I should have named this ladies who lunch...and lunch, and lunch and lunch. It was probably one of the longest lasting lunches of my life! On a Friday afternoon I picked up my sister and we headed into town, window shopped around Union Square and then headed up to Giraffe for a bite to eat.
While I mostly try to spend my money in local spots around town, every now and then the convenience of Union Square wins. There's an eclectic mix of chain eateries on the first floor - FIVE Italians (seven if you count Pizza Hut & Express), some American chains, two burger joints, two Japanese (Yo! Sushi and my usual go to - Wagamama), one Thai and a couple of Mexican places. But what happens when you and your dining pal can't pick just one type of cuisine?
Head to Giraffe! Their "World Kitchen" takes the very best dishes and ingredients from around the globe and lovingly packs them into one tastebud teasing menu. If you're a traveller come home, missing the vibrant tastes of the far-flung countries you've flown from, this is the place to be. You'll find everything from Turkish mezze to Thai noodles and popular Asian curries - hello katsu chicken!
The cocktail list is bursting with exotic flavours, but it was mocktails all round on this occasion. A strawberry smash and elderflower Collins did the job, and at only £2.50 (£5 if you're feeling boozy!) all day Wednesday - Friday you can't complain!
Our starters were a mix of Mexican and Japanese cuisines. Sweetcorn fritter tacos for Laura, and steamed duck gua bao buns, which could have done with a bit more flavour, for me. The portion sizes are huge at Giraffe - Laura's tacos would of made a decent main meal if you just added a side! We were pleasantly surprised by the vast choice for vegetarians. It's such a shame when restaurants only have one or two veggie options on their menu, usually lacking any thought or creativity. This is not the case at Giraffe!
After much deliberation I plumped for the colourful Moroccan powerhouse that is lamb tagine for my main course. It arrived in an authentic tagine dish, served on a bed of couscous, topped with crushed pistachios and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds. The soft lamb meat just fell to pieces at the touch of a fork, and I soaked up the flavoursome sauce with the huge chunks of oil drizzled flatbread.
Laura had taken the advice of the staff and enjoyed a halloumi and falafel burger, with mixed leaves and veg, hummus and tzatziki jam packed into a delicious, toasted brioche bun. She'd switched the skin on fries for crispy sweet potato ones which finished the dish off perfectly. I may of helped myself to a few... even after deciding I was too full to finish my own meal!
Just the thought of dessert was a struggle. Until they placed the menu down in front of us anyway! Suddenly second stomachs sprung into action and we settled on two to share. The Whoopie Cookie (mainly because I like saying Whoopie Cookie out loud. Try it.) and the infamous Spanish churros - often ruined, but so good when done right! Luckily Giraffe fall into the latter category and we devoured the perfectly cooked cinnamon sugar coated doughtnuts, submerged in the rich chocolate sauce.
The whoopee cookie was a glorious mess of speculoos ice cream, pretzel pieces and caramel popcorn, all sandwiched between two soft chocolate cookies and drizzled with chocolate and toffee sauce. Don't ask me which part of the world this originates from, I have no idea but it could easy have been heaven!
All in all, we had a lovely long and lazy lunch at Giraffe. We ended up being there for two whole hours but the staff were lovely and helpful, and seemed happy for us to linger. It's not a place I've visited frequently but after this I'd be happy to return and most definitely drag the husband along with me. I reckon he'd enjoy the colourful collection of games and vinyl on display, oh and the beer - Hola Estrella!
*I was invited to dine at Giraffe in exchange for an honest review. As always all opinions are genuine, and my own.