We send guest blogger David McCarthy to check out the grand reopening of Hove favourite, the Giggling Squid…
Giggling Squid in Hove has long been a favourite with fans of Thai food, so it was a sad day indeed when they had to close their doors in July. An unexpectedly violent freak storm brought hailstones and flash flooding in its wake, and led to all four floors of the property being extensively damaged. Thankfully, the original branch of this now ten-strong chain is just a few miles away in Brighton, so Hove regulars had somewhere to go to get their fix of the unique Thai tapas until their local restaurant reopened this month after an impressive £150,000 refit.
Co-owned by Pranee Laurillard and her husband Andy, Giggling Squid was only launched in 2009 but it’s clear from their success that they’re obviously doing something right. During one of the worst economic downturns we’ve seen, their unique concept of serving rustic Thai cuisine in the style of tapas has taken them from strength to strength. They now run ten restaurants, with another three set to open in early 2015.
This week, Giggling Squid threw a party to celebrate their re-opening in Hove, and a new-look interior was unveiled for the first time, now boasting a high-end atmosphere to go with Giggling Squid’s distinctive use of reclaimed timber sourced from Brighton’s skips and driftwood from the beaches.
The lunch menu offers a choice of six tapas-style tasting sets costing between £9.25 and £11.50, allowing you to sample lots of different dishes in a single sitting, whilst the evening menu is more extensive with over 50 dishes. Each dish is wonderfully presented and put together with great care, and we were thoroughly spoilt during our visit. The kitchen at Giggling Squid focuses on sea and street food flavours, and much of the fish sold in Giggling Squid restaurants is landed by fishing boats operating out of nearby Shoreham.
We were treated to starters of chicken satay and pork dumplings, which were pretty as a picture, with each dumpling nestled on its own spoon and topped with a ring of red chilli. A stir-fry cashew nut and chicken main was full of flavour whilst the chicken pad Thai was fantastic example of this tried-and-tested benchmark dish.
With attentive and friendly service that couldn’t be faulted, it was lovely to discover that an old favourite is back in action after suffering such bad luck earlier in the year, and there’s plenty to look forward to, too.
The rejuvenated Hove branch will host the first Thai gourmet evening on Monday 26th January with an exquisite six-course tasting menu costing £35 each. The gourmet menu allows customers to try smaller portions of new and favourite dishes all in one sitting, and will then be served at other Giggling Squid restaurants throughout 2015. For an extra special evening on the 26th, you can opt to enjoy the menu with paired wines for each course for £49 per person. The wines will be selected by Toby Peirce of Brighton and Hove-based Quaff wines, who supplies all Giggling Squid restaurants.
We’re so glad to see Giggling Squid back on its feet, and look forward to many return visits.