Southbank Centre, London, SE1 8XX
When it comes to brunch I love my Pancakes, my French toast and my super sugary Lattes. Occasionally I’ll go for the Salmon Eggs Royale, or a on a hangover I’m all about the Full English. But sometimes it’s nice to go outside your comfort zone and Brunch outside the box. Which is exactly what I did last week when I enjoyed an extremely exotic Sunday brunch.
Combing the three important M’s in the food world – Mexican, Mediterranean & Middle Eastern (Mmm!) – I got to enjoy one hell of a diverse meal. Accompanied by a tropical cocktail in a coconut shell and some Sunny side up weather, I felt like I was on Holiday.
I was actually dining at Giraffe, my usual go-to airport restaurant, perfect for pre-flight pancakes. Only this time I wasn’t at the airport, I was visiting the huge Southbank venue that sits right on the River Thames. I was there to try out some of the new dishes* that are available on the menu (pictured up top) including the incredible Middle-Eastern breakfast dish called Shakshouka. It combines baked eggs with rich tomato sauce, red pepper and chilli, and is served with fresh Turkish bread. It was delicious, and although tasty when you tuck in with your fork, it was much tastier soaking it all up with the bread, so much so that we ordered another round to mop it up with (£7.95)
The great thing about Giraffe is the ability to share all your food. All the dishes the Beard and I ordered were individual dishes, but we just asked for two empty plates to pile all our food onto, giving our exotic brunch a tapas twist.
Indulging in a little Mediterranean food too, we ordered the Mezze; a beautiful spread of olives, halloumi, chunks of feta, hummus, tzatziki, little falafels and red roasted peppers in a spicy tomato sauce, served with garlic & coriander naan. I am a bit obsessed with tzatziki at the moment, it’s the perfect summer dip. And this dish was the perfect size for sharing (£10.95). For good measure we also ordered some sweet potato fries, just because (£3.95).
And then there was the Mexican dish, the highlight of the meal! The Huevos Rancheros *licks lips* A huge soft Tortilla with Jack cheese, chorizo, black beans, avocado, two fried eggs and tomato salsa. Although a little spicier than what I can normally handle, I absolutely loved this Mexican feast; the Beard and I split it right down the middle to share – an egg on each side, obvs. I imagine if your nursing a hangover this is the dish that will sort you out (£8.95).
Alongside our exotic food we sipped on our exotic Cocktails, which thanks to the Sun pouring into the restaurant, tasted even more tropical. I had the Mango Colada, a new cocktail on the menu that is a mix of Mango vodka, rum, coconut milk, pineapple and lime, served over ice in a pretend coconut shell! Very refreshing (£6.95)
The Beard went for the Grapefruit & Vanilla Daiquiri (oo-er!) also a new addition to the drinks menu that is mixed with rum and lime and shaken over ice. It was served in a girly Martini glass, which the Beard loved and insisted on sticking his pinky finger out with ever sip (£6.75).
How I had any room left in my tummy I don’t know, but I couldn’t resist a dessert, not when I saw that there was a Salted caramel Sundae on the menu! Salted caramel ice cream layered with toffee popcorn and pretzel pieces. I often joke that I have a second stomach that is purely for sweet stuff and after demolishing this beast of a pudding I am convinced I do (£5.95).
Not only are the prices really reasonable at Giraffe, but the service is lovely. The restaurant was absolutely packed (no doubt because of the Beautiful weather) yet every table around us including ours was seen to quickly, had food served quickly and had such lovely staff taking care of us.
If your looking for a brunch with a little twist, then I absolutely recommend trying the new Giraffe menu. To check out the rest of their menu, click here
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