Giraffe in Blackheath (not camels this time)

Any excuse to re-use this picture. The Italian restaurant next to Pizza Express, il Bertorelli, is being closed, and a Giraffe restaurant is appearing in its place. I don’t actually ever remember visiting this place – not for any good reason, but it simply never seemed to be the right time. I guess Pizza Express was better for pizzas, and Buenos Aires Cafe is (much much) better for pasta (and anything else for that matter).

Giraffe in Blackheath

The photo above is from Giraffe’s twitter account. They also have a PR firm who are doling out free dinners on the opening night, to anyone who fancies it.

I’ve been to a Giraffe restaurant once, on the South Bank. I hope the one in Blackheath is a better experience. I guess there won’t be as many tourists, and perhaps fewer screaming children (although Blackheath’s Pizza Express always seems to manage to have a few screamers).

My overriding sense of Giraffe on the South Bank was “World Music and Burgers”, in other words, middle-class fast food. It’s disingenuous. It looks all fresh and healthy, but it’s really about burger-shovelling. And if you want a great article about the rise of middle-class fast food, I urge you to read this (he’s talking about GBK, not Giraffe it should be pointed out):

Even though a posh cheeseburger contains roughly 805 calories, compared with 490 calories in a Big Mac, there’s no shame attached to the public enguzzlement of Gourmet Burgers, partly because of the emphasis on fresh ingredients, but mainly because it’s a thoroughly middle-class form of indulgence… So, then. It seems the key to nurturing a successful chain of fast-food restaurants in modern Britain is to provide a less reprehensible version of something popular … while still enabling your customers to indulge in potentially ruinous gluttony.

Ultimately, we’re just swapping one large chain of restaurants for another, but with a slightly higher calorie count.


Filed under blackheath, food

8 responses to “Giraffe in Blackheath (not camels this time)

  1. Never too impressed by Il B so I’m not at all disappointed to hear this! But I emailed the Giraffe people and never heard back – hmph.

  2. Nick

    I just received my invite for dinner from giraffe. I don’t agree with your comment regarding giraffe being “middle-class fast food” or “burger-shovelling”. The staff in the South Bank and Russell Square have always been really friendly when I have been and the atmosphere is very relaxed. They have quite a varied menu incorporating salads, wraps and they do great breakfasts and brunches –

  3. Kate

    I have been, to date, very satisfied with the food I received at Giraffe. Good range, tastes fresh very friendly service. Its a tad impertinent to label it as ‘middle-class-fast-food just because you thought they served a lot of burgers. Doesnt sound like you have ever really given it a chance as burgers are a small part of their menu (They are more famed, I believe, for their breakfasts!) nor is the food ‘fast’. To each their own I guess. I think it is good news. At least this offers a bit more variety. Ill certainly be taking my middle-class backside to there once it opens.

  4. PlumBun

    Free food did you say? How??

  5. MC

    I just emailed them and they emailed back offering a free meal for 4 on their opening night.

  6. Olly Knight

    Whoo hooo I just got my invite for a table of 4. Ask them on twitter @giraffetweet

    Bugle, where does the original of that camel photo live please?

  7. Giraffe is actually a very good, very reliable chain restaurant. And it has genuinely healthy(ish) options. So much better than that awful Il Bertorelli! Only trouble is it will be permanently filled with screaming children!

  8. Em

    Er, if you go into any Giraffe they advertise as being/love being child friendly. If you can’t handle the odd screaming kid, don’t go in. It’s that simple.

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