I mentioned previously I went on a food adventure with Shen during our Easter break. The first location was none other than Manchester Press, which Shen has already posted about in her blog. I will probably write about it at a later date but in the mean time, I wanted to share my experiences at Giraffe Café/Café Giraffe*.
I found out about this café last Summer through Urbanspoon. However, I realised I’ve walked past Giraffe Café before as we arrived. The exterior is a bit worst for wear, quite a few of the letters of the sign seem to have fallen off over the years. With that said, the blue walls still manages bring some life to the monotonous feel of Little Lonsdale street. I think they will attract more visitors if the store front was more well-maintained.
If I had known how beautiful the inside of the store was, I wouldn’t have hesitated the first time around. I believe this is what they mean by “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Once you walk past the simple yet practical kitchen counter, you will find yourself in a completely unfamiliar place – as if you’ve walked into Narnia or Wonderland. It’s remarkable.
The second half of the store acts as the main dining and lounging area. Most of the tables and chairs are mismatched and there’s plenty of adorable trinkets all over the walls and shelves. In contrast to the entrance this room captures a lot of sunlight, which quite a rare find because many of the cafés/restaurants in the CBD is considerably dark. They also have a birch tree in the middle of the room. What they lacked in the front, they’ve definitely made up for in the back.
One corner of the room is also sectioned off by two large bookshelf. It’s a perfect for meetings, study-groups or catching up with a group of friends. The cheerful and bright atmosphere is extremely invigorating. If I my campus was in the city, I would find myself studying at Giraffe Café all the time.
There’s a box filled with board games and other goodies in the far end of the room, I wish more cafés were like this.
Once you’ve found a comfortable spot, the menu will be given to you and you will be left to figure out what you’d like. After your mind is made, you have to head to the front counter to order. This makes perfect sense as many of their visitors stay long after their meal, though it would also been nice if the waitresses would check up on you every now and then. After you have paid, you will be given a “table number”. I used quotation marks because instead of numbers, they use cardboard animals. Ours’ was a cute little elephant.
There are a variety of items available on the Giraffe Café menu including savoury dishes, desserts and of course, drinks. Having eaten a filling brunch plus a KK donut before, Shen and I opted out for a matcha frappuccino each as well as a pistachio and Oreo cheesecake to share. Both of our orders were quite yummy, although the bitterness between the two frappuccino wasn’t very consistent. The combination of pistachio/biscuit base, chocolate sauce, cheese and crushed Oreo worked very well together. Don’t be fooled by the strawberries, they were purely decorative; they tasted really sour.
The service was mediocre but I will give them the benefit of doubt and say that the staff had a taxing day. I will probably go back there another day to try their savoury dishes, so stay tuned!
* I have seen this place referred to on the internet as both “Café Giraffe” and “Giraffe Café”. I’m using the latter because the sign on the store placed emphasis a lot of the word “giraffe”. This is what I mean.
Big kudos to Shen for letting me use her NEX-5R to take these beautiful photos and then taking the time to send it to me. I’m really grateful. Hopefully I will pick up my own in the very near future!