Much on the menu to explore, and plenty of reasons to be cheerful
‘Staggeringly good Thai food’? That’s a bold proclamation indeed. But Giggling Squid substantiates its manifesto courtesy of myriad fresh dishes created from myriad fresh ingredients that dominate the menus in an environment that tastefully blends both old and new world design inspirations to uniquely bright’n’breezy effect within the elegant confines of Bath’s Bluecoat House.
This Grade ii-listed cornerstone of the Saw Close redevelopment has fortunately retained its subtly imposting exterior… but there’s a distinctly modern party going on inside aided and abetted by cheerful staff, a stylish little lounge area, centre-stage tables in gazebos that look like beautiful bird cages in the main dining room and vibrant exotic blooms creeping up intricate trellises on the walls. An imaginative children’s menu keeps the little people happy, lots of lively veggie/vegan/gluten-free options make sure everybody can join in the fun, there’s a flurry of really good cocktails on the extensive drinks menu… and if you want your grub to go, there’s a takeaway menu too; gosh, talk about all bases covered!
At lunchtime, a well-balanced range of well-priced tapas ‘sets’/light lunch set menus includes the One Big Dish option (Thai curries and stir-fries, served with rice) and the two-dish Meal Combis (tapas followed by Thai soup or a curry, or Pad Thai, or a stir-fry) – seriously, if you can’t find something to give you your lunch break a lift here, you’re just being silly. But for the purposes of this review, the main courses are the main event – especially as new menus have just been launched in time for the summer season.
In a vain attempt to cover all bases, we started our jig with the merry molusc with the recently-introduced Lemon and Lime Tuna Petals: an exquisite, delicate combination that brings almost translucent slices of raw tuna cured in a nam pla dressing together with citrus-bathed lemongrass and shallots together one very elegant plate indeed. A second starter of Grilled Squid and Crisped Thai Garlic proved to be a more complex, grown up twist on the restaurant’s Salt and Pepper Squid classic: succulent and subtly spicy, and very, very moreish.
Appetite thoroughly whetted, we moved on to main courses of Prawn Paneang – plump, juicy king prawns bathing in a rich, decadent, red curry sauce, super-fragrant and deeply satisfying – and Royal Fishing Boat Curry: a luxurious prandial drama that puts a lively selection of fresh seafood (mussels; squid; prawns; salmon) centre stage, bolstered by a cast of fresh, fragrant aromatics; superb, and highly recommended. To balance our indulgent choices, we supplemented our feast with a Tuna Steak and Mango Salad: a thoroughly uplifting combo featuring tuna cooked to pink perfection dressed in mango, skinny chillies, fresh mint, dill, Thai shallots and coriander – a life-affirming, invigorating plate indeed.
Two erstwhile unexplored ice cream flavours proved to be a talking point at dessert time: the jasmine and toasted rice option (think, floral infusion meets almost-almondy toastiness; just, yum) and the smoky, nutty, massively moreish black sesame. But for those of us who prefer not to stray too far away from traditional territories, Prosecco and Muddled Berry Cheesecake, Melting Heart Chocolate Dessert and Coconut Pudding with Berry Compote all hold great promise.
And it’s our promise to ourselves to return to Giggling Squid again and again again – there’s much on the menu to explore, and plenty of reasons to be cheerful here.
Giggling Squid: get jiggy with it.
- Free wifi available ,
- Gluten free options ,
- Baby changing facilities
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