If you’re looking for delicious comfort food this Christmas, order up a storm with Giggling Squid’s three-course festive menu, says editor Sophie Ritchie
It’s safe to say that this Christmas was not quite what we had in mind when clinking glasses and hollering in the New Year back in the golden hue of 2019. But despite the difficulties of 2020, some things never change during the festive season – and the mouth-watering taste of Giggling Squid’s dishes are one of them.
Having launched a special set menu for the holidays, the Thai-tastic dishes offer a delicious alternative to the traditional roast, whether it’s for a virtual Christmas party or simply dinner for two. With various Giggling Squid sites dotted around the country, I was invited to try the group’s limited-edition mouthfuls and was fortunate enough to visit when West Sussex, the county where I currently dwell, remained in the safety net of Tier 2.
The menu, available until 31 December 2020, features fresh and flavoursome dishes celebrating the abundance of exciting and exotic ingredients found across Thailand – with the likes of tender and citrusy Christmas Honey Duck, and incredibly moreish Festive Sticky Chicken on offer.
It’s worth noting that sadly, less than 24 hours after my visit to the Horsham branch, most of the South East was plunged into the depths of Tier 4. That means eating out, for now, is firmly off the menu for most of the UK. Delivery options are still available however – so Giggling Squid’s temptations are but a festive Deliveroo order away.
I visited the high street restaurant with my brother, the first time we’ve dined out together as a solo pair since 2015. After introducing myself to the hostess, we’re shown straight to a large table in the corner of the cozy space, which is already filling up with couples and friends arriving for a Friday night meal.
I’ve been saving my appetite all day for this, given it’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to dine out. The experience of restaurant eating has become so much rarer for me that it feels like a real treat to be scouring the menu and sipping a Coke Zero as we decide what to order.
We kick things off by ordering the Lotus Spoons for starters, which arrive as two plates of delicate edible spoons, covered with fresh Thai radish, lotus root, white turmeric and bright red chilli for a hint of something fiery.
In the middle of the four nimble spoons is a small pile of pickled vegetables, which are both aesthetically vibrant and crunchy. The fact that even the ‘cutlery’ is consumable makes for light entertainment, I love food when it’s fun – and even more so when it’s tasty.
For mains, it’s a hefty plate of Curried Butternut Squash for me and a beautiful dish of King Prawns in Yellow Curry for the brother. If you like visual dishes, the vegan butternut squash is bound to please – it’s served in half of the real vegetable, filled to the brim with a dark green shade and generous large chunks of root vegetables.
I pair it with an additional bowl of coconut rice, a delectably sticky accompaniment to the curry’s thick texture, as well as fresh broccoli, garlic and peppers. The dish is calmingly mild in flavour, therefore ideal for anyone looking to dine without the danger of burning a tongue off. The staff also check on us often, eager to make sure we’re enjoying the spoonfuls before us.
Plates almost licked clean, I’m full but not yet satisfied – there’s always the lure of dessert. Especially over the holidays, when everyone knows calories don’t count.
The feast ends with Sweet Coconut Plantain, a popular Thai dessert of plantain cooked in sweet coconut milk. It’s simple and sugary, but far from overindulgent – the perfect way to round off the evening without feeling like my jeans might split on the way home.
The Wordrobe Verdict
If you’re looking for delectable comfort food over the holidays, order up a storm with Giggling Squid’s festive menu. With something for everyone, it’s perfect for a NYE feast (without the pain of washing up) or simply a moreish takeout tea. One thing’s for sure – these dishes are delicious whether served in a restaurant or simply devoured in the comfort of your kitchen.
Make it happen
Cost: £29.95 for three-courses, available from 2nd – 31st December 2020
How: Visit gigglingsquid.com to find out more and make a booking.