Monday, 11 August 2014

A Not So Great Family Meal At Giraffe Newcastle

Recently the Giraffe restaurant chain opened up in Newcastle at Kingston Park, right next door to the huge Tesco extra. I was lucky enough to win £25 worth of voucher's to use in store in a twitter competition to celebrate the opening. I was looking forward to visiting as I had seen some great reviews from other bloggers, commenting on how nice the food was and how brilliant the service was. So I was expecting great things from our visit and decided that we would take the girl's with us and go for a family meal.

However, our visit was not so great and I have been left thinking that maybe the other bloggers had such a great experience as the staff knew that they were being reviewed? They sure did not offer such great service to us normal diners, here is how we got on.

We visited Giraffe on Friday the 8th August and arrived around 12 pm just in time for lunch, the restaurant was lovely and clean and nicely decorated with plenty of staff at the bar area when you enter. We were greeted promptly and were told to sit wherever we like as there was only a handful of other diners. We chose a seat and asked for a highchair for Sophia and were handed some menu's. There were some great dishes on both the adult and children's menu, we placed our order and our drinks arrived really promptly, however, we were still waiting for a highchair for Sophia so we had to ask again for a highchair. We eventually received one about ten minutes after entering the restaurant.

Another bad point was that a few other families were dining and all the other children seemed to have been giving colouring things and balloons, neither of my children were offered these things.  I think this made them feel a bit left out and Chloe commented that it was not fair they had not received them.

The meal's arrived quickly and I was pleased to notice that the children's meals were brought out first, which meant we could sort Sophia out before our meal arrived. Sophia got Focaccia pizza bites with salad as she loves finger foods and Chloe got burger and wedges. The children's portions are plentiful and Chloe who is eleven did not manage to finish her meal.

Child burger and chip meal at Giraffe

child pizza and chip meal at giraffe

Our main meals arrived a few minutes after the children's, I got the Giraffe burger with skin on fries. It was delicious, the burger was cooked to perfection and was nice and juicy and the fries were crisp and tasty. The other half ordered the BBQ rib and chicken combo with skin on fries, and he said the meat just fell off the ribs and the chicken was succulent and the coleslaw that accompanied it was nicest he has had. I really could not fault any of the food, it was all perfectly cooked, really generous portions and really yummy.

burger bun and chips and ketchup at giraffe

chicken leg, rib, chips, corn on cob, coleslaw and dips

However the staff tried to take the plates away when we were still eating, the waitress said she would bring us the bill even though we had not asked for it and had planned on getting pudding and more drinks. When we were finished our meal they also took Sophia plate of food away which she was still eating, most people know toddlers take a long time to eat.

The other half requested another drink and they also tried to take my glass away too which was over half full and I was still drinking.

Chloe ordered Chocolate brownie and Lee ordered banana waffle. Again the deserts arrived promptly and looked and tasted lovely but as soon as soon as Chloe had put her spoon down the waitress came and took the plates away and started cleaning the table while we were still sat finishing our drinks, which made us feel rushed.

brownie and ice cream with chocolate sauce

waffle and ice cream

 We then requested the bill which took a while to arrive and we noticed that the children's meals had not been deducted from the bill as advertised (they had an offer on that children ate free with every adult main ordered). The final bill came to £47 not including the children's meals and drinks. Which I think was quite expensive for a lunch, but they do offer a special lunchtime menu that is a cheaper option.

Overall the restaurant was lovely, it was really clean and nicely decorated there was lots of staff and you can tell that it is meant to be child-friendly. The food was really nice and I could not fault any of the food or drinks in any way. However, the staff really let it down, we were seen by at least four different members of staff, we were not offered a highchair and had to ask for one twice and wait over ten minutes for one. Neither of the girls was offered colouring things or balloons which left them feeling left out, we were getting asked the same things off two and three different members off staff  I much prefer when you go out and you just have one waiting staff.  

 We felt rushed even though the restaurant only had a handful of diners, they rushed to take our food away when we were still eating, they tried to take drinks away that were half full and they tried to give us our bill halfway through are meal.

And cleaning the table while we were still sitting there just made us want to leave. And then they did not even check the bill and tried to overcharge us.

Would I go back to Giraffe? honestly probably not, the food was amazing but for me, you also need good service and to feel welcome somewhere to enjoy a meal. There are so many other family-friendly places to visit who I have had much better experiences with. I really wanted to like giraffe and I had high hopes but I am afraid the poor service let the delicious food down. I am hoping that it was just as the restaurant is new and the staff are still learning as it would be a shame if others receive poor service as we did.


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