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“Great takeaways” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Giggling Squid

Giggling Squid
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Asian, Thai
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups, Romantic, Child-friendly, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, After-hours, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Fresh, rustic Thai food in a a lovely cosy setting just up from the bridge over the Thames in Henley.
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great takeaways”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2014

Never actually eaten in the restaurant but have ordered multiple takeaways from here. Always really good quality and flavourful Thai food.

By far the best Thai restaurant in Henley. Would definitely recommend if the food is as good as the takeaways.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank JoshBooth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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443 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    180
    153
    56
    37
    17
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
High Wycombe
Level Contributor
35 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Really pretty poor excuse for a Thai Restaurant”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 June 2014 via mobile

So I've been to this giggling squid and the one in nearby Marlow. Both are much the same in terms of decor - which is nice with lots of old beams etc - and unfortunately also in terms of food, with features such as re-cooked lamb (yuk) and little or no discernibly genuine Thai flavour.

This has been the real surprise at the giggling squid - in my many years experience of eating Thai food I have really enjoyed both the heat/spice and the broad range of flavours from the lemon grass, galangal, ginger, garlic, chilli and even a little coriander (my least favourite herb) now and then.

The giggling squid is disappointing on all levels, offering neither heat nor other forms of taste or spiciness, and as mentioned that re-cooked lamb was just revolting, tough and fatty.

I complained, the lamb was taken away and I was not charged, but the taste lingered on.

It all gives the impression that it comes on the back of a lorry rather than being cooked fresh. I don't really believe that because when waiting for a takeaway at Marlow it took about an hour past the allotted collection time to get my food.

I really love Thai food and I'm willing to pay the premium that it strangely seems to attract over Chinese and Indian food, but frankly this is Thai-esque, a pale imitation of the real thing.

The Marlow restaurant is rammed most nights and many lunchtimes and it may be that the giggling squid is a victim of its own success - unable to deliver high-quality food promptly and with good service because of its sheer popularity. Regardless, other restaurants do manage this feat and it's not my intention to go again unless they fix it. Service is shaky, to say the least, prices are high and my recommendation is that you go a little bit further and find genuine Thai food where the price reflects the quality and service.

I am really hoping that the giggling squid ups their game because it would be great to have a good Thai restaurant on the doorstep, but at present that doesn't look a likely outcome.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank pc99pc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AndyandWa, Guest Relations Manager at Giggling Squid, responded to this review, 9 July 2014
Hi pc99pc,

Thanks for your review,

I am sorry our food and menu didn't live up to your expectations. It's disappointing to hear that you think it's not very authentic as the owner is in fact Thai, as are the chefs, and we pride ourselves in our knowledge of regional recipes.

We like to think we have flavours to fit every palate and, as you are familiar with Thai cuisine, I would recommend something a bit more colourful in flavour and spice next time such as the Pad cha or the Massaman curry.

If you would be kind enough to give us another chance, please do email me with your feedback directly. I would be very interested to hear your thoughts

Janet
help@gigglingsquid.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver
Level Contributor
112 reviews
88 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Just felt like a "chain" restaurant...but with servers who yell a lot”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 June 2014

This is my second visit to Giggling Squid in Henley. The restaurant was busy that night, and when we arrived, we were directed to a table, which we had already decided that we would not like to sit at. It was against wall in the bright side of the restaurant and was just by the door.

Next we were shown a table right beside the kitchen, which wasn't ideal either. When I said that I didn't want that table either, the waiter said loudly that that was all he had, because I had already turned down the "best table" in the restaurant! Both me and my friend thought that was pretty funny.

Then we pointed to the table we wanted -- a table for 4, but we were just 2.... He seemed reluctant, though there were other 4-seat tables that were open, so he reluctantly gave us this table.

Then our server arrives, yelling "What you order!?!" I said that I am a vegan, and the woman yelled, "Huh?!?!" Then I tried to explain, as she stood there with a perplexed, irritated, and somewhat vacant look on her face.

Eventually, she asked her co-worker to take our order. This second server came to the table, yelling, "Ok, you are ready to order!?!?" I said, "Not yet. I am a vegan." Again, a blank look. Then I said "vegan -- do you know what that is?" She said, "Oh, yes, gluten. Ok!" I said, "No, vegan, like very vegetarian...". Well, then it was all uphill from there....

My friend is diabetic, so we ordered something quickly for him, before he passed out. The word "diabetic" was also a mystery to them.

When I wanted to order a glass of wine, I signalled to the waitress, as she was coming over to our table. She yelled, "Just a minute!" And then proceeded to wipe a table behind me. Then she walked away, and came back. I assumed she was going to ask me what I'd like, but, no, she proceeded to set the table she had just wiped.

I thought that maybe someone was waiting for the table, but there were plenty of free tables at this point, and there was no one waiting, so I just waited. She walked away, and then came back with pen and paper in hand, again yelling: "Ok - what you want?!?! You ready to order food?!?!?" I said, "No. I'm not ready to order my food." I then added that I found the service to be a bit stressful, and that I was feeling rushed, and didn't understand why everyone working there was yelling. She said that I was not being rushed. Easy for her to say, I guess. I really did just want to leave, but my friend is diabetic, and we were not in a position to be choosy.

There was little on the menu I could have, but I had the Tom Kha soup, the papaya salad (without fish sauce or shrimp paste), and a vegetable stir fry. I asked for everything to be extra spicy, but nothing was. I asked for extra chillies that never came, and then I asked again. Near the end of my meal, well after the soup, the chillies arrived.

The food was ok -- nothing special. The service, however, was the most unpleasant I'd ever had in a restaurant. I had been before, and quite liked this place, but seeing the staff walking around in their "Giggling Squid" polo shirts, and being treated like a number, pointed to the fact that this really is just a chain restaurant.... Think I'll go back to my favourite place in Cookham -- run by a Thai family who really knows what good service looks like.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
5 Thank turkergirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AndyandWa, Guest Relations Manager at Giggling Squid, responded to this review, 9 July 2014
Hi Turkergirl,

Thanks for your review but 'oh dear'! I am very sorry we failed so spectacularly to comprehend and to assist both you and your companion. I would like to say though that, as your review was written so constructively and objectively, the team will be able to learn some valuable lessons in listening skills from your feedback.

If you would like to contact me to discuss further - please do.

Janet
help@gigglingsquid.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Londoner
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great Place in sleepy Henley”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 June 2014 via mobile

I loved the food here; it was tasty, fresh and good value. Service could be a bit quicker but it was probably the time of day - Saturday evening. I would definitely go back.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank searcherLondoner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
407 reviews
202 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 167 helpful votes
“Too fatty and salty for my taste”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2014

Confusion about booking on entry finally sorted out. Satay prawns to start were fine but not outstanding, whilst the rack of lamb chops were very fatty and the overall taste was too salty and too chemical. Egg fried rice fine but very pricey for a small bowl of what after all is just mainly rice. Overpriced in my view and just not refined.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Alan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AndyandWa, Guest Relations Manager at Giggling Squid, responded to this review, 9 July 2014
Hi Alan,

Thanks for your review,

I'm sorry we did not deliver to expectation on this occasion, either on service, food or price!

If you would like to discuss your experience with me further do not hesitate to contact me, meanwhile, I would like you to know that we have taken your feedback on board. Thank you.

Janet
help@gigglingsquid.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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