THE Argus has sampled the new festive menu at Giggling Squid in the heart of Brighton's Lanes - and will definitely be returning.

Pretty much any Brightonian, myself included, knows of Giggling Squid. It is a well-known staple in the city which started in Church Road, Hove, and has now grown over Sussex and the South Coast into a successful chain which prides itself on “simple, rustic, fresh” Thai food.

It is tucked away in Market Street and is the sort of restaurant that whets the tastebuds with an inviting waft of its cuisine when you walk past.

The festive menu was launched last month but do not fret, it is available until December 31.

It offers three courses for £32.95, with a good variety and good vegan options.

On entering the restaurant, which used to be a fisherman’s cottage, the cosy atmosphere is immediately evident. It feels like someone’s house (well it was!) and has plenty of quirky seating areas on all floors.

The staff are friendly and it’s always comforting when you can see they are enjoying themselves at work.

The festive menu has plenty to offer in terms of meat, seafood and vegetarian options. We started with the crispy ruby duck starter and spicy kiss chicken wings.

The Argus: The festive menu runs until December 31The festive menu runs until December 31

The duck was beautifully cooked, with a crispy skin but succulent texture. While the crispy noodles, something I’ve never experienced before, added a crunch which went well with the glazed julienned peppers. It felt well-thought out, with every element complementing the dish.

For the main, I had the king prawn and bean curry which came with sticky rice. They did not stint on the prawns, which were large and juicy, as the menu said. By the end of it, I was absolutely stuffed. It is probably worth sharing a sticky rice between two of you, depending on your appetite.

What also drew me to the prawn curry was the tempura-battered cha plu leaf, which the chefs recommend you crush over the dish before eating. It added a nice bit of texture rather than any dramatic flavour.

The Argus: The king prawn and bean curry which comes with a tempura-battered Cha Plu leafThe king prawn and bean curry which comes with a tempura-battered Cha Plu leaf

The restaurant only had one pudding available when we visited, although this was during the first week of the new menu and they explained they were still sorting out orders with the supplier.

The melting heart chocolate dessert which came with fruit was very enjoyable after such a filling meal.

The restaurant is also offering a special creamy cocktail (separate from the set menu) with Kahlua, Baileys, orange zest and cinnamon. While it wasn’t to my taste, those with a sweet tooth would certainly enjoy it.

Overall, the food was all perfectly cooked and delivered plenty of flavour with simple ingredients. I would advise that for those that are not massive fans of spice to perhaps ask for their dish to be milder. None of the dishes will blow your head off, but all had a nice warmth to them.

I had no qualms but it’s worth erring on the side of caution if you prefer your food more mild. The restaurant states that you can ask for any dish spicier or more mild.

If you want a Christmas atmosphere, with more than a hint of Thai, then look no further than Giggling Squid.

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