Friday, 8 September 2017

Giraffe World Kitchen (Aberdeen) - Review

When it comes to traveling, there's nothing I enjoy more than scoping out the best foodie havens and indulging in some great local dishes. Although it may not be as exotic as a restaurant on the marina of St Tropez, Giraffe World Kitchen in Aberdeen has now launched its brand spanking new-look with a food and drinks menu boasting dishes from across the globe.

With a fresh new brand, a revamped name, and a food and drink menu to suit all tastes, Giraffe World Kitchen is back with a bang and putting some serious life, (and spice) into national chain restaurants.

Stepping inside the restaurant takes you on a journey around the world, uncovering new, exciting places the further you venture in. With bright, bold patterns, lots of interesting wood work, intricate detailing and modern lighting, the new and improved look is definitely now on par with its diverse menu offering. Having always been a restaurant focused on the diverse food offering the world boasts, Giraffe has now re-branded to bring the look of the restaurant and the food available together so that they both compliment one another - and that they do.
The restaurant was busy, probably the busiest I've ever seen it and guests were having to be turned away due to it being completely full - A great problem for any business of any size to have.

Luckily for us we had booked a table and were greeted and seated promptly. Whilst browsing the food menu, we ordered a couple of drinks. A Mexican Sunset (£6.95) for me, and freshly made lemonade with mint (£2.25) for my sister. 

Having a new love for Mexico's favourite spirit, the tequila based drink was extremely refreshing. With Aperol, pineapple, lime, sweetened agave nectar and soda over ice, it was lovely and sweet and the perfect drink to start off my dining experience at the new-look restaurant.
Our server for the night talked us through some of the popular dishes, which made choosing a dish all that more challenging, but after much deliberation we eventually managed to order. To begin I decided to go for the steamed duck gua bao buns (£6.95) and Nicole chose the prawn saganaki (£6.95).

The two steamed duck gua bao buns were beautifully soft and fluffy, and were packed full of crispy shredded duck, cucumber, spring onion and topped with chopped red chillies. The peanuts in the buns provided a real crunch to the dish, and the rich hoisin sauce finished it off perfectly.

Saganaki is a cheesy Greek dish which is created in a small frying pan and was exactly what my sister needed after a long day at work. The Greek comfort food was served with juicy king prawns in a delicious garlic, chilli, white wine, red onion and tomato sauce. The prawn saganaki (£6.95) was covered in crumbled feta and was served with a toasted flatbread on the side - perfect for dipping into and scooping up the leftover sauce. She loved the dish and there was plenty prawns in it too which suited her fine.
Polishing off both starters, our my, attention drifted back to the cocktail menu. This time I decided to order a gin based cocktail, with the Bramble Garden (£6.95) catching my eye. Featuring a healthy serving of London Dry gin, cucumber, apple, blackberries and elderflower, topped with soda and served long over ice, the gin sour hit the spot.

Taking on the role as driver for the night, Nicole tried out the Sunshine Coast Iced Tea which was ridiculously fine. With ice cold chamomile and green tea, mango, limeade and fresh mint it boasted all the characteristics of the base of a good cocktail (£2.95).
Next up was our Japanese and Asian inspired main dishes. Bowls for the soul Katsu Chicken (£11.95) for me, and Thai Duck Stir Fry (£10.95) for Nicole.

The Katsu Chicken was divine and went great with the noodles. I'd usually have paired it with rice at home, but the noodles worked really well and the mild peanut and coconut sauce, the bok choy, tenderstem broccoli and crunchy wok-fried vegetables. The lightly breaded Katsu chicken was very tasty, and the freshly squeezed lime on top added a real citrus hit to it.

Nicole's Thai duck stir fry was served with shredded duck, noodles with chilli jam, bok choy, crispy onions and wok-fried vegetables all tossed in teriyaki sauce. Both dishes were demolished quite rapidly.
Taking our time, we eventually decided that dessert was a must. Drifting to the shores of Spain,  my heart was set on the Churros (£4.95). The Spanish doughnuts came coated in cinnamon sugar with a choice of chocolate orange dipping sauce or dulce de leche on the side - of course I went for both...

The five churros were crisp on the outside and nice and fluffy inside and were extremely sweet. The chocolate orange and the dulce de leche sauces were very more-sih and creamy, a real sugar fix to round off the meal.

Nicole decided to embrace the Rocky Road (£5.95) dessert, which, if I had to pick somewhere, would have probably have hailed from the big ol' US of A - I could be completely wrong, but that was my interpretation. The tall sundae glass was filled with vanilla and salted caramel ice cream, layered with chocolate brownie chunks, chocolate sauce, mini marshmallows and lathered with whipped cream on top. She ate ever last morsel and even tried to pinch a few of my churros - not on my watch.
Bellies full it was time to call it a day on our foodie outing, and with the restaurant still very busy, we decided to promptly get our bill and free up our table so other customers could experience the new and improved version of Giraffe.

I must admit I was pleasantly surprised at just how much Giraffe World Kitchen impressed me. From the knowledgable staff, to the funky interiors, to the scrumptious and varied food on the menu and the diverse drinks offering, this was one chain restaurant which ticked all the boxes.

The restaurant is big on catering to families and offer free kids meal promotions quite regularly. With the opportunity to dine out in a comfortable restaurant which also encourages youngsters to try new foods from around the world, it's no surprise the restaurant was so busy. Hats off to Giraffe.

 For Now...

Just Julia
© Just Julia

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