Giggling Squid Thai Restaurant Chain, Big on Tapas
The Longer Read The Giggling Squid started life as a highly successful Brighton Thai restaurant. Hats off to the owners, who mortgaged their home to kick off the original. It was a popular restaurant. Since then, they’ve expanded to restaurants another locations. It would be wrong to say that they have been lucky. On the other hand, they did, famously, find a £20,000 stash of vintage wines in a cellar when they opened up in Windsor.
The basic concept is Thai. Lunch features tapas sets, the regular, evening menu includes soup, skin-on duck, stir fries, noodles and curries. Sample prices: Duck Confit £15.50, Sticky Chicken Stir Fry £9.95. Tapas around the £4.50-£.95 mark.
The restaurant is now a chain, aiming to grow to 30 or so sites around the UK. Giggling Squid joins Cote and The Ivy as chain restaurants in the Montpellier area of Cheltenham.
Lunch at the Giggling Squid
On our visit we found it to be a bright, cheerful and busy restaurant. There are seats downstairs and up. Decor is no Thai required (ie not plastered in Thai artefacts in the way that some restaurants feel they must). Tapas set lunches were tasty, with especially good duck dishes and a pleasing lime and chilli beef dish. Vegetable stir fries were spot on too, crunchy and fresh.
We thought the wines were basically sound, but also that the wine mark-ups were a bit cheeky. You can always settle for a bottle of the amusingly named Chang (beer).
Industry articles about Giggling Squid these days are more likely to mention Grant Thornton or branding than the food, so make no mistake, it’s your cash they’re after, but there is some tasty food to be had along the way. You can see why the restaurants have been successful.