Although Giggling Squid in Stratford is part of a chain, now boasting 20 restaurants (soon to be 21) it was created by a husband and wife team who’s story began with their first restaurant opening in Brighton back in 2002. The concept is a tapas style menu of Thai food dishes ideal for sharing to be simply cooked with a rustic style and using fresh ingredients.
My boyfriend used to work in Stratford so had been many times to Giggling Squid and suggested it to me when we were looking for a late lunch whilst mooching around Stratford. It was a Saturday afternoon in March and probably the nicest day we’d seen so far this year. Stratford-upon-Avon was bustling with tourists, shoppers and people enjoying the long overdue sunshine. We had plans to join in with the fun, but as it was nearly 4pm and we hadn’t eaten all day, a visit to Giggling Squid was our top priority.
When we walked through the door I was instantly surprised by the décor. Unlike many traditional Thai restaurants I’ve been to the room wasn’t decorated with an Asian style interior, there were no Buddha’s or fish ponds. It was simple, modern, quirky and light. It was neither lunch time or dinner, but this didn’t seem to matter in Stratford. We were greeted and seated then watched as more and more people found their way off the busy street, tempted inside by the fragrant smells of Thai curry.
The lunch menu offered the option to choose from 6 Tapas Sets which had different combinations – great for sharing. There were individual Tapas dishes available, a two dish meal combi deal or you could choose one big dish if you wanted something all to yourself. Eyes probably bigger than our stomachs as we were so hungry, we ordered a prawn Pad Thai each and a red Thai chicken curry to share with sticky rice. I was also really pleased to see that they offered Luscombe drinks as I’d recently heard about the brand and tried the wild elderflower bubbly which was so refreshing.
The plates of Pad Thai arrived at our table stacked high, served with a fresh lime wedge and a side bowl of crushed peanuts should you wish to add some nutty crunch to your noodles. The big bowl of red Thai curry filled with fresh vegetables and chicken was colourful, accompanied by a basket pot of fragrant sticky rice. Everything tasted fantastic and was just what we needed to hit the spot. Although the portions were big, we didn’t feel uncomfortable or over full after our lunch, the food was simple and light. I’d love to try one of the Tapas sets or a selection of dishes next time we visit a Giggling Squid.
I should mention that the friendly and great service didn’t go unnoticed. All of the restaurant staff were attentive and efficient despite the restaurant becoming increasingly more busy during our visit. Nobody seemed to be waiting for service or food and it was obvious to see why this great Thai chain is so popular. The restaurant is on the main road in a busy tourist spot, but the food is also top notch, good value for money and your custom is absolutely appreciated.
Cost: £23.40 (food only)
3 x One Big Dish
Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire, United Kingdom – last visited in March 2017
Food hygiene rating – very good 5/5 – date of last inspection 9th August 2017