There’s nothing that excites me more than Thai food. No other cuisine can beat it in my opinion. So, when I heard there was a Giggling Squid opening up in my town, you can just imagine how over the moon I was. I literally counted down the days until it opened and last Friday I got to try the menu. Having been to a Giggling Squid once before in Bath, I was excited to try more of the menu. On my last visit I wouldn’t say I was quite the Asian food lover I am now. Don’t get me wrong, the food was incredible, it’s what made me fall in love with Thai cuisine in particular. So fast forward to now, having tried many other Thai restaurants since that last visit, let me tell you, Giggling Squid is still my favourite (by a mile) and here’s why.
Giggling Squid is part of a chain, having around 30 other locations around the UK, but it seems to be a whole new and exciting experience at different locations. Each of the restaurants are designed differently, giving each location a very different atmosphere. All are calming, zen and peaceful, just how I can imagine Thai culture is and each are beautifully designed and have a real authentic feel with floral interiors and Thai touches here and there.
My local restaurant is their new Bishops Stortford location, just a 10-minute walk from my house – the perfect excuse to visit and eat good Thai food more often *yay*. As I said, there are 30 restaurants across the UK so hopefully they’ll be one near you that you can try if you live or are visiting here.
The menu is extensive with a lot to choose from and covers all allergies and intolerances, so there is something for everyone. From small tapas dishes, to curries, noodles and salads, it is very hard to narrow down your choice – we ordered 3 between us because we just couldn’t decide.
We began with their (to-die-for) prawn buckets with sweet chilli dip and a bottle of wine chosen by the manager. We said we liked a dry white and we were presented with a gorgeous bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from Spain called Campo Azafran. This was beautiful paired with our spicy mains with it’s fresh aromas and citrusy notes.
For starters we chose the Thai-Style Fish Cakes, Pork Dumplings and a GS favourite, Salt and Pepper Squid.
I couldn’t decide between fish or chicken for main, it all sounded so good. I went with the Chilli and Basil Gra Pao with chicken and I’m so glad I did. It was spicy, full of flavour and so traditional. It is a dish that is served by itself, so you can order rice, noodles or veg to come with it. It’s a gorgeous mix of Thai red chillies, basil and succulent chicken in a gorgeous sweet but spicy sauce.
The manager told us that this dish is one they cook up in Thailand when they run out of ideas when cooking at home and is one of their go-to’s. That pretty much sold it to me. Traditional dishes are always good to try when they’re recommended to you. Firstly, it’s like nothing you’ll find elsewhere – unless you’re actually in Thailand, which I can imagine is just as good and secondly, it’s such a homely feeling knowing this is cooked traditionally at home. It was YUM.
Ollie went with the dish Cashew Nut, which is a stir fry roasted with cashew nuts, mushrooms, peppers, onions and roasted dry chillies. He reported back that it was spicy, but a very good amount of spice and so good he wants it all again. So now of course, I want to try it to. On the side we ordered some tenderstem, pak choi and jasmine rice.
Very full but couldn’t resist trying the dessert menu…
I always have a sweet tooth after dinner, so we decided to share a dessert. We both laid eyes on the Caramelised Mango Cake and had to order it. Not only was this super light and refreshing after all that food, it was so damn tasty and like nothing I’ve tried before. I think I might need to steal the recipe for that one. This also comes with vanilla ice cream and as I’m lactose intolerant, they catered for my needs and brought this separate for Ollie to have on the side. It was heaven in my mouth.
The menu is incredibly generous, fairly-priced and caters for everyone.
I’ve heard there are a few more coming to the UK this year, so head over to their site to see where your closest restaurant is. Seriously, you don’t wanna be missing out on this.
Thank you for having us Giggling Squid. I will be back VERY soon.
* This meal was complimentary from Giggling Squid, all opinions are 100% my own *