As an early Valentine’s Day surprise, my husband treated me to an evening at The Giggling Squid, a Thai restaurant which has recently opened in Wokingham, Berkshire. My husband knew that I was keen to give it a try, despite not always being overly keen on Thai food himself (he has an odd hatred of lemongrass!).
I understand that the chain has been around since 2002, although I had not heard the name prior to the restaurant opening in Wokingham. I have read that it was started by Pranee and her husband in a tiny fisherman’s cottage in Brighton. The company now boasts 21 restaurants throughout the UK.
When we arrived, we found the interior of the restaurant to be stylish and full of character, boasting some eye-catching ceiling decorations. Whilst we were left waiting in the reception area for quite a while, when a member of staff did approach, we quickly found ourselves seated and ready to order drinks.
To start with, my husband ordered a Singha beer whilst I chose the Hibiscus Spritz, one of their guest cocktails combining Hibiscus infused vodka, strawberries and dry rose wine, topped with soda. I have to say, it really was delightfully refreshing and tasty.
Next, we moved onto starters. Not knowing how large the main course would be, we decided to share a started of Moo Ping. This consisted of 3 grilled marinated pork skewers with a Tamarind dipping sauce. We both thoroughly enjoyed this dish, although I unfortunately forgot to take a photograph as I was too busy eating!
For our main course, I opted for the Chicken Chilli and Basil Gra Pao with a side order of Jasmine Rice. The dish was a stir fry of vegetables with chilli and holy basil. There was a sweetness to the dish which perfectly complimented the heat of the chilli. We both thought the dish was absolutely delicious, although I did leave the mushrooms for my husband to eat as I am not the biggest fan of them.
My husband opted for the Chicken Tropical Jungle Curry (Keang Pa), being the spiciest curry on their menu, along with a side order of sticky rice. My husband did enjoy his curry, although he descibed it as being very similar in flavour to a Thai Red Curry but with a thinner sauce, possibly due to the lack of coconut milk. He agreed with the description in the menu that it was “refreshing” and “fragrant” in flavour and he enjoyed the level of heat. However, he did comment that he would have preferred a bit more chicken as he was still a bit hungry after finishing it.
We finished off diner with a trio of ice creams. My husband went for two scoops of Banana & Honey ice cream, whereas I chose one scoop of the Banana & Honey and one of the Brighton Rose ice cream. Both were delicious, although my husband suggested that it would have been nice to have more sorbet options on the menu as sorbet is more refreshing than ice cream after a meal, however the only sorbet on offer was Lemongrass & Basil and, as mentioned above, he is really not a fan of lemongrass.
In total, the bill came to approximately £54, plus a 10% service charge. This is slightly higher than we normally pay for a meal out, since so many restaurants offer discount codes/vouchers nowadays. However, we did feel that the food and service were of a good standard.
On a separate note, I want to mention the high standard of service received from our waitress. I did not catch her name, however she was a younger waitress with braces. Her service was very prompt, professional and friendly and it was a pleasure to have her as our waitress for the evening.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to The Giggling Squid and look forward to our next visit.