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Issue 98 November 2012

On a rainy Monday night the weather does not do justice to the outstanding views the Southbank has to offer. Instead you are greeted by the dim lights of the bridge and the welcoming signs of the various eateries along the strip.




Review by Sukaina Jeraj


On a rainy Monday night the weather does not do justice to the outstanding views the Southbank has to offer. Instead you are greeted by the dim lights of the bridge and the welcoming signs of the various eateries along the strip.


Once inside Giraffe you enter an expansive space that purposely isn’t trying to maximise covers on every available floor space and instead offers a layout that is wandering child, and large buggy friendly. On entry, you are welcomed by efficient service staff, almost used to the Saturday bustle and unaccustomed to a slower paced weeknight eat. We were immediately led to a table and menus speedily brought to us as were our orders taken.


For starters we had a Hummus, Baba Ganoush & Mixed Olives Sharing Platter, served with breads. The Baba Ganoush distinctly lacked the smoky taste you would expect, however with a menu that services world food this was still a filling starter. Before we had an opportunity to eat the last of the bread on offer the mains had arrived.


I wanted a light dinner and the California Sushi Rice Salad with Oak Smoked Salmon definitely delivered that. A beautiful mix of salmon, avocado and mango on a bed on brown rice satisfied any hunger pangs I had and provided the right mix of sweet and smoked. The criticism if any, was the singular broccoli in quite a large bowl. I did suffer a bit of food envy watching my friend devour one of the Giraffe burgers and I have already chosen the Falafel “Deluxe” Burger with rocket, halloumi, tzatziki & harissa for my next outing there.


The dessert, a Rocky Road Sundae, was again shared by my friend and I. It was very American diner in its presentation and filled with all sorts of calorific naughtiness that a weeknight should not partake in. The chocolate and vanilla ice cream perfectly complemented the brownies, marshmallows and warm chocolate sauce.


Giraffe is definitely value for money food with large portions and a good choice of basic world cuisine on the menu. The staff are friendly, efficient and helpful and the clientele a mix of tourists grabbing a bite after a day visiting the sights to groups of people taking advantage of the central London location. I have no doubt that when the weather is nicer the outside space is a great place to people watch from. This may not be the place you take your partner for a romantic night out but for a hearty meal in atmospheric surroundings, Giraffe, as its name suggests, sticks it neck out above the competition it has as its neighbours.


Giraffe, Southbank

Behind the Royal Festival Hall, Riverside Level 1, London, SE1 8XX



kids of the ummah by peter gould

Review by 

Sophia Majeed


Kids of the Ummah is a wonderful children’s board book full of beautiful illustrations. Sitting down with my niece, we went through the brightly coloured pages, captivated by all the elements present on each page. It’s hard not to enjoy the smiling faces of the young Muslim girls and boys from around the world, illustrated with such vibrancy. The book features 26 A to Z pages with Muslim children from around the world representing each letter of the alphabet. From Anisa from Auburn for A to Zahra from Zanzibar for Z, the book is a great learning tool for young children, as well as a refreshing change to the usual, with the use of interesting Muslim countries and names, which are often missing from many children’s books. The use of wipe clean glossy pages, in a hardback board book format is ideal for the very cute, yet dribble-prone babies looking to get their (lack of) teeth into a good book. The availability of printable PDFs to continue the learning with fun colouring, wall hangers and cutout activities is handy, and was a great afternoon activity as well as extended the learning without seeming like a chore. The book also comes in useful and convenient iPad and iPhone app versions, handy for on the go mums, dads and siblings.


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