Yesterday the girls and I were invited to Giraffe, Richmond to sample their menu. I was very excited about it, firstly because it was back in my old stomping ground (I grew up just along the river in Twickenham) and secondly, it was an opportunity to spend some time with my blogging buddies Ruth and Emily.
Thirdly, Giraffe genuinely is one of my favourite restaurants. It's funny because I loved it in my twenties, pre children, when my girlfriends and I used to go there every Saturday morning for a hangover brunch! - and I love it as a family friendly eatery now. It's a vibrant, lively place, with a hugely varied menu and I love that it's frequented by people of all ages. No one would feel out of place there, whether you're on a hot date, taking your rowdy kids out for a birthday lunch, or soaking up the remnants of last night's alcohol!
As far as kid's menus go, Giraffe's has to be the best out of every chain restaurant out there. There are currently ten main dishes on offer, plus an extra six brunch options (which are available until noon). Old favourites like fish fingers and chips and sausages and mash are complimented by chicken schnitzels and mezzo plates - there really is something to suit every little person's taste.
And the adult menu doesn't disappoint either! It has an abundance of vegetarian meals, plus gluten free options too, so it really is fab for people with dietary requirements. Two of my favourites are the Smoked Mackeral Sushi Rice Salad and the Black Jack Chilli Beef Quesadillas but yesterday I went crazy and tried lots of new dishes.
To start we had an assortment of small plates and appetisers. Kedgeree fish balls with curry aioli, Korean BBQ chicken wings with kimchi slaw, cauliflower cumin and parsley croquettes with roasted garlic aioli, crispy calamari with a spicy harissa dip, (gluten free) nachos and grilled chicken satay skewers on a bed of edamame hummus were the few (!) that I sampled. The fish balls and chicken satay skewers were my top two.
For our mains, I opted for one of the day's specials - halloumi and quinoa salad with kale and broccoli, Daisy had Twist & Jive Pasta (with bolognese sauce) and Evie had Crunchie Munchie Mezze! All three dishes got huge thumbs ups from us.
Then all the kids at the table opted for Sundae Bowls for pudding - very vanilla ice cream with fresh fruit, chocolate sauce and a flake - and all the mums chose Banoffee Pie with butterscotch sauce. Oh my!
The soft drinks are definitely worth mentioning as Giraffe offers so much more than your usual apple or orange juice, or bottles of fizzy pop for kids.
Daisy and Evie tried their Mango Mama and Hippy Hippy Shake smoothies and LOVED them; in fact I am under strict instructions from D to recreate the former back at home! I washed my food down with fresh homemade lemonade but did sneak a peak at the wine list and cocktail menu and can confirm both are pretty darn awesome.
We had an absolutely smashing meal - we were in the restaurant for three hours which is a LONG TIME when you're one and four but the kids loved every minute of it. They were given heaps of colouring to do and all the lovely waitresses kept chatting to them and treating them like proper little customers. Good service makes a massive difference when you're dining out as a family and Giraffe's staff went out of their way to make sure the kids were happy!
If you're looking for somewhere to take the kids this Easter I would wholeheartedly recommend Giraffe!
DISCLAIMER: We were invited to Giraffe for a complimentary meal.