I didn't have to wait long to find out, as they very kindly invited me to give the new restaurant a try. On Friday night, I pitched up with my friend Nicole, two hungry bellies and a camera, and looked forward to a night of gossiping and eating our way around their mouthwatering menu. The restaurant is attached to the Tesco Extra in Bournemouth, which lucky for us, is about ten minutes from my house. We arrived at 7pm and the car park was almost empty - so five points immediately for being able to park right outside the restaurant (also, you don't have to go into Tesco at all to get to the restaurant, which I thought was a positive as I was worried it might feel odd!). We were greeted and shown to our seats by a lovely waitress, and then introduced to the Manager, who promised us our table would shortly be full of a herd of mini giraffes (she was right).
I loved the décor inside; it's fun and funky and had a great atmosphere. It was quite quiet for a Friday night but I'd imagine the peak times for this branch are breakfast and lunchtime, where people combine shopping trips with a bite to eat.
We cracked right on with starters - I had 'chicken potstickers' - fried chicken dumplings/gyoza with a soy-chilli sauce. They were really yummy and just the right size for a starter.
Nicole had Firecracker Chicken Tenders - chicken in a spicy coating, with a wasabi aioli dip. They were also really tasty - we tried a bit of each others' and I particularly liked the dip, it packed a punch!
After a lot of deliberation (and eyeing up of the burgers!) I eventually went for the chilli beef burrito for my main course. It came with a salad but this greedy guts also ordered sweet potato fries (because sweet potato). I didn't get a great picture as the light was a bit tricky. This was also really, really good and very filling. It was filled with chilli beef and herby rice, and topped with cheddar, pink onions and soured cream (I think I would eat a shoe if it was topped with cheese and soured cream - luckily this was much more tasty!)
Nicole went for steak and chips - she reports that her steak was cooked 'just right' (she ordered medium-rare).
We had wine with our food, but I also ordered their fresh lemonade with mint, which was lovely and really refreshing.
The giraffes started to gather - one had a penchance for red wine....
After a little break we moved on to dessert. Their dessert menu looked great and we had trouble choosing! In the end, Nicole went for brownie and ice cream, which looked heavenly, and very decadent...
... And I went for vanilla cheesecake with a ginger snap base, rhubarb compote and mascarpone cream. It was amazing, though it overfaced me and I had to leave some - sad face!
We had a really perfect evening - the staff were really attentive and knew the menu well and gave us lots of recommendations. I'd definitely recommend Giraffe, and the Bournemouth branch in particular. I'll be popping in for breakfast the next time I'm off for a weekly weekend shop, and I'll be taking Tom back as he's such a burger fan that I know he'll want to try the Giraffe Burger! (He might have to be designated driver next time as their cocktail menu looked amazing!)
Have you been to Giraffe before?