The Giggling Squid story started when co-founder Pranee worked as a waitress at a family run Thai restaurant whilst studying in Brighton. She loved the fast pace, getting to know customers by name, the multi-tasking, quick problem solving and the skill of turning tables. But she missed the true Thai mealtime experience and this sparked a hunger to have her own restaurant in her own style.
Fast forward a few years to when Pranee and husband Andy were sitting in the basement of a tiny, tiny fisherman’s cottage (now our Brighton restaurant), pulling together Giggling Squid’s first Thai Tapas menu. Taking inspiration from Thai traditions and legends, as well as Pranee’s own food memories, the idea was to cook proper Thai food and devise a menu which recreated the family mealtime experience in Thailand involving lots of dishes and lots of sharing.
They had no money, no idea what they were doing (their words not ours!), a leaky roof, dodgy wiring and a pile of washing up to the ceiling but luckily the menu was a massive hit. Things have moved on a bit now, but you can still eat the same super popular Thai Tapas Sets for lunch.
They learnt from mistakes along the way, but most importantly never compromised on the quality of food and always found a way to make service personal and full of heart. Those values are still the cornerstone of our restaurants today.
Giggling Squid is all about food with personality, cooked with expertise and shared with generosity. At our heart is the spirit of Thai mealtimes – plentiful dishes, bold flavours and exotic ingredients – to be shared and enjoyed together.
We started in 2009 from a determination to do things differently. To be one of a kind and bring some Thai generosity to the UK. Back then, what was missing from the food scene was that true Thai feel – energetic, informal, adventurous, and truly welcoming. We believe food is to be celebrated and you don’t have to dress up to enjoy it. Relaxed, no standing on ceremony – it’s about having a good time, over something tasty. We opened the doors in Clifton in April 2015 which was our 12th restaurant – we now have an incredible 35 restaurants to date.
It’s important to us that everyone who walks through our doors feels as if they’re coming into our home. It’s our incredible people, from our skilled chefs to our welcoming front of house staff, and their shared generosity of spirit that lies behind every great guest experience.
We now have a few more restaurants under our belt but the important stuff hasn’t changed since we started. We’re still as hungry as ever to give our guests a truly memorable experience, leaving with full stomachs and happy hearts.