I’ve previously set my stance on chain restaurants both here at Pizza Express and first of all at Hickory Smokehouse. So here I am, happily reviewing another in the hope that people will go and try it out (which you more than likely will anyway as it’s a relative new name to the Midlands (me included), the only other restaurant being in Stratford).
The Giggling Squid is a series of restaurants serving Thai food, in a tapas style.
It’s a fairly large chain, currently concentrated down south and in London, a trend mirrored on Warwick’s High Street, as the restaurant opens almost in tandem with hit southern coffee chain, Coffee #1 across the road.
On their preview opening night, attended by locals and invitees, it was a pleasure to meet Pranee, the brains and founder behind The Giggling Squid. Quietly charming and humble, pictured here next to her very own bespoke handmade weavings (as humble as one can be in a Snow White-esque fur lined cape…) She founded the family business in a ramshackled fisherman’s cottage in Brighton, wanting to share her native Thai cooking developed from a young age. The unusual name (always high on my question list) was born following an off-the-cuff nickname given to one of their children.
Camilla, Marketing Director for The Giggling Squid, was also lovely, sharing her passion for the family, the brand and the relaxed environment and experience it offers to guests.
The restaurant, as are the majority of the GS places, also benefits from a cosy interior in one of Warwick’s listed buildings. We were told 14 of the current 18 restaurants are housed in listed properties – so it’s Thai food plus heritage surroundings wherever you are in the Giggling Squid territory.
On to food and after simply attending the preview opening night, I obviously can’t comment on the menu as a whole. However if the preview night street food-style canapés are anything to go by, lunch or dinner here would be pretty ace.
I’d definitely be back for lashings more of the exquisitely crispy battered squid-in-a-cone, their divine chicken satay, their pad thai that actually tastes like the real deal and those superb sweetcorn fritter lollipops.
I particularly like the look of their set lunch menus, with options such as the ‘Hungry Squid’ or the ‘One Giggling Squid: foodie feasts including 4 dishes, such as Green Thai Curry, stir fries, that beautiful squid & a jasmine rice, all in mini portions – right up my street.
Han Eats sees The Giggling Squid as a casual restaurant serving actually quite authentic (bar a couple of curry sauce thickeners for Western tastes) and very tasty Thai food, which is suitable for a wide audience at an affordable price, in historic but stylish and laidback settings. I’ll be returning to Warwick to try that ‘Hungry Squid‘ lunch for sure, and maybe just maybe some additional crispy squid. Oh yeah, and their alternative Christmas menus wouldn’t be a bad shout either.
1-3 High Street
Tweets & Insta: @gigglingsquid
Disclosure: everybody attending the opening night of The Giggling Squid Warwick was privy to an evening of complimentary booze, service and Thai street tapas. I’m writing about it because I liked it and think you will too and not for any other reason, as always.