"With its cosy, familiar atmosphere it’s a travesty there aren’t more of them in London"Review Rating: Reviewed by Laurel
It’s not every day you bump into a bona fide Hollywood heartthrob while out for dinner, but that I did as the night I visited Giggling Squid it seemed to be the choice of chick flick favourite James Marsden. I managed to nearly hit him in the face with a door, but by the by, if a Hollywood megastar is choosing a cosy family friendly restaurant in Wimbledon over a fancy fine dining address that has to say something, right?
Giggling Squid has over 20 outposts in the south east and with four more planned in the coming months it’s expanding. Friends in Horsham raved about their local branch but given Wimbledon is the only one even close to central London, we might be waiting a little longer for it to spread its wings into zone 2. They specialise in making their restaurants cosy and quirky and the Wimbledon one is no exception, with its stripped back decor and a wall of flowers lending it a homespun, family kitchen air.
The menu is a mix of original dishes with striking flavour combos and tried and tested Thai classics. Start with the prawn crackers, properly crunchy with a tangy sweet chilli sauce. Our starters comprised their must-try classic crispy salt and pepper squid and a tasty portion of chicken satay with its delicious umami-hitting sauce. The oyster mushroom tempura however was a real letdown; soggy, too greasy and devoid of any flavour.
There are over 25 main dishes on the menu, everything from prawns and seafood, to curries, noodles and meat, each with its own distinct flavour combinations. Given that I’m something of a spice pussy, I avoided the plethora of dishes wielding the double chilli and plumped for a classic pad Thai with added jumbo butterfly king prawns. While the flavours were great, the noodles were just a tad overdone and a bit on the stodgy side. My friend’s koong prik Thai however was exclaimed as being totally delicious; a dish of succulent prawns sautéed with black pepper, ground coriander root, crispy garlic and a dash of soy, she loved every mouthful. We didn’t have space for dessert after our feasting, but the black sesame ice cream certainly tickled our intrigue. I’d love to go back and try Giggling Squid again, the tempura and goo-dles aside, the rest of the meal was great and with its cosy, familiar atmosphere it’s a travesty there aren’t more of them in London.
Laurel reviewed Giggling Squid on Mon 21 May 2018