Giggling Squid is a chain of Thai restaurants located in affluent market towns. There are 20 restaurants and counting but it certainly doesn’t feel like a soulless corporate entity. Perhaps it’s because the story of their beginnings is a humble and endearing one. Andy and Pranee Laurillard came up with the concept of Thai Tapas Sets and opened their first restaurant in Brighton back in 2002. And if you’re wondering where the quirky name came from, it’s the nickname of one of their children.
It was only a matter of time before Giggling Squid came to the historic town of Bury St Edmunds and it’s a perfect fit. It has become massively popular so be sure to book.
The décor is simply stunning. Muted colours, gorgeous lighting and layered textures create a relaxing and welcoming ambience, complemented by friendly and helpful service.
Paulo and I popped in for dinner, so we missed their famous lunch time tapas (this will soon be corrected with a return visit). The evening menu was filled with tantalising dishes, some of them quite original, others more traditional but all reflecting their ethos of simple, rustic, fresh Thai food.
We couldn’t resist ordering some prawn crackers to nibble on while we went over the menu. The prawn crackers were fresh, crispy and spicy and we enjoyed them with our drinks. A generous serving too!
All of the mouth-watering descriptions of the dishes on the menu really stimulated our taste buds so we ordered the sharing platter as well as a portion of chicken satay (a must for Paulo). Everything was beautifully presented.
The chicken grilled on skewers was enhanced by a tasty marinade. The chicken satay was served with peanut sauce and a cucumber shallot relish.
The sharing platter included hand-cut pork grilled in skewers, salt and pepper squid, Thai fish cakes and vegetable spring rolls… all of them delicious but the real stand out was the fresh squid encased in a crispy yet puffy batter. Sprinkled with salt, black pepper, spring onions and red chillies, this dish was particularly moreish!
Three different sauces were included in the sharing platter, with flavours ranging from sweet to spicy.
Our mains, including the side orders of rice, came in portions much bigger than expected so we probably shouldn’t have ordered so many starters. But hey, we weren’t complaining!
Both the coconut rice and egg fried rice were excellent. The rice was high quality and definitely not prepared as a filler or after thought.
I resisted the temptation of ordering my go-to meal of pad thai and tried something different. The chilli basil gra pao with chicken, a staple Thai stir fry using chilli and holy basil, was bursting with fresh flavours.
Paulo went for the squid gra pao, a basil and chilli stir fry with a spicy sauce where the squid was quickly stir fried so it didn’t become rubbery.
Dessert was too tempting to pass up and we shared two scoops of different ice cream flavours: black sesame and creamy banana with caramelised honey.
The ice cream was served with a few slices of assorted fruit to end our meal on a fresh note.
Paulo had a very good espresso. I enjoyed a delightful flora “flowering” tea, a handmade lotus flower and jasmine green tea served in a clear pot so I could watch the flower slowly open. It was lovely.
We look forward to many return visits to Giggling Squid in Bury St Edmunds. There is also one in Norwich. Hopefully we will get one closer to Cambridge but in the meantime, it’s worth the trip to this wonderful place that puts a smile on your face and deliciousness to your lips.
The owners, managers or staff did not invite me to visit this establishment and were unaware that my experience would be the basis of a written review. It is based on my experience at my own cost and I did not receive compensation for my review.
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We loved our visit to the Brighton Giggling Squid-delighted to hear there is now one much closer to home!
Yes, it’s a nice drive to Bury St Edmunds (and Norwich too). I’d like to visit the one in Brighton too, where it all started! 🙂