A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate to be invited to the soft opening of a new chain restaurant in town, Giraffe, with my 3yr old son. Both of us were excited to be given the opportunity to try a new place in town for lunch, and on browsing the menu online before we got there, I saw that there was plenty to chose from, even for a sometimes fussy preschooler!
The restaurant is on the former site of an art shop, and has doubled the floorspace, taking over a covered area of pavement, providing a lovely sized restaurant – not so big that you feel forgotten by the staff, but not so small that you feel squashed in! As you can see by the top photo, there is also an outside seating area for when the weather is good!
I was very impressed with the drinks that we ordered.
My son chose the Cloudy Apple Juice, and I was very impressed to see it arrive in a cup with a lid! It is little things like this that show that a restaurant knows its target markets, as a spilled drink can be upsetting to a small child and quite disruptive. My son was also furnished with a double sided activity place mat and some crayons when we sat at our table. There were activities for children of all ages.
The Main Menu itself is eclectic, having not just the usual burger variations on a theme, but also also asian and mexican inspired dishes, and some classic style ones too.
I was torn between choosing the Parmesan Chicken Schnitzel “Kiev” and the Hot “Thai” Duck Stir Fry, but eventually went for the BBQ Baby Back Ribs, served with very tasty Poppy Seed-Celery Slaw and Skin on Fries. These were the best ribs I have eaten in a chain restaurant for a very long time, and much better than the ones served in an Italian/American style restaurant further out from the town centre, in my opinion!
The Kids Menu is split into Under 7s and Young Adults, but I feel that the portion size of Fish and Chips my 3yr old was given would have quite happily fed a larger child! He was disappointed not to have Ribs available as an option on the Kids menu, but happily helped me eat mine. Hopefully Giraffe will consider them as a future option on the menu for kids, as I think they would prove very popular.
For dessert, my son eventually settled on the 99 Sundae, which was speedily demolished along with a second drink of apple juice, which must have been very tasty as I wasn’t allowed to try it!
I chose the Rocky Road Sundae, which was very good, however the ice cream was a bit grainy in places, as if it had defrosted a bit and been re-frozen. (I did have to share some of this too!)
On leaving the restaurant, my son was presented with this balloon, which I thought was a very nice gesture!
The staff in the restaurant were very helpful and eager to please, and I am happy to note that that they have put unisex baby changing facilities in, have loads of high chairs, and are fully wheelchair accessible. They are also available to provide full dietary information for their dishes if requested.
Tables can be booked online here.
We will be happily going back to Giraffe Chelmsford!
Many thanks to Giraffe for the opportunity to come and visit the new restaurant for free, the opinions in this post are those of myself and my son.