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“12.5% 'optional' service charge”

Giraffe - Royal Festival Hall
Ranked #2,233 of 23,873 Restaurants in London
Price range: US$4 - US$25
Cuisines: International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Southbank
Description: Freshly cooked food for everyone served to the sound of great music - guaranteed to make you feel good!
Reviewed 25 May 2014

It was ok. We didn't mind waiting on a Saturday night for a table but the one we ended up with was fairly close to the entrance and it was very cold with the front door always open. Service was fairly swift, food was fine but nothing special and not very generous portions for the price. Drinks were ok, but we were not offered any more drinks when our plates were cleared and other tables had water which we were never offered. The dessert was very nice although a bit expensive for what it was. Staff were all working hard and there was a definite buzz about the place. We waited a very long time for the bill and I was disappointed to see an 'optional' 12.5% service charge automatically added. We probably would have left a tip but we felt that 12.5% was quite steep. The service was fine but not particularly outstanding. I realise that it is possible to ask for this gratuity to be removed but that is actually quite embarassing so we paid it but won't be coming back for this reason. I don't like it to be presumed that I will pay extra for service; I will more than likely leave a tip anyway if service is good but that should be up to my discretion, not yours!

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Thank Cupcakegirl22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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708 - 712 of 1,026 reviews

Reviewed 14 May 2014

4 of us went for brunch at the weekend, appreciate that they are very busy but I don't think it was an excuse for the food and drink we received.

Ordered coffees, we didn't get them for about 20 mins and when we did they had gone cold. Pointed this out to them and it was rectified, but didn't get my coffee until after the food.

One of our diners had asked if she could have a poached egg with a harder yolk rather than runny, was told this was fine. When it came out the yolk was not only runny but cold and it went all over the rest of her food.

The avocado (which was in every single dish we ordered) was rock hard and nobody could cut through it with the knives provided at the table. We asked if they had any other avocados that were edible, but they didn't so they brought us a plate of mushrooms out?!

The whole thing was just a shambles from start to finish. Bad coffee, bad produce, bad management. And to boot it was almost £80 for that rubbish. Will not go here again.

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1  Thank Maneenz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
giraffeconcepts, Social Media Manager at Giraffe - Royal Festival Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 16 May 2014

Hi there,

Really sorry to hear about your experience at our giraffe South Bank. I'll take your feedback and pass it onto the area manager for the restaurant to ensure these issues are looked into.

Thanks for taking the time to give us feedback.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2014 via mobile

Looked to be a University Graduation Ceremony finishing upstairs, but seated immediately and food came quickly. Very impressed. Will come back.

Thank IanW1957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2014

Slick. Very, very slick. We ate here for the third time when attending events at or near the South Bank.

Despite being busy the restaurant always seems to work like a well-oiled machine. People are waiting, tables are being silently swept of the last customer and prepared for the next and by the cheeriest bunch of waiters you could imagine. And they are key to the success of this place.

They always make you feel special. Pleasant banter, keen eye for when you need something, no hovering and making you feel uncomfortable. Despite them being busy we were really impressed to watch them fuss over kids and take time to review their efforts at colouring. No one was left out.

Food great as ever. Would really recommend you go.

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Thank ichameleon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2014

Went to Giraffe South Bank last Thursday. The gas went off as we arrived. The situation was explained to us. Limited menu due to no gas. We chose to stay and wait for gas repair. During that time we had a complimentary Mezza and drinks. The staff were brilliant and the food delicious. We tried food we would not usually try. Our waitress was happy, kind and efficient. Well done Viola. The managers were apologetic and kept us in the loop. We had such a good time with plenty of laughs that we went back the next night.
Second night was just as good. This time the full menu was available. Again we tried something different. The meal was well cooked, delicious and nicely presented. The atmosphere happy and relaxed despite being busy. My husband uses a wheelchair and this can be difficult sometimes. Not here, they went the extra mile to make us feel comfortable.
Well done Giraffe South Bank. You have made yourself two more regular customers. Thank you.

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Thank Ruth R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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