It is great Grubgang tradition that if a venue is chosen with a view, it is either the height of winter or it rains! Gemma had chosen her latest pick of the bunch, knowing the view was beautiful and that there were tables outside to dine in style! To top it all off, the weather was good!! So, off we headed to Giraffe in Gunwharf for our second June visit!
Although we did not quite make all 3 courses outside (the wind picked up once the sun disappeared behind the Spinnaker!) It was lovely to be outside!! So, what did the gang think of this experience? (nb: Dean was unable to join us on this occasion)
Pete : "It was a lovely meal. I had the Yakitori Asparagus to start - was a very light starter, but they were cooked to perfection and the sauce added an extra kick of taste that the dish required to stop it being too bland. For the main I had the leg of lamb steak. Was cooked as requested and was certainly tasty, however I felt it was a little bit expensive for what it was. It would have been nice if it had had a sauce to add some flavour. As for dessert I had the banana waffle split! A great finish to the night! Obviously the chef loves desserts as much as I do! The banana was lightly roasted and the ice cream melted slightly as a result, which is just the way I like it."
Dave : "The Nacho starter was not sharing size despite the menu saying otherwise. Main course wasn't particularly good value. Small portion of chips (good for dieters) and chicken burger that had far too much going on taste-wise. The chicken was over done and dry, mayo bed, salsa, barbecue sauce, mushrooms, onion rings and some sort of pesto meant it was quite distracting. Simplifying it a little was in order, I think. Desert menu had some interesting looking choices, but I didn't partake. Service was friendly but slow for a midweek evening with not many covers on."
Dave is correct in the fact that the service was a little slow. It turned out that the poor waiter had a whole side of the restaurant to cover as well as us sat outside!! It did seem like he was doing all the work too!!
Gemma : "I felt it was a surprisingly nice meal - I didn't have high hopes due to it being a chain but was a delightful starter!. I had BBQ Duck on a Tossada (YUM) The duck meat was tender and superb. I then had salmon with pineapple red pepper and red onion relish which was nice but seemed a bit over cooked. The skin on fries are delicious and I really enjoyed them. I finished with the smarty pants ice cream which had strawberries, smarties and jelly tots in. The toilets were semi-clean and a bit cramped in the cubicle, the service was friendly ,but a bit over eager at clearing the plates away for half our group when some were still eating. We then had long gaps between courses which I think was not our servers fault as he seemed to be single manning the restaurant floor. For a choice of somewhere I had not tried before taking the gang to I was happy at the outcome of the evening. We did get hit with another service charge but was able to ask for it to be removed and tipped as we felt fair."
Mike : The restaurant was a nice place the decor was good and it was clean. The service was very slow, although as the others said it wasn't our servers fault. He was very good and was rushed off his feet because the other staff were just standing around not doing much. I thought it was very good that our server actually suggested the best things on the menu that he thought we might like to try.
My starter was the mini mezze which was lovely. My main was the duck stir-fry which was nice but didn't wow me. It was nice, however, to have been given chopsticks to use.
My dessert was the Apple and cherry almond Crumble which was absolutely Delicious. The menu didn't have an awful lot of choice for each course so I would find it hard to go back and try to find something else that I might like. All this said it was a pleasant evening and sitting outside was rather nice as usually when one of us pick somewhere with a view it rains!"
Clair : "I did feel we were waiting a bit long between courses and considering there were plenty of staff about it shouldn't have been so. The guy was a star working so hard and very good service from him with his recommendations.
The food itself was good. I felt the Rancho burger I had was quite dry as Dave has also discussed. It was almost as if they couldn't decide which flavour to use to hide its dryness!!The cheesecake dessert and the garlic bread starter were top quality, however. I found the toilets quite dirty in my opinion. The best part of the evening was the lovely view, great company and hard working waiter."
All in all, the food was good and the service was friendly, if a little slow due to the way the staffing had been handed out. We were told our tip when paid with the bill would be split between the bar staff and other staff in the venue, but we wanted to just praise the waiter himself. We really should have found out his name as he should get a great big shout out for his hard work and friendliness!!
Marks out of ten............................................... 6.5 (Gemma Wickens)