Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Giraffe on Stranmillis Road

This is my first "Dine About Town" series. I thought it would be fun to go around Belfast and do a review on all the restaurants and cafes that I happen to meander in. I hope it will be helpful for those of you who plan to visit Belfast. Although, I must warn you that I have a discriminating San Fran palate. I'm a self proclaimed food snob. So if I seem a bit harsh, you'll know why.

Anyways I digress back to Giraffe...

Craig wanted to have breakfast somewhere. We stopped off at Sinnamon, but unfortunately it was crowded (which is a good sign). A few doors down was Giraffe which was quite empty (later we knew why). I read a review in the South Belfast paper on this place. It had good reviews for the dinner menu. I figure it couldn't be all that bad for breakfast. At first, staff was friendly and a waitress promptly took our order. We had, as described on the menu, "a triple stack of pancakes drizzled with maple syrup", a side order of O.J., and tea. As we waited anxiously for our order, I noticed it had a nice atmosphere with people quietly reading their newspapers, and a group of people chatting about.

The only thing I didn't like, was the television in the background. Real appetizing while BBC shows a woman in labor and a close up of her cooch while she pops out a baby covered in mucus and blood. Nice! I really hate televisions in cafes and restaurants, it takes away from the restaurant experience. If I wanted to watch tv while eating then I would eat in my living room! Anyways, I digress again.

Our dishes finally came and it looked nothing like what was described in the menu. The most pathetic pancakes I have ever seen at least compared to American standards. It looked like 3 crepes. Craig was like, "Does this look like a stack to you?" I responded with a resounding, "No".

Not only that, the waitress informs us that they don't actually have maple syrup and asked if honey was OK. Honey on pancakes?!?!? What a sacrilege!!! I was bewildered and asked Craig, "Why state maple syrup in the entree description when they don't have it?" Craig rolls his eyes and shrugs his shoulders. He was annoyed as well and he lives here! Whatever, we had no choice so honey it is. So we sit there like a bunch of idiots waiting for our honey while the waitresses were discussing their next holiday in Tenerife. Craig called the attention of the waitress and asked for the honey. The same waitress who promised us honey in the first place. She comes back and gives us butter. Uh, what about the honey?!? Oh yes, she says. She comes back with the honey and with a soulful roll of her eyes, "So is that us then?" which is Belfastian for "You're really getting on my nerves making me work because you're interrupting my all too important discussion on my holiday to Tenerife. So, are you finished here?!?" I see, that customer service isn't their forte. For me as well as for Craig, customer service is what really scores points in a review dontcha think? People go to restaurants and PAY money for food, not only to stuff their necks but also to be pampered? We might as well stay home and cook our own food if we were to be treated rudely. I took a bite out of the pancakes hoping that the food will redeem itself and cancel out all the other negatives. It didn't. The pancake was very thin, crepelike, and gooey. It was a sad pancake. Very sad. The bacon was good though.

We then knew the hard way why Sinnamon was full and why a restaurant only two doors down would be empty.

£11.25 for 3 crappy pancakes with no maple syrup but honey that took forever for it to get to our table and a waitress who was more interested in her holiday at tenerife than DOING her job.

Food: 1 star for the bacon and huge glass of orange juice
Service: negative infinity factorial

Needless to say, we won't be back here again!


Time for a change. said...

Welcome to the UK. Home of over priced bad food with really bad customer service.

Oh, and pancakes here are crepes, so that is exactly what you got. And its usually served with Lemon and sugar.


sloan said...

A great place for brekkie around you is "The Mad Hatter". It's on a side street of the Lisburn Road.

Anyways. Delicious.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha, your post sounds like me. Always approach nachos over here with a healthy apprehension. The TGI Friday's nachos are a joke. You get 12 individually dressed nachos for about £9. That actually ruined my night.

We hardly eat out anymore - though there are some wonderful and good value (though UK standards) restaurants out there. I rely heavily on word of mouth recommendations!