Monday, November 26, 2012

Cafe Giraffe

November 22, 2012


I noticed Cafe Giraffe while flicking through the Cheap Eats guide a few weeks ago and was surprised that I'd never heard of it before. It seems I have been willfully ignoring it, as I've walked past its sign several times before and there is no shortage of blog reviews online (see link list below). Unlike many of the city's lunchtime options, it's open until 11pm and on Saturdays which makes it pleasingly accessible to us employees of the northern 'burbs.


Cafe Giraffe feels almost like a nursery with adult-sized furniture - the white walls and wooden shelves hold pastel ornaments and curiosities, books and board games. G-I-R-A-F-F-E is spelled  instructively across the wall, and the menus match loopy printing with colour pictures for many dishes.


The options are unchallenging and inexpensive - nachos and dumplings, lasagne, meatballs, pasta and risotto at $8-12 per plate. There are no special markings for veg*ns and coeliacs but it's pretty easy to spot the vegetarian and gluten-free items from their descriptions; vegans might need to quiz the staff. Michael's chilli spinach risotto ($12) was simple and nothing special.


I chose the boldest and priciest meal, a cheese fondue ($8) with grilled mushrooms ($3.50) and pretzels ($3) and had a lot of fun with it. It's creamy and savoury without excessive richness... that is, until you (OK, I) dip a soup spoon in and take it all too far. Best stick with the regulation dippers.


I lacked the childish audacity to follow up with a chocolate fondue (into which you can dip fruit, cake and marshmallows) but did find room for a sticky date pudding with honey walnuts ($8.50). It was passable at best.


Many of the customers around us seemed more interested in a cup of tea and a catch-up with friends. Some extended their visits with dessert or a card game; few ordered a meal. Cafe Giraffe's primary appeal is that it's a calm and relatively spacious refuge in a gobble-it-down-and-get-out city. The staff we encountered were very sweet. Most of the menu is pretty unmemorable, but I'd go back for fondue with a friend.
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Cafe Giraffe
302 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne
9640 0889
facebook page

Accessibility: There are a few steps up on entry, from memory the interior is relatively flat and tables are generously spaced. Orders and payment are made at a low-ish counter. We didn't visit the toilets.

4 comments:

  1. I agree; Cafe Giraffe is pretty cute for a place to catch up with a friend rather than a food destination. That said, it's very reasonably priced and the food isn't bad.

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    1. Hi misschievously! You're right, the prices aren't too high. I can see why it seems to be popular with students.

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  2. thanks for referring me. I plan to visit again. I didn't know that they have vegan food there. :)

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    1. You're welcome, Sally! I'm not sure if they do have vegan food, we ate a fair bit of dairy.

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