Latest opening: Lime Squeezy Brighton

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

 Lime Squeezy Brighton Thai restaurant

Related tags Lime Squeezy Thai Kitchen Pranee Laurillard Thai cuisine Brighton

The recently launched all-day orientated Thai restaurant brand has chosen Brighton for its second location.

What:​ A huge Thai restaurant in Brighton’s North Laine area within a glass box that was until fairly recently home to PizzaExpress. The Jubilee Square restaurant joins Lime Squeezy's debut restaurant in Chichester, which launched last year.

Who:​ The brand has been created by Giggling Squid co-founder Pranee Laurillard. Coincidentally or otherwise, the restaurant that would become the basis for what is now the UK’s largest Thai restaurant business was founded just down the road by Laurillard and her husband Andrew in 2002. Laurillard launched the business independently of Giggling Squid having stepped back from the now 40-strong group a few years ago. She has since returned to the Giggling Squid fold​ but appears to still be running her new brand independently. 

The vibe:​ Laurillard’s new format differs from Giggling Squid in that it appears to be designed to take much larger sites, and specifically those vacated by more established restaurant brands (Lime Squeezy’s equally cavernous Chichester site is in a former Wahaca). Lime Squeezy Brighton is getting on for 200 covers with around 80 covers on each of its two levels plus a 30-cover terrace. The design chimes with the fledgling group’s all-day ambitions - the space is airy and uncluttered with white-washed walls and light wood tones. While there are some subtle nods to Thailand, it’s certainly not instantly recognisable as a Thai restaurant, or even an Asian one (even if the low communal tables are reminiscent of Wagamama). Overall, it's an effective piece of restaurant design that vastly improves on what was in the space previously. 


The menu:​ The menu is largely based on the top selling dishes at Giggling Squid. There is little that’s unfamiliar for those that frequent Anglo/Thai restaurants: pad Thai, green curry, red curry, Massaman curry are all present and correct. Laurillard has played around with some dish names to make them more accessible to a Western audience, for example Lime Squeezy’s pad kra pao (chicken stir fried with holy basil) is billed as peckish chicken stir fry. Served with rice in most cases, main courses range from £10.50 to £13.50 while small plates are all between £6 and £7. 

And another thing:​ Breakfast and brunch was a core part of the proposition at launch with a dedicated menu that fused Thai and Western morning favourites but appears to be have been dropped with both restaurants now opening from 12pm. 

Thai expectations? Lime Squeezy's eyes might have been bigger than its stomach

The decision to take such hulking sites seems totally at odds with Lime Squeezy’s desire to be a faster-paced counterpoint to Giggling Squid that trades throughout the day. Close to 200 covers felt like overkill for the site's last occupant (especially as there were already three PizzaExpress restaurants in Brighton & Hove) and it certainly feels the same for Lime Squeezy. While it’s no secret that mid-week lunches are difficult for a lot of casual dining brands at the moment the restaurant would appear to be having a particularly tough time of it with just a handful of covers filled on an (admittedly very warm) mid-week lunch service.  

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