Pranee Laurillard of Giggling Squid, on bringing Thai flavours to Jericho

Way back in 2002 my husband, Andy and I sat in the basement of a tiny fisherman’s cottage (now our Brighton restaurant) and pulled together our first Thai Tapas menu.

Our idea was simple, to cook rustic, fresh Thai food and prepare a menu that people could enjoy just like they do back home in Thailand where mealtimes are about sharing lots of dishes and I love that.

We had no money, a leaky roof, dodgy wiring and a pile of washing up to the ceiling but the menu was a massive hit.

We opened our second restaurant in Hove in 2009 which we named Giggling Squid – the nickname of one of our three children – re-named the fisherman’s shack in Brighton (originally called Mai Ped Ped Ped) and the rest is history.

Our menu has evolved over time, we serve our popular tapas set menu for lunch and a rich tapestry of delicious curries, salads, rice and noodle dishes in the evening.

It changes with new interesting and exciting ingredients, dishes inspired from coastal towns and others from night markets I visit when I go back to Thailand regularly.

We’ve also got an exciting ‘Little Tapas for Little People’ menu. As a mum myself I love encouraging my kids to experiment with new dishes and ingredients.

I have so many favourite dishes dependent on how hungry I am. When I’m very hungry I would go for beef rib with coconut sauce and for something lighter it would have to be the pomelo and Jicama salad, and of course our signature salt & pepper squid.

The menu is designed to suit the whole family, there are crowd-pleasers, such as the Thai green and red curries alongside adventurous, fiery, dishes too including lime and chilli beef or the tropical jungle curry.

Many people ask me what inspired me to open a restaurant, and to be honest it wasn’t just the food itself but creating a Thai experience, with subtle décor and to make the atmosphere stand out as much as the food.

I personally design the interior of each individual restaurant to its heritage and personality. I’m loving the wallpaper comeback trend at the moment, bold and brilliant floral themes with pops of colour everywhere, hopefully the people of Oxford will enjoy this too.

We are, officially, ten this year and we’re so excited to be able to bring Giggling Squid to Oxford, such a stunning city that we’ve had our eye on for some time.

We look for places where we can make a difference and integrate into a community, somewhere where the residents make the most of the restaurants on their doorstep, from bringing the children, to date nights as well as friends and family getting together, and think Jericho is the perfect fit. We are delighted to be launching there and making our mark in this vibrant area.

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