The restaurant Giggling Squid opened in Earls Street on 2nd May and has been busy ever since - a great acclaim during these lean times - and I can see why. More than just the novelty of a new restaurant, Giggling Squid has given me a completely new culinary experience offering some of the most flavoursome food, fresh and fragrant, that I have ever eaten. Giggling Squid is a restaurant chain, and as such passions and flavours can become watered down over time but as I walked through the flower festooned entrance, I had high hopes. My interest was heightened by the down to Earth, hearty back story Giggling Squid is built upon - Thailand chef, Pranee, bringing the ‘real’ taste of Thailand from her childhood to life here in England - offering ingredients such as jicama and betel leaf, which made me reach for Google knowledge. I am relieved to say I had a thoroughly enjoyable meal enhanced by the attentive Giggling Squid team who seemed genuinely happy in their work, informative and fun. The atmosphere is very relaxed and happy. Giggling Squid wields a strong brand - I can hear the voice of founder Pranee ringing in my ears and see their ornate, almost dancing, logo before my eyes still - their truly inspiring dishes and their exciting and varied children’s menu make them stand out from the crowd. Children's menus are lacking in many other restaurants who dress up chicken nuggets into a 'culturally alternative dish' or provide very little choice. Their stand out dishes for me were the starters. Opting for 'Thai Salmon Nests' the taste was truly zingy, fresh and hearty. Their Sweet Jicama Salad was mouth watering and I also urge you to try their home made prawn crackers which, in my opinion, are how prawn crackers should be. The menu provided variety and prices range from £5.95 for starters and £9.50 for mains. In Maidstone we are lucky to have an array of restaurants and Giggling Squid has just gone to the top of my list. It will take some doing to knock Giggling Squid off of top spot. Check out their website. If you are looking for a meal out Giggling Squid is a must!