Review of Giraffe World Kitchen in Exeter

Sitting in prime location, a short walk from the car parks in the Princesshay area of Exeter you’ll find the relaxed dining experience of an evening at  Giraffe World Kitchen. I’ll admit straight away that wasn’t quite sure what to expect with a restaurant being described as a world kitchen but as a pescetarian (the only meat I eat is fish) who tries to stay on the healthy / clean eating side when it comes to food, I had an inclining it would be my cup of tea.

First Impressions

The evening atmosphere is very different from the busy vibrant mood which I’d witnessed during the day. Greeted by friendly, happy staff we were shown to our table, a booth style lit by funky subdued lighting and somewhat informal vibe. (Party dress and high heels not essential here unless hitting the town afterwards.)   I’m a stickler for how a restaurant lighting determines your mood, harsh bright lights are a real bugbear resulting in a not so relaxed evening, so first impressions were just perfect.

a review of the The Giraffe world kitchen restaurant

We were given our menus and offered table water,  with well-informed staff willing to help you through your choice. There’s plenty of choice and deciding was really difficult so I took all the advice the staff offered. It was great to be able to try some foods I’d never had before, that world kitchen status is no lie!

Giraffe on the menu?

Starting with salt and pepper squid with sweet chilli jam and fresh lime prawn, Prawn Saganaki – King prawns cooked in tasty garlic, chilli, white wine & tomato sauce with crumbled feta, served with toasted flatbread and Sweetcorn Fritter Tacos washed down with a very palatable Malbec red wine, we were ready to sample all The Giraffe had to offer. All getting th thumbs up, portion sizes were perfect and a special mention to the squid, I’m so going back for that someday soon.

a review of the The Giraffe world kitchen restaurant

Hoping on to mains we opted for Blackened Salmon served with brown rice & kidney beans, corn on the cob and mango salad, Sirloin Steak and Katsu Chicken; Breaded chicken and noodles in a mild peanut & coconut sauce, with bok choy,  broccoli and wok-fried vegetables. All hitting the spot and portion sizes perfect. Although we didn’t manage to clear plates as the desert menu looked waaaaaaaaaay too tempting, forward thinking meant we needed to leave room!

a review of the The Giraffe world kitchen restaurant

After much discussion and a recommendation from our final waiter, the very chatty Milan, it was on to a  Whoopie Cookie – Speculoos ice cream sandwiched between chocolate cookies with chocolate sauce, caramel popcorn and pretzels, Salted caramel ice cream sundae, layered with caramel popcorn and pretzel pieces and for me, a White Chocolate & Passion Fruit Cheesecake Drizzled with fresh passion fruit.

And yes, they all tasted as good as they sound.

In a Nutshell….

So to sum it up, if you’re looking for a relaxed dining experience with happy, friendly staff, a great variety  of food with a lean to the healthier side then I’d totally recommend an evening at Giraffe World Kitchen. Not bad prices too! I totally credit my lack of hangover the next day to the fresh food the night before. Well that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it!

 

Disclaimer

I received a complimentary meal in return for my honest opinion. All words and photos are my own unless otherwise stated. 

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Jamie’s Italian Family Friendly Restaurant, Exeter |Review

Good quality food and freshly prepared meals are a weakness of mine when dining out. The older I get the more I appreciate finer food, long gone are the days of snacking on spam and tins of cold baked beans, I blame my mum, every Christmas, my recipe book collection grows rapidly as she gifts me the latest must have book and Jamie Oliver stands proud amongst them all.

So where am I going with all this? Well, with the regeneration of Exeter, my nearest home city, came a trendy and upcoming shopping precinct, Princess Hay along with a scattering of top-notch eateries one being Jamie’s Italian and the Toddler, Tween, Teenager and I, chaperoned by my own dear old Dad, were invited along to sample the kids menu. (When I say we, obs, I mean the younger 2 of our party.)

