Stewart and I always try to go out for dinner once every few weeks for 'date night', but we always seem to end up going to the same places (usually Italian) that we know are safe bets and will be cheap. It's difficult to find somewhere in Brighton that isn't massively touristy, a well-known chain, or attaching ridiculous prices to their dishes, so I turned to Twitter for a bit of help. After asking for recommendations, I was greeted, pretty unanimously, with 'The Giggling Squid'. Having never heard of this unusually named Thai place, I conferred with my colleagues only to be reassured that it's an incredible restaurant. It was confirmed- we were going to the Giggling Squid.
Quite conveniently, the Giggling Squid is situated quite near to where I work so it was only a short distance to go. Tucked away in the heart of the maze-like South Lanes on Market Street, it could be quite difficult to find if you're not accustomed to the Brighton lanes. As a heads up, it is near Cath Kidston, Costa and Choccywoccydoodah (some places that everyone seems to know the location of). It's quite easy to miss too; it's a tiny restaurant, and I'm talking tiny. There are only a handful of tables downstairs, all squished in next to each other and right next to the bustling kitchen where they make all the dishes from scratch. If you like to have a bit of personal space when you dine, this place wouldn't be for you! We were quite unlucky in that we had a group of rowdy middle-aged folk behind us that had had one too many to drink, but this wouldn't stop me from returning.
The intimate restaurant is perfect for dates (with significant others or friends alike). All staff are so accommodating and can't do enough to help you. Most dishes are made according to the level of spiciness you prefer, and water is topped up regularly without you having to ask. I had never had Thai food before, and was worried about which dishes I would like, but the staff were great at explaining each dish and helping me decide which one to go for. I eventually went for the Paneang chicken curry- a curry made with red paste but thickened with lashings of coconut milk and aromatic herbs. It was incredible. I have no other words to describe it. 10/10. Would eat again. Stewart opted for the 'healthy duck' (a supposedly 'very hot' dish which didn't actually have much of a kick to it) which arrived, rather extravagantly, in its own tin foil duck. How cute is that?! You have to order rice separately, but we found we could easily share one dish between the two of us. The portions are huge, and we left waddling after perhaps eating too much (but it tasted so good so please don't judge).
I absolutely loved this restaurant; the staff, the incredible, authentic Thai food, the cosy, intimacy of the place, and the fact that it is so quietly tucked away in the lanes that you would never know it was there. Dishes cost, on average, about £10; the duck was a bit more and the curries are around the £8/9 mark, so they are very reasonable prices for such gorgeous, filling meals. Without a doubt, we will be returning to the Giggling Squid to sample some more of the deliciousness!
Have you been to the Giggling Squid? Are there any restaurants you love in Brighton?