I love trying out new restaurants in my local area. Chelmsford has a huge selection of restaurants now, from Italian to Chinese, burger bars and seafood – it’s hard to decide where to choose and what you fancy eating! On this occasion, we decided to check out Giraffe in Chelmsford for a late lunch.
As the weather was so lovely, we decided to sit outside to enjoy our lunch.
I fancied something light and refreshing to drink, so I went for the sunshine coast iced tea which had ice cold chamomile and green tea in with mango, lime and fresh mint. It was deliciously light and had the right amount of zestiness coming through from the lime.
James went for the Orchard Pig sparkling strawberry & blackberry drink, which was a deliciously fizzy and fruity drink – the perfect accompaniment for an afternoon in the sun!
We browsed the World Kitchen menu to decide on some delicious dishes to delve into.
For starters, we chose the steamed duck gua bao buns and the chicken yaki gyozas.
The steamed duck gua bao buns were incredible, and probably my favourite part of the meal!
The soft steamed buns were filled with crispy shredded duck, cucumber, peanuts, spring onion and a rich hoisin sauce. The duck was so fresh and crunchy, the vegetables fresh and the accompanying sweet, sticky sauce made it the perfect filling but light starter.
If I could’ve eaten these as a main course… I totally would have!
We also ordered the chicken yak gyozas as a starter.
These fried chicken dumplings with an orange miso glaze were served with nouc cham sweet chilli sauce. I loved these dumplings and would definitely put them on the same tasty level as Wagamama’s gyozas.
The batter was crunchy and the chicken filling super flavoursome and tasty. We loved the two different sauces on the dumplings, and the sweet chilli sauce was a great little dip that packed a punch.
For my main course, I chose the Katsu Chicken and boy, I am SO glad I did!
It was such a delicious dish, consisting of breaded chicken and noodles in a mild peanut and coconut sauce, with bok choy, tenderstem broccoli and wok-fried vegetables.
The whole dish was incredibly fresh and packed with so much flavour. The batter was deliciously crunchy on the outside and the chicken was tender on the inside, and the noodles had a deliciously sweet and sticky sauce on them. My only quibble with this dish was that the noodles were a little on the oily side towards the end, but it wasn’t too much of an issue!
James went for the Chicken Malay Curry; a combination of chicken, potato and onion in a Malay curry sauce, served with samba, basmati rice and garlic & coriander naan.
James said that the potato was soft and fluffy, the chicken flavoursome and the rice plump and soft. The naan bread was crispy with a garlicky aftertaste but wasn’t overpowering at all.
The salad was a nice accompaniment too, although it was a little on the perfumery side.
Suitably full of Katsu noodles, I was adamant I wouldn’t need dessert. But then the dessert menu came out and I was instantly swayed!
I have the biggest sweet tooth and can never pass up on a dessert. Ever.
After a tough decision between the whoopie cookie and the cheesecake, I finally decided on the white chocolate & passion fruit cheesecake. The cheesecake was drizzled with fresh passion fruit and it was by far one of the best desserts I have had in a long, long, LONG time!
The biscuit base was crumbly and crunchy, and the combination of soft cheese and white chocolate mousse made for a heavenly pairing. The fresh passionfruit sauce was just the right combination of sweet and tangy, and gave the cheesecake a nice little edge to it. The portion was super generous – perfect for a cheesecake lover like myself.
James isn’t a dessert kind of guy, but he fancied an ice cream-based dessert for a sweet treat to round off the meal.
He chose the salted caramel sundae, which had salted caramel ice cream layered with caramel popcorn and pretzel pieces. I took a cheeky spoonful and the salted caramel ice cream was super delicious.
James loved the popcorn in the ice cream and found the pretzel a weird texture at first, but said that it worked really well in the dessert overall.
James even said, “It’s one of the best desserts I’ve ever had – and I’m not a dessert person!“.
A pretty bold statement then, eh?
Over all, we had a fantastic meal at Giraffe in Chelmsford and I look forward to returning again soon, especially for those super delicious duck buns!