic. I would have enjoyed it much more with less sauce and I actually had to leave some of it as it was so sickly.

Giraffe - Burger

Giraffe - Stir fry

We both loved our desserts. My White Chocolate & Passion Fruit Cheesecake (£5.50) was one of the best I’ve ever had, the filling was creamy without being too heavy and the sharpness of the passion fruit went perfectly with the rich white chocolate. Tom’s Salted Caramel Sundae (£5.95) was equally delicious, with amazing salted caramel ice cream studded with caramel popcorn and salted pretzel pieces.

Giraffe - Cheesecake

Giraffe - Sundae

Despite a couple of disappointments, overall we enjoyed our meal. We loved the atmosphere and décor in the restaurant and the staff were lovely. It’s a bit pricier than some other places in Cabot Circus but there is a set menu deal which would make it more affordable (two courses for £12.95 or three for £15.95). I think Giraffe is ideal for a family meal, with so many dishes from around the world to choose from there’s definitely something to keep everyone happy and there’s a kids’ menu deal too. I’m happy to say I’ve been proved wrong and I’ll add Giraffe to my pre-cinema rotation from now on – although I think I’ll give the Thai Duck Stir Fry a miss!

 

Please note: our meal was received free of charge, but this in no way impacted on our opinion. We were not obliged to write a positive review, and the venue did not see this review before it was put up on the site.

 

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