For our last press day, the VantagePoint team descending into a very sunny Guildford. The weather was glorious, the high street was bustling, it really did feel like the world was returning to a sense of normality.
After the year we have just had, the exhilaration of being sat in a restaurant is very much still being felt by the public. Giggling squid was testament to that, outdoor tables on the cobbled street humming with chatter and laughter.
We were led to our table, as a regular diner at Giggling squid, the first thing that jumped out at me was the impressive extension they have done throughout the year. The space has doubled and yet kept its light, airy atmosphere with its natural tones paired with vibrant splashes of colours from the flowers dotted around the restaurant.
Once sat down, we ordered our starters, the Bethel leaf ginger lime Salmon Morsels and the Mah Kawn pepper pork belly were the firm favorites. The fresh salmon pieces are nestled in lemongrass served with lime cubes, ginger, chilli, roasted shredded coconut and a drizzle of sweet-salty dressing. We were told to get the most of this dish, we wrap the betel leaf around it and eat it in one mouthful. It was an absolute taste explosion and the flavours all complimented each other perfectly.
The Pork Belly is complimented with a Mah Kwan pepper that grows in Northern Thailand, the sweet sticky sauce of the pork belly paired with the heat on the pepper works very well and the pork belly was served on some fried cabbage, again the textures all complimented each other well.
Mains followed shortly after. We ordered the hake feast bowl, the lamb Massaman curry, the butternut boat, and a Thai red curry. The Sea bass was steeped in Thai spices with a hint of sweetness and chilli. This worked well with the contrast of the fresh flavours of coconut tips, sweetheart cabbage and Thai shallots. The lamb massaman is always a favorite of mine, lovely tender lamb simmered in coconut milk and perfumed with cumin, cinnamon with star anise, the flavours always work so well and paired with a side of coconut rice and tender stem broccoli with Pak choi is just what the doctor ordered!
A colleague of ours is celiac and the team were brilliant at explaining the allergens menu as well as discussing what choices would be suitable for him. The Butternut boat was chosen. The dish was half a butternut squash, filled with green beans with a stir fry of fresh vegetables. Again, this dish went down very well, however a slight word of warning, you do need to specify what heat you would like, as there is a slow building heat that might take the faint hearted by surprise! The last dish was the Thai red curry, again an absolute Thai classic on the menu, with this the side chosen was the charcoal noodles with beansprouts and something I would never usually choose, but after sampling I will be ordering the next time I go.
Last and by no means least was dessert, I would say my favourite part of any meal. However, those who know me, know that every part of a meal is my favourite! First was a deconstructed Pina Colada being the best way I can describe this desert, pineapple, and coconut ice cream with a dash of Mekong, a favorite Thai spirit (a bit like whisky and rum combined) we also chose the frozen lychee yogurt, again the perfect way to end lunch, a light, delicate and fresh flavour. A real pallet cleanser.
I have never been disappointed when I have visited Giggling Squid, it really is a restaurant that caters for everyone. Don’t take my word for it…go and experience it yourself!
8-9 Chapel St, Guildford GU1 3UH