The Thai restaurant chain Giggling Squid was launched in 2009 in Hove and has been one of the fastest growing food chains in the UK ever since. Since then the “Temples of Thai cuisine” have established 16 sites across the South of England including Tunbridge Wells, Brighton and Henley. With the headquarters in Guildford, run by Andy and Pranee Laurillard, the branch is forever expanding and their latest restaurant has opened in Bury St Edmunds. With the owners looking into branching out nationally, I am looking forward to one of their branches opening in the South West!
“Thai cuisine is an undeserved segment of the market and we have the opportunity to create a truly national brand providing great Thai food. It’s a good time to be part of that story.”
As it was my birthday last week (another year older, another year done…) my lovely mother took me to the Giggling Squid restaurant in Reigate, Surrey and what a treat it was! Obviously there was the obligatory selfie and the service was as much of a pleasure as the food was.
“Eat at Giggling Squid for startling flavours, amazing colours and original textures.”
To create the colourful and traditional Thai theme within the restaurant, we were surrounded by natural, light wood textures and furniture. The “loft look” that is currently very popular, dominates the dining areas and reflects the natural environment and materials that are found in Thailand itself.
The chairs are light, rustic wooden church and school chairs which complement the wooden table tops that are attached to a simple black cast iron base. It is almost as if the choice of simplicity is a key technique towards ensuring that the guests’ main focus is on the food dishes rather than their surroundings. Being a simple choice of décor, the use of natural materials creates a lovely, calming atmosphere which is ideal when enjoying a meal with family and friends.
The oriental use of materials is carried through into the lighting within the restaurant. The lamp shades are manufactured out of weaved bamboo and cloth, the same materials that are used for oriental folding dressing screens. The low lighting that is used creates the relaxing atmosphere and allows for the colours that are present within the food dishes to appear more vibrant.
A splash of colour is implemented into the dining area with the use of “royal purple” serviettes. The striking purple shade reflects the colourful Thai culture and adds real character to the interior. The use of colour continues throughout the culinary delights that are served. Making use of wonderful, delicious spices such as chilli and pepper, the dishes that are served reflect the importance of bright colours in the culture.
In addition to the personality that radiates from the restaurant with the use of colour, furniture and décor, the personal touch is also present within the menu. Several of the dishes have lovely, personal anecdotes and short descriptions within the title of the dish. This is the first time I have come across something so quaint! The little descriptions, some with a little bit of humour, add personality to the dishes themselves and make them sound even more appealing. They even add a few laughs to the conversation that you may be having!
The finishing touch at the end of the evening was one of my personal favourites. Upon receiving the bill, ready to leave with our bellies full, the lovely waitress presented us with what seemed like a miniature treasure chest. When we opened this we found a tiny dish that contained jelly beans! Yum! The jelly beans that were offered to us as a lovely gesture, seemed to carry on the colour theme that the restaurant so beautifully integrated throughout the whole dining experience This brightened our evening that little bit more.
Summing up the whole “Giggling Squid” experience, the only thing that I have left to say is that it was an amazing evening. The food was beautiful, the interior design choice fantastic and I couldn’t have asked for better service or company. An experience that I will most certainly be recommending and I can’t wait to go again!