REVIEW: Giraffe

by - 12:17

During the Easter break, we decided to take a trip to Richmond and explore it in all itss splendour in the sunshine. The walks by the river were refreshing and brought an air of calm to the busy hustle and bustle of London. You forget London has trees and wildlife therefore it is only fitting that we ended up in Giraffe for something to eat. To be honest, I've only just thought of that now and not at the time.

We were greeted by a member of staff who was deliriously happy. You know, the sort of happy person who hysterically laughs at everything you say complete with the head movement. Still, nevertheless and undeterred, we went in. The deliriously happy girl then passed us on to another deliriously happy girl (this one happened to be American) who then proceeded to tell us about the specials in a high squeaky voice that neither of us could understand. As I looked round, all the staff seem to be at it apart from one. The one who wasn't we dubbed as the normal one and she obviously hasn't had chefs special cocktail from the kitchen. Anyhow, having realised what have we stepped into here, we looked at the menu which was standard unexciting run of the mill stuff. The restaurant has no obvious theme as the menu ranged from burgers, salads, grills, pasta - a bit of everything to suit all tastes which is commendable but no idea why it is called giraffe. To me, Giraffes are found in Africa therefore the menu should reflect this. Oh well, I remembered they did great breakfasts when I visited one at Heathrow.

After a time, the American deliriously happy waitress returned and took our drinks order in which we ordered an iced tea (with mint, mango, and some other stuff) and water. The iced tea returned and it was heavily overpowered with mango. Couldn't taste anything else apart from a slight, and I mean slight, tang of mint. Strange flavour.

Then it was time to take the food order. We ordered the club sandwich and the burger with a small change to the burger order to replace the normal chips to wedges. The American waitress deliriously said this would not be a problem and practically skipped to the till whilst saying we made excellent choices.

Our food came reasonably quickly and was brought over by the chief delirious waitress.
"Oh wow you guys, your food is here. Omg, I've got some food envy going on right here!"
Bleugh! Have you really? I'm pretty sure you've seen this plate a thousand times before. This sort of thing is just far too overbearing and there's really no response you can ever give to that. Anyhow, this "food envy" food turned out to be not quite right. The wedges that weren't supposed to be a problem were not there and the club sandwich that a normal person ever thinks of, the two tiered sandwich, is not what the bigwigs at giraffe think. As you can see below, the club sandwich remarkably resembled a chicken burger and should have been advertised as such. Needless to say, I was a little disappointed with the outcome. Still, this could potentially be rescued with the Mayochup. Mayochup, for those who do now know, is a blend of mayonnaise and tomato ketchup. We never saw the delirious American waitress again. I suspect she was banished to the naughty step by chief delirious waitress for getting something wrong. Of course, this was all done with huge grins on their faces, perhaps face lifted on.

Still, after coming to terms with the non-club sandwich, it was now time to eat it. I would suggest the slightly blunt knife should be replaced with a hacksaw and if you're one of those who don't have strong teeth, you have been warned. The chicken was tough, it would make an excellent building material, bland and largely tasteless and the ciabatta, yes - ciabatta for club sandwiches, was a bit stale. Still, the wedges were good. The burger was OK but strangely it seemed to adopt the style of a club sandwich with the spear in the middle. There's been better burgers but it wasn't awful.

At the end, the delirious waitress was gushing over other tables giving them the same overbearing treatment we got given so we paid up and left. Thankfully, we paid with the normal waitress who was quiet and polite, just how waitresses should be. They aren't there to be centre of attention and it is not a stage show. If this is their way of generating extra tips and enhancing the customer experience, then I'm afraid it is doing quite the opposite. For a Saturday night in prime time, the restaurant was only half full which says a lot. It was a relief to get out and without saying anything, we knew it was the first and last time we will ever set foot in there.

So to summarise; the service was forced, smothering and the food was a huge disappointment. So sorry giraffe, you will have to undertake a major overhaul in service and quality to ever be considered again.

Overall score 3/10.

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