Eating Out

Review: Giggling Squid

If you read my last post, then you’ll know that I’m on a continuing quest to find delicious gluten free Thai food – and this mission (let’s be honest, I can think of worse tasks to set myself) has taken me on not one but two visits to the Giggling Squid. The first thing that grabbed my attention about this group of restaurants was their ridiculously fabulous name, followed by the fact that they have an extensive variety of gluten free dishes, ranging from curries and stir fries to soups and fresh fish (though if you want more choice then head for a dinner visit, as the gf options are more extensive at this time than at lunch). I had to find out if this Squid could tickle my fancy…

GS 5

On my first visit I started with the Papaya Salad, which was bursting with a host of delicious, fresh, zingy flavours, and surprisingly large in portion size. It definitely prepped my taste buds ready for a Thai adventure, but I hadn’t noticed the little chilli logo next to it on the menu, which indicates it has a bit of a kick. I’m not sure if this is something other coeliacs have also experienced, but since becoming unable to eat wheat and other gluteny goods, my stomach is super sensitive to spices – and even the slight red chilli seasoning that this had (my boyfriend tried a mouthful and said he could barely notice it) was enough to make my tum a bit sore. So maybe one to avoid if you’re like me, but if not then I’d definitely recommend.
GS 2
Most recently I went for the Chicken Satay, which comprised three, lightly seasoned skewers served with sides of peanut sauce and a cucumber relish. The chicken tasted fantastic and was wonderfully tender, pulling easily off the skewers with each bite, and the thick peanut sauce was the perfect accompaniment.
GS 4
You can’t beat a classic Pad Thai, and for main I opted for a King Prawn variety on my first trip to the Squid. Again, the portion was deceptively huge, and looked fantastic served in the traditional way with an eggy ‘net’ draped over the top. The noodles were cooked perfectly, and the prawns were big and juicy – there was a slight grease to the dish but this helped enhance the flavours, and wasn’t to the extent that there was a big pool of oil on the plate.

GS 1

This time I decided to try something different and went for Prawn Stir Fry (clearly I have an affinity for those crustaceans!) with a side of Jasmine Rice. Once more the portion was generous in size, as was the amount of prawns included. There was a good variety of veg included (not just beansprouts and the odd pepper slice) and overall the dish tasted wonderful; my partner had the chicken variety and it was equally tasty. It was definitely more oily than my Pad Thai before (and the chicken one was even more so), but this was easy enough to drain off when serving it up.

GS 3

Both times I have been far too full after my first two courses to even contemplate dessert, but the only gf options for this course is ice cream – so I don’t feel like I have been missing out on too much.

There are a number of Giggling Squids across the country, albeit moreso in the south – however, there seem to be new branches opening all the time. Dishes are priced on the higher side of average (expect to pay between £6-8 for a starter, and £10-16 for a main), but they do boast great taste and hearty portion size – plus, there’s the undeniable bonus of lots of choice for us coeliacs. I’m definitely up for a Giggle again – I’ll just make sure it’s after pay day!