The brand has grown exponentially over the last two decades since Pranee and Andrew Laurillard opened their first restaurant in a converted fisherman’s cottage in Brighton. There are now over 45 Giggling Squids across the UK.

The restaurants are a lovely place to sit and enjoy their signature ‘Thai Food with personality’, in a pretty, colonial setting, all decked out in pastel shades with trailing blossoms and flowery wallpaper.

The Alderley Edge branch opened at the end of May 2022 and seems to have fitted right in amongst the neighbouring hair salons, charity shops and other floral restaurants and bars on London Road. The 100-cover restaurant spans two floors with outdoor seating on the dog friendly front terrace for spotting the odd Cheshire-based celebrity and a supercar or two.

Taking inspiration from Thai traditions and legends, Giggling Squid’s menu features curries, sizzling stir fries, noodles and Thai tapas showcasing Thailand’s range of exotic ingredients. The full menu is available all the time, but they also offer a competitively priced lunch menu with six set lunch deals covering a substantial main, a couple of sides and rice, and kids are offered their own menu too. Don’t feel like going out? Giggling Squid dishes are also available for take-out or click and collect.

If it’s your job to organise the Christmas do this year, keep an eye out for their upcoming festive menu (£34.95 for three courses per person or £39.95 per person with a glass of prosecco) which will be available from 21st November until the end of the year.

Staff are friendly and experienced, happy to offer advice if you’re having trouble choosing what to order. Despite much of the characteristics of Thai food coming from fish sauce and dried shrimp, Giggling Squid also offer a vegan menu.

All the classic starters are here such as spring rolls, golden moneybags, dumplings and chicken wings. We thought we’d bypass their best-selling signature dish of salt & pepper squid this time and start off with a plant-based dish of ‘Big Flavour Mushroom Larb (£6.50).’ A speciality from Esan Province, it’s a dish of exotic mushrooms tossed in a power-punch of fresh mint, dried chilli flakes, ground toasted rice and shallots.

It’s always difficult to say you didn’t rate something when you’ve been invited, but I’ve tried a similar dish at Hypha in Chester and at Bahn Vi at New Century Hall in Manchester and this one was a little lacklustre in comparison. We also ordered a vibrant Som Tam Papaya Salad (£7.50) with fresh chilli, cherry tomatoes, dried shrimp, Thai garlic and fish sauce which is a great palate cleansing way to start the meal. This one at Giggling Squid was much less aggressive that the one I tried at Siam Smiles in Manchester which was so fiery it should have come with a hydrant.

There’s a hefty choice of mains at Giggling Squid, ‘From the Water’, ‘From the Land’, plus aromatic curries, stir fries and noodles, so it might be worth browsing through the menu online. Interesting fresh fish and seafood dishes including Giggling Pad Thai with big prawns (£9.99.) or the Giant Butterfly King Prawn Pad Thai (£15.50) with very big prawns.

You’ll find the expected green and red curry classics here – but this time we tried Khwae River Curry (£13.50) a blend of red and green curry with pork and pea aubergines served with a roti to mop up the creamy sauce. It comes with a one chilli rating as Giggling Squid have toned down the heat a little from the original so it doesn’t melt any Alderley resident’s veneers.

Like it spicy? Tropical Jungle Curry (Keang Pa) £13.95, comes with a choice of chicken, beef, prawn or vegetable and a two chilli heat rating. It’s a comparatively low calorie dish without the coconut milk usually found in Thai curries. I noticed the eyeballs of my chilli loving companion were starting to sweat. (Calories are listed on the menu, so if you’re counting them, stir fried dishes are also good.)

The menu happily caters for less extreme tastes too with rich and slow cooked dishes such as lamb shank massaman curry, duck confit and slow cooked ‘chubby’ pork cheeks. Rice is ordered separately, and diners can choose from four types: jasmine, sticky, coconut and egg fried.

Drinks include a cocktails, mocktails and gin-based signatures incorporating Asian influences. Wines and fizz have all been carefully chosen to go with the sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours of Thai food with bottles are reasonably priced around £20-£25.

Puddings include sticky mango cake (£5.95) and an interesting selection of ice cream with flavours such as black sesame, lychee yoghurt and our favourite, jasmine and toasted rice (£4.95) – a cross between frozen tea and rice pudding.

Giggling Squid make no secret of wanting guests to leave their restaurants feeling full and happy. After a belly full of curry and a shared bottle of Thai house wine, it was mission accomplished.

Giggling Squid, 50 London Road, Alderley Edge, SK9 7DZ

Open Monday-Sunday 12pm – 10.30pm.

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