A couple of weeks ago we were invited to Giggling Squid in Brighton for a sneak peek into their Christmas Menu ahead of their release date in early December. I was particularly intrigued as normally Christmas menu’s consist of Roast Turkey, roast potatoes and Christmas Pudding, so I was excited to see the Thai cuisine take on a typically traditional menu. I am a big fan of Giggling Squid, although I’d never visited their Brighton restaurant before, I’ve always been to one in Hove. Inside the restaurant is bigger than I expected with three floors and plenty of seating. We were sat on the second floor, which was a basic dining area with simple furniture, it didn’t seem to have the higher-end feel of the Hove restaurant, but was full with families and couples dining out so had a busy, friendly vibe instead.
We were given the Christmas Menu, which had two main choices, a more ‘standard’ three course meal for £24.95 which included mainly curries and stir fries, or for a little extra at £29.95 you could choose a three course meal with a few added extras like a glass of Christmas Spritz and higher-end choices like Seabass or Steak. We are both Vegetarian (and V is allergic to fish), so with one veggie selection on each menu, we were a bit limited – but chose to try both the menu’s and share all the veggie dishes between us.
Starters: For our starters we ordered the Vegetable Spring Rolls and Sweetcorn Fritters, which are my absolute favourite at Giggling Squid and I was so pleased to see them on the Christmas menu! They did not disappoint at all, I love how Giggling Squid flavour their corn fritters with aromatic lime leaves, it gives such a strong Thai taste and fragrance, they are simply divine. We were slightly surprised when our starters arrived as I think the waitress had forgotten to bring us Prawn Crackers (I can eat then, even if Vee can’t!) or the glass of Christmas Spritz as stated on the menu, this was a bit of a shame – one of my favourite parts of a meal is snacking on the prawn crackers and dip over a drink before the main meal arrives, I also felt this took away part of the festive experience too. We tried to ask the waitress but it was so busy, we couldn’t get her attention.
Main Courses: For our mains we went for the Vegetable Tropical Jungle Curry and the Vegetable Cashew Stir Fry and shared both dishes so we could give them both a try. Both dishes were full of Thai flavours and the curry was pretty spicy too, but I didn’t feel there was anything particularly ‘special’ or different about these dishes for the Christmas menu, they were quite standard Thai dishes, which were presented without any garnish or extras on the plate meant this looked like a very plain plate of food. I enjoyed the main courses, but I wouldn’t say they had a ‘wow-factor’ at all, and not what I’d expected for a festive menu.
Desserts: Where the Giggling Squid did excel for their Festive Menu was the desserts. We ordered a Chocolate Feuillantine (which was a chocolate mousse with a smooth velvety coating) and the Caramelised Mango Cake, which as you can see from the photographs came beautifully presented with fresh fruits, cream and sauces – this level of presentation and pizzaz seemed more like what I had been hoping for throughout the meal!
Overall, I’m sure you can tell I was a little disappointed with the Giggling Squid’s festive menu, which is a real shame as I am actually a massive fan of theirs and have had so many lovely meals at the Hove restaurant. I’m not sure what happened on the day we visited, but I didn’t feel like the Christmas Menu as very special, the service seemed rushed and have had so many nicer meals just eating from their usual evening menu. This hasn’t put me off eating at the Giggling Squid at all, but I know next time I go back I’ll stick to what I know and love from the menu – and remind the waitress to bring our Prawn Crackers!
We were invited to Giggling Squid for a complimentary meal in return of an honest review – All words and opinions are my own