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Giraffe

We decided to bite the bullet for our review of Giraffe in thecentre:mk and take along our 8 month old son to join in the fun and sample the menu. We went at about 5 o’clock on a Saturday and the restaurant was pretty busy. After settling in to our table and pulling up a highchair for our son, the waiting staff were really accommodating in checking that we had everything we needed both for ourselves and for him.

The concept of Giraffe is all about ‘exploring wonderful food from around the world’ and the menus certainly prove this. A quick glance and you can see a mix of cuisines from Asia, Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean and other places. There is quite a choice but we decided on Japanese Crunchy Tiger Prawns and Grilled Halloumi and Vegetable Skewers. The prawns were absolutely gorgeous and our son even tried some of the crunchy outside and seemed to approve. The skewers came with a delicious pumpkin seed chilli oil. The little one also tried the vegetables and judging by what was left over we assumed they also went down very well. If you fancy sharing, they also do a fantastic range of sharing platters including Nachos, a Bruschetta Bites board and a Mezze board (one of these went past us to another table and looked very good).

The main menu does offer a lot of different tastes and styles – you can have burgers (including ‘The Big Greek’ – a lamb Focaccia burger), Chef’s Favourites which included Hot Thai Duck Stir Fry, salad bowls including a Sushi Rice Salad with Smoked Salmon.  We went for the Parmesan Chicken Schnitzel ‘Kiev’ and the BBQ Chicken and Smoked Cheddar Quesadilla. The schnitzel was really tasty with a gorgeous herby butter drizzled all over it. The Quesadilla went down very well with our son who seemed to suck out the cheddar.

After all this we did have time to fit in a dessert and what a choice we had - from Milky Bubble Double Chocolate Cheesecake to Apple and Berry Crumble and Chocolate Chunk Brownie. We went for the truly fabulous Banana Waffle Split and one of the ‘Summer Special’ Sundaes – ‘The 99’ which came with, as you’d expect, a couple of Cadbury’s Flakes together with vanilla and chocolate ice cream and waffle pieces. It was difficult to actually try one of the waffle pieces as after our son tried some he decided to help himself to what was left.

Overall Giraffe is a really great family experience; the staff were really accommodating and having a little one with us was not seen as a hassle or an inconvenience.  We even had a lovely conversation with one of the waiters about his own 3 month old. There were also a lot of families dining in the restaurant with children of various different ages. The children’s menu looked really good, with nine mains to choose from as well as desserts, they also do a mid-week kids meal deal for any main and a drink for £4.95 which is good value.

They also offer breakfast and brunch and what a menu it is – not just your traditional fry up served here. You can get porridge, pancakes, sour dough muffins, Quesadillas, toasted focaccia and even my favourite Huevos Rancheros, the traditional Mexican breakfast. All these are washed down by a range of gourmet coffees or a multitude of smoothies.

Summary:

We loved our meal at Giraffe and will definitely be back as our son grows up and can try out more of the delicious menu. I’d certainly recommend the restaurant for families, but also for shoppers wanting sustenance after a long day bashing the credit cards or for a meal with friends where you want something a bit different on the menu. To finish off  the evening in style our son was given his very first balloon and as you can see this just about made his whole day!

Facilities:

Children’s menu
A full children’s menu is available plus high chairs and changing facilities.

Disabled facilities
Restaurant is all on one level and has wide doors so gives easy access.

Parking
Daytime parking can be difficult and costly (pay and display). Evenings, after 6.00pm, there is plenty of parking available and it is free.

Other amenities
Alfresco dining area available. Look out for special offers such as lunchtime set menus.