Norwich: Giraffe

Kate ScotterGiraffe is bright and colourful with loads of tempting dishes on offer, just what you need to take the edge off the winter chill. KATE SCOTTER paid a visit.Kate Scotter

Giraffe is bright and colourful with loads of tempting dishes on offer, just what you need to take the edge off the winter chill. KATE SCOTTER paid a visit.

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With its funky and colourful d�cor, bright surroundings and warm service, Giraffe is a welcoming place to eat with lots on offer.

Having already eaten at Giraffe restaurants in London and Cambridge, we were chuffed to see one open up in Norwich at the former home of Tootsies at the main entrance to Chapelfield.

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And although it is a chain of 40-something restaurants all over the country, it offers something a little different to the city dining scene.

The Norwich restaurant has a slightly scaled back menu, which is slightly disappointing, but this later proved to be a blessing in disguise as I found the decision-making process tricky enough as it was.

Their publicity blurb promises foods from around the globe and that's pretty much what you get.

There are all kinds of burgers from the traditional beef burgers with all the works to more creative ones such as the fish finger burger and the falafel burger. There's also a range of grills, pizza and pasta dishes to suit everyone's tastes.

Having inspected a few plates go by to other tables, I finally made up my mind and went for the Cajun chicken burger while my other half went for the cheddar BLT burger.

The international theme extends to the drink menu and as we waited for our food to arrive - which wasn't very long - we sipped a Brooklyn 'New York' lager and Red Stripe, a Jamaican beer. Both tasted good.

When our plates arrived, both burgers were piled high and accompanied by a small bowl of chips. The waiter then grabbed a range of sauces for us, ranging from the good ol' tomato ketchup to very hot sauces.

Now, with Cajun spiced dishes, I some times feel a little disappointed that they are not quite spicy as what they are made out to be but with the Giraffe chefs obviously know how to do Cajun spice properly and got it just right.

Meanwhile, the beef burger seemed to be going down well on the other side of the table and was said to be on a par with one of our other favourite Norwich eateries.

With still enough room to squeeze in a pudding we took a look at the extremely tempting and very naughty dessert menu. If you're a chocoholic like me then you're in heaven - chocolate cheesecake, chocolate brownie and rocky road ice cream sundae. There's also the yummy sounding banana waffle split and sticky toffee pudding. For those more restrained, there's a selection of fruity sorbets.

After a lot of deliberation - again - I went for the chocolate brownie while my partner chose the chocolate cheesecake.

When it arrived, the brownie looked a little small in size and came with a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream but nevertheless it was absolutely, mouth wateringly delicious. The chocolate cheesecake, topped with these yummy bubbly balls of chocolate, can also be highly recommended.

Giraffe runs a number of offers including a starter and main deal for �7.50 from 5pm to 7pm during the week and 'bar buddies' drinks deal at selected times.

On the occasion we went, we were fortunate enough to have a 40 per cent off voucher from their website which meant our bill, for three drinks, two mains and two puddings, came to just over �30 which seemed very reasonable.

And with so much more left on the menu that I would like to try, I'll definitely be heading back.

t Giraffe, Chapelfield Plain, Norwich, 01603 662060,

t Prices: Starters from �1.95, mains range from �6.95 to 13.95, puddings from �3.50

t Wheelchair access: Yes including wheelchair accessible toilet

t Vegetarian options: Yes


Food: ****

Service: ****

Atmosphere: ****

Family: ****