Yet another eatery has sprung up in Auckland's Viaduct Harbour - Giraffe is the newest restaurant to open it's doors, the brainchild of famed Kiwi chef, Simon Gault.
And before you ask, yes the name is a little, well, odd. The inspiration for Giraffe comes from Gault's three-year-old daughter Hazel, and explains the new name could not fit more perfectly with the at-home vibes of his latest eatery.
Simon's aim with Giraffe is to make everyone feel like they are about to sit down for a home cooked meal in a comfortable and relaxing environment - like they are catching up with friends at someone's home.
"Everything is in full view and transparent — a 'giraffe's-eye' view, if you like. By doing this, the diners feel connected to the chefs, the kitchen and the food itself," he says.
"We’ll welcome and treat them like they are guests in our house, get to know them and look after them."
Simon, who has been flying under the radar for the past two years - has made a unique and distinct menu featuring only the best ingredients sourced from growers that he and the kitchen team know personally and are able to make a strong and trusting relationship with. The menu will boast smaller dishes and shared plates, perfect for sharing or to enjoy solo.
"As much as possible we know where our ingredients come from, who the people are behind those ingredients, and their back stories of quality, passion and pride in their products," Simon explains. "It’s all about personal connections."
The talented Paul Izzard crafted Giraffe's interior scheme (of Blue Breeze Inn & Cassia fame), which boasts the same look and feel of a modern home with splashes of mustard yellow and grey, and materials comprising leather, tile and timber. Seating options will either be at the counter top by the kitchen or at the table - which goes perfectly with his at-home theme. There is also a 'grazing' area, for a more casual dining experience.
So, whether you are wanting to head out for a date night, breakfast brunch or for after work drinks with the girls this is the place to go.
Giraffe opens on Thursday 15th June at 85-87 Customs St West, Viaduct Basin and is open 7 days a week from 7am until late.