Giggling Squid might not sound like the ideal place for a vegetarian to eat - but their new menu is perfect for anyone who doesn't eat meat or fish. 

After a long week at work, there's nothing better than avoiding the task of cooking by heading out to eat. 

So, when Giggling Squid offered me the chance to try their new vegan offerings after work on a Friday, I could hardly say no. 

The Winchester restaurant opened in 2022 at the former Slug and Lettuce space in The Square and spans over two floors. 

It is beautifully decorated with light, feminine wallpaper and delicate furnishings. The smell of the food hits you the instant you walk through the door - I couldn't wait to give it a go. 

We were guided to our table, tucked away in the corner next to the window which felt very private but also the perfect opportunity to people-watch those on the street below. 

This January the restaurant launched a new vegan starter - Salt & Pepper Chilli Mushrooms, a twist on their iconic Salt & Pepper Squid.

Hampshire Chronicle: I'm still thinking about the Salt & Pepper Chilli MushroomsI'm still thinking about the Salt & Pepper Chilli Mushrooms (Image: Newsquest)I'm not a big fan of mushrooms, so I was a bit dubious, but they were incredible. 

The mushrooms were coated in a delicious crispy coating that was almost addictive, and the sweet chilli sauce enhanced the flavour even more.  

We also had the vegetable spring rolls to share which were fresh and full of flavour, but we both kept returning to the Salt & Pepper Chilli Mushrooms.

It's safe to say if I had been given a full meal of this dish I would have been very happy.

But, unfortunately, that's not the way the world works but luckily the mains were incredible. 

Hampshire Chronicle: Our mains were presented beautifully Our mains were presented beautifully (Image: Newsquest)My partner tucked into a Chicken Paneang while I gave the Vegetable Thai Red Curry a go. We also had sticky rice and roti to help mop up the sauce. 

The presentation was gorgeous, my curry arrived in a little metal pan - lid and all - which was a very fun touch. Of course, the sticky rice arrived in a classic bamboo steamer.

Both curries were full to the brim with fresh vegetables and had brilliant flavour. I'm ashamed to say that I may have gone a bit pink from the spice,  but that doesn't mean I enjoyed it any less. 

It's undeniable that Giggling Squid is a beautiful place, the table settings were gorgeous and the food looked stunning. 

I wouldn't say it's an authentic Thai experience, but I don't think it is trying to be. 

If you want to go to a restaurant where everyone will be happy - regardless of their diet - Giggling Squid could be a good choice.