Tombland is quickly becoming one of the busiest areas in Norwich, with the well established Zizzis, Prezzo and Edith Cavell Pub always being popular, alongside bars like Vodka Revolution, Revolution Cuba and All Bar One (which all do great food as well btw!) there is something for every occasion and taste.
Giggling Squid is right in between Zizzis and the newly opened Erpingham House (an all plant-based restaurant I cannot wait to try), and was my first experience of true ‘Thai Food’. Before this, I had only had a homemade thai green curry, which while is lovely I’m not sure Tesco curry paste really counts as authentic Thai cuisine.
I would definitely recommend ordering a few different dishes so you can try a variety of things. The menu is composed of starters, curries, stir-fries, noodle dishes, and sides, and we opted for the vegetable spring rolls, Panaeg curry, Gra Pao stir fry and brown rice. The spring rolls were piping hot and not greasy like your usual takeaway, the curry was made with coconut milk (as all bar one of the curries are, which is what makes them distinguishable from the tomato or dairy cream based curries of India) and the perfect blend of richness , sweet and spice. The stir fry had chillis and basil, alongside the usual ginger, garlic and soy sauce flavours. Of course we ordered off the vegetarian menu (which they have printed separately making it even easier to order), and the dishes mostly consisted of baby sweetcorn, petit pois peas, peppers, pak choi and tofu. As all the dishes are made freshly I’m sure you could ask for any of these changed or left out, and they also change the spice level according to your asking (we kept them as they are, but did avoid the fresh chilli slices in the stir fry as they were pretty hot!). The one bowl of rice was also enough for both our dishes as we had the spring rolls to dip into the curry as well (maybe not the best etiquette, but the curry sauce just tasted toooo good). They also do coconut rice, jasmine rice and sticky rice to suit everyone, but my friend and I both felt the brown rice had the right amount of savoury. almost nuttiness that complimented the slight coconut curry flavour.
The decor of the two floor restaurant was absolutely beautiful, but you can also sit outside, as we chose as ‘al fresco’ is my favourite way to eat.
A near by river also is also lovely for a pre or post dinner walk around.
They also have an extensive drinks list consisting of both ‘traditional’ and more ‘Thai’ inspired drinks. I opted for a ‘Thai Coconut’ – gin and fresh coconut flavoured rum served with Fever Tree ginger ale and a squeeze of lime, which was so pretty and the perfect balance of sweet coconut and sharp ginger. While not cheap (at just under £7), they are not any more than you would expect to pay at most bars. The dishes themselves were very reasonably priced, at around £10 and sides around £3.50, which for such fresh, authentic dishes I thought was amazing value!
While there are actually nearly 30 Giggling Squids across the country, the building’s design felt unique, niche and like an independent restaurant.
If you have never tried Thai before, or are a regular and already know you love it, love food so spicy it makes you cry or prefer more delicate flavours, want a place to catch up with friends or a more intimate dining experience, I would definitely recommend Giggling Squid. Utterly impressed.