I had my first class-free Tuesday for the first time in ages. The plan was to go to Monash, pick up my court report and study in the law library all day but it turned out that Adam had a day off today so I ended up meeting him in the city for lunch instead (this was after I spent a solid morning studying at RMIT so don’t you think that I had a work-free day!). We were originally planning on taking advantage of Kri Kri Mezethopoleion‘s $24.50 p/h lunch banquet which sounded like it would be of extremely good value (even better, I was entitled to 25% thanks to my entertainment book card) but we decided to abort at the very last minute. Adam’s still feeling dodgy (hence, shorter appetite) and I really didn’t want a huge lunch so we ended up going to Cafe Giraffe, which was first reviewed on lovely Jan’s xanga. For us, the selling point was food at $8 or less – can’t go wrong with that!
Now the cafe is located on Little Lonsdale St, which isn’t really the prettiest street in the city. In fact, all the buildings look drab and deary including Cafe Giraffe. Even though I would walk past that place every now and then after work, I probably would not have thought about going in there had it not been for Jan’s review, to be honest.
While the outside of the cafe is as drab as a legal eagle who works in nearby William St, the inside is sunny and cheerful. The front room (which houses a few tables and the main counter) isn’t very big but if you look past the back wall, there is a door which leads you to a sunnier dining area filled with tables, chairs and all these cute little trinkets that the owners have lovingly placed all around the room. I swear, there were so many cute little things that I wanted to take a photo of every one of them. The problem though, was that there were enough pretty objects to fill a year 12 student’s VCE photography folio and so I just took the one photo (above). If you want to see more photos, Jan’s blog will have them.
Okay fine, I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the namesake giraffe which was standing underneath the (fake) tree in the middle of the room.
My shepherd’s pie with salad ($8) and apple juice ($3.50). Okay, it wasn’t a very big pie but for $8, who’s complaining? It tasted quite different from most shepherd’s pies I’ve had in that this one tasted a LOT like spag bol. It even had a thin layer of bechamel sauce on the bottom. It was tasty, yes, and it was surprisingly filling but I doubt that I would order it again next time.
Adam’s Moroccan meatloaf (also $8). It too came with a salad and a bed of mashed potatoes. To be honest, it tasted like a normal meatloaf and I failed to see what was so “Moroccan” about it. Heck, my pie had more spice and zing to it than the freakin’ meatloaf. Like the pie though, I didn’t think it tasted that bad – it was fine actually – but again, nothing to order and recommend to your friends.
In short, filling food (especially the heartier dishes) at very reasonable prices. While I wouldn’t go just for the food (they were just okay) or the coffee (Adam’s long black ($3) had way too much water in it), it’s definitely a place where you can sit down and fill your stomach up when you’re feeling down. Seriously, this place is practically injected with a dose of sunshine, even though the weather was dull today. And hey, it was very hard for me to stay stressed and frowny after seeing Mr Giraffe!
Aside: I made mini chicken and mushroom pies on Sunday morning, using the Little Pies and Cakes recipe book published by The Australian Women’s Weekly. I followed the recipe step by step and also added a few extra ingredients to it, including an extra clove of garlic, cumin and paprika. Stupid me didn’t think to blind-bake the crusts before spooning the fillings in which explains why the filling was a little bit dry but that didn’t stop the masses from taking my pies by the handful later that day…