I met Kelly for dinner last week.
It had been a long, long, LONG time since we’d had a catch up, and with three separate travel and trips to talk about, we needed good food and good drink to keep us going.
So I jumped on the sweaty Central line to Liverpool Street (oh the things I do for friends and food!), and we wandered down to the Spitalfield’s branch of Giraffe World Kitchen.
For weekday catchups with friends, my favourite eateries are cheap, cheerful and delicious. I like nice wine, nice ambience, friendly staff, and food that’s going to make me goo “Ooh! Yum!”.
Giraffe World Kitchen hits all the spots. The newly refurbished interior of the Spitalfields branch is full of light and wood and glass. There are pops of bright colour everywere, quirky lampshades, industrial detailing in the ceiling, and a great outdoor area for when the weather is warm.
We settled ourselves into a booth inside (despite the hot weather!) and sat there from 6:30pm to 10:30pm (when we finally realised the restaurant was empty and the staff were just too polite to ask us to leave!).
Food, wine, and good company. What more do you need in life!
We started our meal with a chilled bottle of white wine and a selection of tapas starters.
Smoky chorizo – sticky and sweet, flavoured with paprika and honey, this was one of my favourites. I love chorizo!
Salt and pepper squid – the squid was tender, but the batter wasn’t quite crispy and light enough for me. Pretty average to be honest.
Karaage chicken – this Japanese fried chicken is one of the brand new dishes on the menu and I LOVED it. It’s sweet and tender, with a sesame seed crunch on top, and a little bowl of soya sauce and honey to dip into. Delicious.
Things I want to try on my next visit: the Bao Buns, the Yaki Gyozas, and the Shredded Chicken Tacos.
(Also, you should know that Giraffe do a special offer of 5 tapas and a bottle of wine for £25, which I happen to think is a BARGAIN. Perfect for a late date or quick catchup!)
We took a longggg time to debate our mains.
Kelly eventually chose the Enchilada Salsa Verde, which is kind of like a baked burrito. Spicy rice and mixed vegetables are wrapped in a tortilla, then baked in cheese sauce and drizzled with salsa and sour cream. It looked incredible, and tastes just as good. The rice is fresh and herby, the cheese sauce and tortilla adds creaminess, and the pico the gallo is a perfect touch of sharp. Very, veryyyy yum.
I changed my mind at least 3 times, before settling on the Katsu Chicken Noodle bowl. And as much as I liked the enchiladas, I liked my noodles MORE. I love noodles anyway, but these were soft but still firm, and served in a deeelicious peanut-coconut curry sauce. Throw on some crunchy breaded chicken and tender vegetables, and you’re on to a winner, my friend.
(In fact, I liked them so much that I went back to the same Giraffe World Kitchen a week later with Vicky, and ordered them again!)
We were stuffed by this point, but when the waiter suggested dessert, we couldn’t say no!
The churros arrived hot and crispy, rolled in sugar and cinnamon, and served with a warm dulce de leche dipping sauce (a bit like butterscotch mixed with toffee and cream). They were delicious, and the perfect little sweet treat to round off our meal.
We had an absolutely brilliant night, and I trundled home full to the brim, tipsy on wine, and happy with life. Dinner with friends is bad for my waistline, but oh so good for my soul!
*Our meals at Giraffe were free, in exchange for this review.