Restaurant: Giraffe Restaurant
Cuisine: West Coast/American/Fusion
Last visited: January 7, 2010
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
- Executive chef David Chow (Dubrulle Culinary Institute)
- Fine dining
- Focus on West Coast/seafood
- Familiar to locals and tourists
- Globally inspired menu
- Creative/Fresh/gourmet homemade
- Really delicately executed, attention to detail
- Great view of waterfront
- Small/intimate dining area
- Beautiful intimate patio
- Weekly specials
- Lunch Thurs.-Sat. 11:30am
- Dinner M-Sun. 5:30pm
- Sunday brunch 11am
**Recommendation: Giraffes’ Eggs Benedict, Bacon wrapped Filet with Egg (I didn’t get to try their Belgian Waffles, but I really want to)
The reason why I had to rate everything as “n/a” is because the chef is my best friend’s brother. Therefore, under the circumstances I can’t rate this restaurant with a neutral perspective.
I’ve dined at Giraffe Restaurant for dinner more than a handful of times, but this was my first time for brunch. This brunch was also complimentary, but I would have no problems paying full price for it. It was definitely worth it. The brunch prices are actually really affordable, especially for fine dining...heck it's a bargain! I would be spending the same if I was having brunch at White Spot for half the quality and half the atmosphere (and I really like brunch at White Spot!)
As good as the Giraffe brunch is, I am definitely going to do a dinner review one day. I am lucky enough to have tried almost everything on the menu as well as some custom made appetizers. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything, although I do have my favourites. The menu is more fusion and contemporary, but the atmosphere is more traditional and formal and suitable for couples or small intimate groups.
- These are complimentary for everyone during brunch. I could have eaten 3 of them. They’re made in house and they’re so good!
- These aren't the traditional fluffy scones like the ones at Applewood Bakery, but these ones were more like cookies. They were crispy soft and chewy and reminded me of freshly baked oatmeal cookies. I loved them, it was a great way to start brunch! I feel like there was some rhubarb or apple, oatmeal and definitely some cinnamon in them. They were perfectly baked and so delicate. It also came with a really fresh raspberry jam. I do miss that devonshire cream, but these scones are complimentary so I think I'm pushing it. I would pay extra for it though.
**Giraffes’ Egg’s Benedict
- Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon, red onion, spinach and a dill hollandaise served with fried nugget potatoes $12
- I was deciding between the Giraffes’ egg’s benedict and the frittata. I went with the benedict because my friend told me that her brother, also the chef, would more likely make the frittata at home than he would the benny. (The hollandaise sauce is very time consuming).
- I was very much into my benny. The ratio of ingredients was perfect and everything was cooked perfectly. Nothing was overpowering and the flavours were all there.
- The red onions were soft, but not to the point of caramelized. It still had a crunch, but wasn't spicy anymore, it added a shallot like flavour that was very delicate.
- My egg was beautifully poached with a very soft middle. It mixed into my hollandaise and was absolutely divine.
- The hollandaise sauce wasn’t really a tangy hollandaise as it was more buttery in flavour. Made with clarified butter it’s very rich and creamy here. The dill was apparent, but very mild and I liked it with the salmon. There was the perfect amount of hollandaise to finish my benny with some on every bite.
- I really liked the crispiness of my English muffin. It sounds like a small thing, but it was enough for me to notice because more often than not restaurants don't toast it enough or it gets too soggy.
- The fried nugget potatoes were great. It was cut nice and thin so they were very crispy. This is what I meant by "attention to detail, everything here is cut to the same size and there's consistency. Therefore the cooking time is perfect for everything. A sign of true professionalism.
- I think it was a simple seasoning of course salt and black pepper. (Maybe one additional dried herb, but I couldn't taste it)
**Bacon wrapped Filet with Egg
- Grilled bacon wrapped filet served with a poached egg, tomato, béarnaise and roasted potatoes $16
- Okay, I don’t know what happened, but this was the first time I didn’t try something on someone else’s plate. I think I was way too into my own egg’s benedict did I totally forget to try this dish.
- However, another reason is probably because I have tried a version of this already. See My
Holiday Dinners and Feasts- Chef David Chow made something similar to this on Christmas morning. I was lucky to be invited! Yes, we had beef tenderloin for breakfast! The one on Christmas had pyster mushrooms 3 kinds of potatoes for the hash, and the eggs were scrambled.
- You don't have to worry about overcooked steaks here, hot you order it is how it arrives. Everything is made in small batches rather than in volume.
- The presentation on this is beautiful, and it’s only a 4 ounce steak so it’s not as heavy for brunch as you would think.
Stuffed French Toast
- Mango-apricot Cream Cheese and Strawberry stuffed French toast served with bacon, and warm maple syrup $10.50
- This was the “dessert” for brunch. Since we had it in the end, we passed on the bacon. I am very curious and interested to try it with the bacon though...even though I'm not a fan of bacon...I know, so taboo right?
- The bread is from a bakery up the street. I wasn’t a fan of the crust, beuase it was a bit dry, but I was a fan of how it was used.
- I loved the combination of ingredients, the savoury creamy cheese, the sweet mango-apricot, and the tart strawberries, but I just wish there was a bit more of it. (I’m treading on dangerous grounds here…so I’m a bit scared).
- I would have liked more mango apricot because I couldn’t really taste it. It would be nice to have a little more stuffing to match the thickness of the bread too. I know it looks balanced in the picture, but because the bread was a bit dry it felt like it need more stuffing. Or maybe if the bread was a little more soaked in egg batter that would work. I wouldn't have minded if the egg batter had a touch more vanilla and cinnamon too... =|
- I did love how the cream cheese was warm and melted. It made for a really decadent French toast and the strawberries released their natural sugars under the heat. I really don’t think there were any additional sugars because overall it wasn’t really sweet unless you used the warm maple syrup. Which I did…and it was great!
- This French toast was really good, but just minor things and it would have been over the top. Ohhh maybe even some toasted pecans to give it a crunch? Or even some basil leaves or some finely chopped mint in the middle? Yum!
- We all loved the side of fruit! It was beautifully presented, clean and fresh. Pears, apples, mango, strawberries, grapefruits and oranges. I loved the variety and you get what you’re paying for as you can tell there are no grapes, honey dew, or cantaloupe.
- This is not on the menu, but was made especially for us…I know…I’m lucky right?!
- It was a 7 vegetable chili served on roasted potatoes and topped with sour cream.
- I’m not going to comment on this because it was special made, complimentary, and not available on the menu anyways.