Waiting in the holding bay, where we stored our buggy  and made our way to our table. Tween and Toddler were handed their menus and a cup full of crayons, always a welcome sight with little ones in tow and  providing a distraction while I dissect the menu. Only today, Toddler was hungry and a little tired, and when toddler’s hungry, he gets mischievous so the crayons became great javelins as he lobbed them around the restaurant with great delight.

Luckily, with the restaurant a busy, bustling hive of activity, it wasn’t too much of a problem ( I think!) The activity packs come with the usual colouring pages and a spinner but the real novelty was the food menu on the vintage View Masters. While this was a great idea for older kids, I’m a sucker for quirky and unusual in a restaurant,  it did mean I missed reading the menu in full.

Jamie's Italian, Exeter. Kids menu reviewed.

Tween, however, loved it and after several clicks, decided on some mini organic burgers. Seeing that I was struggling to decide on something for the Toddler he kindly pulled the disc out to show me how it works. I resisted the urge to tell him it was a retro toy and was probably as old as me as I knew it would shatter the cool factor for him.

Novelty ways to choose from the kids menu at Jamie's Italian restaurant

He’s suffering serial cases of eyes-bigger-than-his-belly at the moment and was a little concerned that the portions would be too small, but I bargained with him on the offering of pudding if he ate it all. They’re priced at £6.50 for little kids and £6.95 for big with a drink however, during our visit there was a kids eat free with a paying adult offer.

We weren’t asked who they were for when we ordered so I can’t really comment on the difference in portion sizes. In the chaos of entertaining a hungry toddler I lost the chance to study the menu properly and missed the finer details like this and that drinks were included, so not a bad price really for a fresh, healthy meal. (In hind sight, it would have been great if the waiter had pointed this out when we were ordering.)

Dining with toddlers at Jamie's Italian family friendly restaurant

“Homemade curly wurly pasta baked in Jamie’s organic seven-veg tomato sauce, with a Westcombe Cheddar cheese crust & crunchy, herby breadcrumbs”

Each meal also came with a mini side salad and dip which both boys devoured along with the main food. Tween tried to demonstrate eating the mini burgers in one bite, which are just the right size for little hands, in one bite and failed. He then skewered the potato hedgehogs kebab style and managed to make a little self entertainment in the process.

reviewing the kids menu Jamie's Italian restaurant

Lower Hurst Farm beef burgers served in scrummy seeded buns with lemony yoghurt, freshly sliced tomato & lettuce , served with baked hedgehog potatoes “

Testament to how tasty the Toddler was finding his food, he stopping throwing crayons and let me feed him some pasta. Sensing the possible carnage he could potentially cause by giving him free rein with a fork and bowl of food, I resorted to feeding him and taking quick bites of my vege burger. Once he’d had enough, I relaxed the rules a little and gave him the salad with chopped grapes. So great to see a restaurant thinking of all the safer points of dining with children like serving the enamel bowl in a protective tea towel and ceramic dish, so avoiding hot plate burns. Not having to risk asses the meal was a great help.

visiting the family friendly Jamie's Italian restaurant in Exeter and testing it's toddler friendly capabilities

It was also handy to have the changing station located in the downstairs loo. It was large enough to do a quick nappy change and having the buggy in site in the waiting area meant we could leave all our coats and not worry. Days out with kids is rarely a travelling light affair, but not having things stored under tables and chairs meant we could relax (ish, remember there was a lively toddler at the party) sit on comfort and enjoy our food.

And did the Tween make it for pudding?

No, he finished everything on his plate and admitted that he’s still of an age for the kids menu (phew!)

As for the Toddler, well half a bowl of pasta, a few grapes, a couple of lettuce leaves, 3 slices of soft curling cucumber and a slice of lemon and he was done. Restored back to the manageable and less mischievous rascal we adore.

Oh and the big people’s grub wasn’t too bad either!

Entertaining a toddler at Jamie's Italian family and child friendly restaurant in Exeter, Devon.

Disclaimer

We were invited to try out the kids menu and compensated for our meal. All words, opinions and photographs are entirely my own. 

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