Taking kids to eat at decent restaurants strikes fear into the hearts most parents and we are no exception. On a good day we may survive the three courses unscathed but to minimise the risk of social and gastronomic carnage we tend to stick to family friendly restaurants where the food is rather uninspiring (garlic bread and spag bol for two please waiter) but you can almost guarantee the kids will eat it without making a fuss. Plus there will always be another child acting worse that your own.
Giggling Squid in the heart of Reigate town centre is the kind of restaurant we would usually avoid with the kids. It's elegant, minimalist decor and wonderful Thai menu make it perfect for a child free date but, let's be honest, we get about two of those a year so the thought of sampling their culinary delights with the kids in tow was appealing. The launch of their new kids menu sealed the deal. We visited on a Sunday late lunchtime which was surprisingly quiet.
The kid's menu is called Little Tapas for Little People which links nicely with their lunchtime tapas selection for the adults. The kids can choose any two dishes from the kid's tapas menu for £5.95 which is very reasonable but just note it doesn't include any drinks. Both dishes can come out together or you can split them like a traditional starter and main. Dishes include lots of traditional Thai favourites and dishes you can find on the main menu including spring rolls, pork dumplings, chicken satay skewers, pork skewers, mild Massaman curry, pad thai (veg, chicken or prawn), grilled steak and chicken fried rice. All the meals come with free sticky or plain rice as an accompaniment.
Unusual food can be a little daunting for kids. We eat noodles at home but If I asked them to try some Pad Thai they'd look at me like I was crazy. Giggling Squid have cleverly solved this problem by including pictures of all the food available on the kids menu. So your chidren can be adventurous with their choices without being thrown off by the names. There is a fun game too where kids have to match the picture to the description. Little E loved doing this with Husband.
The menu flips over and provides the kids with some fun characters to colour and name. This kept Little E busy while we were waiting for our starters. Husband and I enjoyed some yummy Thai crackers (my favourite bit of any Thai meal) but the kids found them too spicy which was a shame. Make sure your kids like them before you add them to your order as they are an additional £2 per child.
Our starters arrived and the kids tucked straight in. Little E went for the spring rolls which she loved and Little I happily munched away on her chicken satay sticks.
The sauces were served on the side which is perfect for kids as they can have a try to see if they like it before adding it to their food. Little E enjoyed dipping her spring rolls in the dip but fussy madam Little I shunned her peanut sauce - which wasn't a disaster as husband and I dipped our crackers in it!
I can't not mention how amazing our adult starters were too. I had the duck spring rolls (£6.95) which were light and delicate but a huge portion, It could easily be shared. Husband chose Seafood Steetfood (£6.95) which consisted of prawns, scallops in dried chilli flakes, ground roasted rice, mint leaves, lime juice and nam pla. He loved how the flavours worked together and felt he was experiencing authentic Thai food.
On to the mains which were served really quickly. Both the kids went for Pad Thai noodles, Little E with juicy prawns on top and Little E opted for the chicken version.
The portion sizes were very generous and Little E felt very grown up with her sticky rice side. Both kids really enjoyed the noodles and couldn't finish them all. Husband and I made sure none were sent back to the kitchen though!
The adult mains were just as tasty. Husband chose Lamb Shank Massaman Curry (£14.95) which is one of his favourite Thai dishes. It lived up to expectations with a rich flavour and tender meat. I had the Crying Beef (£15.95) which is served sizzling at your table. I opted for lean meat which was perfectly cooked and seasoned.
Kid's dessert is an additional £2.00 and they can choose from ice cream or a roti style pancake with condensed milk. Husband and I were too full up for dessert but the kid's managed to squeeze some in. I tried to get them to try the roti but the lure of ice cream was too strong!
I enjoyed a fresh mint tea while the kids were enjoying dessert. Here's a photo to prove I was actually there!
For such a stylish, chic restaurant we were really impressed with how family friendly both the staff and the new kid's menu are and most importantly the kids want to come back and eat Thai food again. Hurrah! So Husband and I will definitely bring them back for lunch so we can try the adult tapas menu which our neighbours on the table next door were eating and looked super exciting.
Thanks for a lovely meal Giggling Squid. We'll all see you again soon!
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.