Review: Giggling Squid Chichester

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Since accepting a new challenge within my hospitality marketing career a few months back, my already relatively non-existent social life has found itself inexorably withering away into the abyss. 

I do, of course, adore what I do: However, I am also progressively beginning to forget what it feels like to experience a fundamental human conversation; you know, the ones that don't involve table plans, napkin colour options and canapés.

As I found myself with rare availability, just enough money rattling in my bank account to justify something other than sleep for dinner, and an overwhelming desire to have strangers concerning themselves over what food selections I would enjoy for a change; I decided to peruse the eatery options in Chichester, West Sussex.

I had always been curious about Giggling Squid, but had never found myself particularly excited by the concept of Thai food; it appears I have been very much missing out.

After drooling over the PDF version of the full menu from their website for several minutes, primarily focusing on the range of exotic cocktails, I was positively swayed us into booking a table for two.

We made our way down East Street, dodging numerous puddles that had threateningly emerged beneath us at an alarming rate, desperately trying to protect my face from the foul horizontal rain that seemingly had no consideration for the thirty-five minutes I had spent running straighteners through my hair for the first time in half a decade.

We finally arrived at the front doors of the restaurant, totally soaked, and suitably comparable to a couple of well-dressed cephalopods.

On entering the building, I was taken aback by the vibrant decor. It was evident that a lot of time, effort, and pennies, had been dedicated to the aesthetics, a notable detail being the blush peony-esque floral displays adorning window-shaped room dividers.

Of course, I couldn't tell you of the authenticity of the furnishings, having never visited Thailand, nonetheless, it certainly created the illusion that the dark, and depressing, October night on the other side of the door, was worlds away.

After perusing the extensive menu, meticulously studying the ingredients so to avoid anything that may contain any form of coriander (amirite?!) I opted for the curiously named Crying Beef dish; proposing to 'feed my inner tiger' - which, I felt, was an offer that could not be refused. 

The dish traditionally named 'Crying Tiger' or 'Crying Tiger Beef' derives from several implausible fables; the one that I perhaps would have appreciated them mentioning in the form of an easy-to-digest cartoon strip, would be the one that tells of the chillies on the beef being so hot, the tiger that ingested it, physically weeped.

Of course, had I known this, I probably would have avoided pouring the entire ramekin of sauce over the plate without tasting it first. As a result, I can confirm that my inner tiger was less 'fed' than mildly irritated, but was soon calmed with a glass of overly-ambitious sized South African red, smooth.

The sizzling plate of grilled marinated sirloin, stir-fry of fine beans, red onion and chilli slices was theatrical as it was delicious; with ingredients that boasted both vibrancy, and freshness, and had I not been over-zealous with the sauce, there would have been room for the diner to opt into the perfect balance of spice to their preference, complimented with the crunch of the greens. 

My friend ordered the Lamb Shank Massamann a dish that stated to be non-traditional, yet equally as impressive. Although slightly put-off by the chunk of star anise that found its way into her first mouthful, she assured me that her selection was a positive one,  more-so enjoyed alongside sips of a Mojito-style cocktail made with Mekhong rum. 

Due to our fantastically planned decision to enjoy as many cocktails as we fancied instead of driving, we did sacrifice dessert so not to miss the last bus back home, however, the options are plentiful, and very reasonably priced considering the indulgent nature of them, for example, the Prosecco and mulled berry cheesecake - after all, pudding and wine is great enough, but pudding made with wine, is unquestionable.

In regards to atmosphere, service, food waiting time, variety of menu and overall experience, I would hugely recommend, and we do intend on making a second visit with the rest of our group, when/if we ever find more than five minutes of spare time between the five of us - tentacles crossed!

1 comment

  1. Brilliant writing, made me laugh out loud and your words are good enough to eat, especially the comment about "well-dressed cephalopods"
    Elly you're amazing.


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