Busaba has always been a favourite of mine. It’s great food, served quickly and at good prices, in restaurants that by their very design encourage a lively atmosphere. So we were happy to be asked to review the brand’s latest offering near Oxford Circus. Busabai Eathai runs on the ethos of Sookjai, Buddhist values that help you avoid the chaos that sometimes swirls around our everyday lives. The restaurants are sanctuaries away from the city’s bustling hubs.
Straight to the cocktail menu, we were drawn to the whisky plum sour with bourbon, umesha plum liquer, lemon and grapefruit alongside an Asian mojito made up of rum, citrus, kaffir lime leaves and sugar. The décor of the restaurant is true to form of the Busaba style, dark colours complete with Thai influences ranging from golden statues to burning incense and flower candles in water. Gold, brass, timber and Thai brickwork all work to create a cosy atmosphere. The walls are adhorned with statement murals adding splashes of colour. Whilst we were admiring the restaurant our starters arrived – sweet tamarind wings and chicken satay. Oh and of course a portion of Thai prawn crackers with sweet chilli sauce. The wings come glazed in a pineapple, ginger and chilli sauce and I could easily have continued eating these. They were absolutely delicious.
Busaba has been around since 1999 when Alan Yau opened the first branch round the corner on Soho’s Wardour Street. Much has changed since 1999, but Busaba continues to serve great food over a wide and varying menu, so there’s always the choice of an old favourite or a new delight.
“Busaba is a Thai flower. Eathai is a fusion of the words eat and Thai. Differing from formal dining establishments, Eathai represents a Thai casual dining venue, offering a one-course dining experience devised to feed you with minimal fuss.”
Our mains arrived that were Jungle Curry and Grilled Chicken. The curry is served with Thai aubergine, bamboo shoots and French beans. The grilled chicken is a delicious chicken breast served alongside a portion of sticky rice and a side of spicy cucumber salad. I have to say that this salad was perhaps the only downfall of the meal, being far too spicy – and I do like spice. The spices and flavours are well put together though and certainly leave you wondering what else the menu has on offer for your next visit.
Busaba don’t offer dessert (only a handful of their restaurants do), but they do have a good selection of teas, always a lovely relaxing way to conclude an evening. Once we had had our jasmine pearls and lemongrass teas we were ready to brave the cold London winter air, complete with full and satisfied tummys! We’ll be back Busaba, our reliable friend.
52 – 53 Eastcastle Street
t: 0203 873 2520
Monday – Thursday: 11:30am – 11:00pm
Friday – Saturday: 12pm – 11:30pm
Sunday: 12pm – 10:30pm