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Giggling Squid: Bishop's Stortford Thai restaurant team supports Action for Children





Staff at Bishop's Stortford's Giggling Squid have been supporting the Thai restaurant chain's charity partnership.

The North Street team hosted a wine and canapés reception for town centre neighbours and organised a raffle to raise funds for Action for Children, the brand's first Giggle and Give initiative.

The company was founded by Pranee and Andy Laurillard in 2002 and there are now 45 branches across the country, including the Bishop's Stortford restaurant which opened in 2018.

Giggling Squid fundraisers, from left, Phajon Neampan, Tadgh Anderson, Jake Garcia, Samy Vere and Saisie Ireland (58821366)
Giggling Squid fundraisers, from left, Phajon Neampan, Tadgh Anderson, Jake Garcia, Samy Vere and Saisie Ireland (58821366)

As part of its fundraising drive, this summer Giggling Squid has been donating 50p from every sale of its new Giggler alcohol-free cocktail – a refreshing and virtuous blend of cranberry, lime and coconut.

Action for Children protects and supports children and young people, providing practical and emotional care and support. It helped 368,648 in 2019 and 2020.

The Stortford team invited the Indie to sample the summer tipple and dishes from the current menu, which changes seasonally.

Giggling Squid summer cocktails (58821370)
Giggling Squid summer cocktails (58821370)

Giggling Squid chefs all have a background in Asian cookery before they are trained to prepare Pranee's favourite recipes for customers, including some unusual dishes.

But even for the most adventurous palate, no trip to the restaurant is complete without starting with the signature salt and pepper squid. It never fails to satisfy – the kitchen has perfected the art of preparing the crunchy batter and soft squid where rivals too often serve a seafood rubber band.

Ko Samui conjures up images of palm-fringed beaches and the Samui zingy prawns starter is an exotic way to start a meal. Not for the faint-hearted, it's a fiery but delicious blend of citrus and fresh chillis on soft-shell prawns.

For those looking for a more interesting alternative to the typical green and red Thai curries, the Paneang is a richer, sweeter and very memorable alternative. Giggling Squid serves up a luscious version, with a choice of beef, chicken, prawn or vegetables laced with lime leaves.

Giggling Squid's prawn chilli and basil gra pao (58821449)
Giggling Squid's prawn chilli and basil gra pao (58821449)

After devouring the chicken with jasmine rice, roti bread is recommended to mop up every drop of the satisfying sauce. It's not the prettiest plate, but it packs a punch.

Kra pao is the Thai name for 'holy basil', a pungent, peppery type of herb that's a staple in the cuisine and the backbone of Giggling Squid's chilli and basil gra pao. A spicy sauce enveloped fresh prawns, bamboo shoots, onions, green beans and bell peppers with flecks of hot chilli. It works as a one-plate meal but a portion of fluffy rice ensures not a smear of delicious sauce is wasted.

Service at the Stortford branch was friendly and efficient, and the waiting staff were knowledgeable about the menu and ready to recommend their own favourites and explain ingredients, despite a busy restaurant.

Giggling Squid's salt and pepper squid (58821459)
Giggling Squid's salt and pepper squid (58821459)

* The Giggler, Giggling Squid's fund-raising, alcohol-free cocktail, is available until September 4.

Giggling Squid's Samui zingy prawns
Giggling Squid's Samui zingy prawns
Giggling Squid chicken paneang (58821400)
Giggling Squid chicken paneang (58821400)

Review by Sinead Corr



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