Reviewed by Cheryl Wesley
The Giraffe restaurant is located in a Tesco’s Extra. This sounds like an odd place for a restaurant, however you have no trouble in finding a parking space and once you are in and sat down at your table you forget where you are. We arrived 20 minutes early for our meal and the staff were very accommodating showing us a variety of tables we could sit at, we chose a comfortable booth style seat which hid the children from the majority of the diners. Once we sat down we noticed we had a view of the checkouts through a window, but this was a one-time glance and we forgot they were there. The decor was bright, clean and cheerful and the back ground music did its job perfectly where you could not hear it much but it masked other customer’s conversations.
We ordered a couple of drinks, freshly squeezed cloudy lemonade which was delicious and a non- alcoholic cocktail called the wavebreaker which our server suggested, this was a refreshing concoction of coconut and pineapple and one you did not need to guzzle to quench your thirst. These drinks where served in funky jugs which created a talking point! The children had apple juice and we were advised the orange juice had bits in it, the children’s juice arrived at the table in a plastic takeaway type cup with a plastic giraffe toy on it, what a hit with the kids! Alongside this we had our starters of Margherita Bruschetta Bites, which was cheese on top of a herby tomato sauce on focaccia bread, a lovely change to the normal bruschetta restaurants offer. We also tried the Crunchy Shrimp, this was cooked very well and the children loved it, the sweet chilli sauce which accompanied it had a good balance.
For mains we had half a rack of BBQ ribs with a side of onion rings, this was served with skin on potato fries and a slaw, the ribs were cooked well and were yummy, but the hit of this dish was the slaw, it was crunchy and flavoursome it still managed to have the creamy taste of a good slaw even though it had limited dressing. The onion rings were also cooked to a good standard, they were non greasy and the children loved them. We also ordered ‘the customer favourite’ Thai Duck Stir Fry… yum, yum, yum I will be ordering this again when we go back, the sweet and sour flavours where great and the bok choy and red peppers added a lovely splash of colour to the dish. My son ordered Herby Sausages, Heinz baked beans and chips for his tea (the staff were more than happy to change the mash on the menu to fries for him). The sausages where of a good quality and were quite tasty, he ate the lot!
After the mains a trip to the toilet was in order as my youngest needed a clean nappy, they were well kept and clean, however, they are not specific restaurant toilets but the Tesco toilets that any customer can use.
By this time we were quite full but had been tempted by a couple of deserts so ploughed on! My mum had an Apple and Red Cherry Crumble, this was a warm pudding which suited the afternoon’s weather, and it was delicately spiced which my mum rather enjoyed. My son and I on the other hand opted for the chocolate brownie and ice-cream, it disappeared from our plate in minutes, a delicious way to end the meal.
We cannot fault the staff, throughout the meal, they were quick to ask if there was anything we needed and looking around they were this attentive to every table. The food arrived promptly and was always hot and of a good quality, a very enjoyable meal out.
Overall we would this restaurant a 4.5 due to the toilets we deducted half a mark, but the staff was a definite 5 out 5!
For more information, to view menus or to book a table visit www.giraffe.net/classic/location/poole.
Giraffe, Tesco Extra, Yarrow Road, Mannings Heath, Poole, BH12 4NX | 01202 739 229