Tag Archives: italian

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.

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Strada in Blackheath

Strada is probably in danger of becoming the current decade’s equivalent of the Berni Inn. They seem to be ubiquitous, cheap, and very popular. However, unlike Berni, the food is quite tasty. It isn’t going to give Chapter Two or Buenos Aires a run for their money, but if you’re knackered after work, and can’t face cooking, it’s perfect for a takeaway.

I know it’s a big evil chain etc etc, and I should probably be endorsing Blackheath’s own Sun Bo, or one of the slightly nondescript Indian restaurants, but they don’t seem to get my custom as often.

Vegetarian tip of the day – they don’t do mushroom pizzas, but they have a special code-phrase that enables a mushroom pizza… “Cotto with no ham”. Last time I tried this, the waitress told me that it was a bit silly to order a ham pizza with no ham, and it would be cheaper to make it from a margherita with extra toppings… Then she checked it, and agreed that the Cotto sans cotto was the cheaper option. The asparagus risotto is nice too.

Strada Restaurant, Blackheath

From their site:

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 12noon till 11pm. Sunday 12noon till 10.30pm.
Telephone: 020 8318 6644

Google Map here.

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