There hasn’t been a foodie post for a while around these parts which always seems so strange to me as it is literally on my mind 98% of the time (the remaining 2% belongs to Grey’s anatomy, Harvey Specter and imminent ASOS hauls). I usually talk you through my favourite independent stores in London but today I’m coming at you – how sassy did that sound? – with a chain restaurant and I’m so excited because (spoiler) the food is incredible, the service was incredible, the drinks are pretty darn great [insert wine and sassy smirk emoji here] and there are quite a few restaurants scattered all around the UK too so you non-Londoners won’t miss out.
Said chain is Giraffe and whilst you’ve probably all seen or heard of it, I feel like it’s not one of those places that’s always top of the list to go (Nando’s and Wagas I’m looking at you baes) but today’s post is pretty much me being like “Yo gal pals, forget the peri peri, here’s why Giraffe absolutely has to be at the top of your list” but in a much less informative – lols, wait until you hear me try to review food, taxi for 1 to Twatsville – and helpful way.
First things first, from the very beginning the staff were ridiculously friendly and welcoming – and not even in a “heeeeeeeyyy now come and spend all your money on our nachos and cocktails” kinda way, but in a genuinely nice, happy, cheery way. I’m all about that kinda service.
The other thing I immediately loved was the knowledge of gluten free and the in depth allergy information meaning that I felt safe in the knowledge that I was actually going to be eating a gluten free meal. So Dan and I sat and nattered over a glass of wine, discussing life, New york – oh my frickin god new york next month!! – food (it’s pretty much our version of having a baby i.e number 1 priority) we waited for our nachos and halloumi and oh sweet jesus were they worth the wait.
The Halloumi skewers were as babe’in as babe’in gets but then is that really a surprise because… halloumi. It also came with a dreamy pea, courgette, mint and salad that was such a nice, fresh addition to the salty skewers that dreams are made of.
Lol, I like halloumi just a little bit.
Because that clearly wasn’t enough, we also ordered nachos nirvana with chorizo and I think I might go out on a whim here and say that this was my favourite part of the meal because omg nacho’s, guacamole, sour cream,, salsa, chorizo and cheese you are my spirit animal! Seriously though, I’ve had some nachos in my time – no, seriously, I’ve demolished more nachos than most people have had hot dinners – but these were easily up there in my all time favourites. Maybe it was the chipotle salsa or maybe it was the black bean chilli, but these were seriously incredible and we didn’t leave a single crumb.
Now, I genuinely adored Giraffe, everything we ate was incredibly tasty but if there was one slight negative it would be that there wasn’t a huge amount of options for a gluten free main meal. I could have most of the burgers without a bun and a couple of salads but really, that was it. I’m actually a major burger girl – if my hips could talk they’d be like “yeah, tell me about it!” – so it really wasn’t a problem at all for me but I always like to note these things for you lot. I went for the smokey joe burger (complete with streaky bacon and smoked cheddar #goals) and even without a bun it was so tasty. Packed full of flavour and cooked perfectly, it massively satisfied my burger cravings (which happen far too often, see you tomoz Giraffe). I also couldn’t have the chips or sweet potato fries due to to using the same fryer as other battered products but this actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise because gal pals, (and male pals) the crushed potatoes were amazing. Like, if Harvey Specter was a food item, he’d be these crushed potatoes. Creamy, garlicky, super indulgent.. next time you go, you absolutely have to order these.
Oh, I also went for greens which were really nice but, you know, they’re no carby, creamy, garlicky potatoes are they?
Dan went for the slow cooked jerk ribs and the completely empty plate was proof alone that he absolutely loved them. He did actually stop for a second to say “Oh, you can let your blog mates know that they were amazing”…. so there’s that little nugget of joy from Dan for you all [insert cry laughter/”bless him for trying” emojis here].
By this point, every part of me was saying that I absolutely didn’t need anymore food – or wine which, fyi, was pretty bloody great too – but surprise surprise, before I knew it I was asking for salted caramel ice cream and a scoop of mango sorbet to make me feel a tad more saintly, and despite every button on my jeans nearly popping off in surrender, it was so so worth it. The salted caramel ice cream was my winner of the bunch and I’d be a massive liar if I said I hadn’t dreamt about it for days after.
And the nachos too, they are in my sweetest dreams.
My main emotion in life is food envy and it came out in full force when Dan ordered Churros because it’s been 7 years since I could last each churros and surely him even ordering them is a dumpable offense right?
(lol, hi everyone, I called off the wedding because Dan ordered churros and I can’t eat them, have a nice life)
But he said that they were incredible; cinnamon sugar glazed, dipped in chocolate dipping sauce, I suppose I should probably bury my envy and be happy for him shouldn’t I? Yeah, probs should, I’ll keep practicing that one…
Finally we finished off with a coffee because when you’ve consumed enough food to feed an army, why the hell not? We did absolutely love our evening at Giraffe (Bluewater branch) though. Based right by the lake, it’s such a tranquil spot in such a busy place. With a lovely atmosphere, such friendly staff and food that I think I might have just drooled on my laptop over (sexy) it’s a spot that we’ll definitely be returning too really soon, and I highly recommend you do too.
So that brings me to the end of this food porn-fest, I’d love to know if you’ve been to Giraffe before? Where’s your favourite place to eat at the moment? And most importantly, where can I get the best nachos in the world? 😉