Busaba Eathai is my favourite Thai restaurant. If I fancy Thai food, chances are I’ll go to Busaba. I remember queuing up outside the Wardour Street branch around 2008 and eagerly waiting to get a table. The inside is dark, atmospheric with orangey gold lights and there is always a gorgeous smell of food cooking and incense burning. I wasn’t sure about the large shared tables at first but you quickly get used to them. I have no idea what I ordered that first time but it definitely involved a portion of their Thai Calamari and needless to say it’s been a food love affair ever since.
The Busaba Story:
The first branch opened on London’s Wardour Street in 1999. The Busaba philosophy is to feed you quickly in a casual and relaxed atmosphere. You can expect an array of noodles, stir fries and curries. All accompanied with a selection of Asian inspired juices, beers and teas. I’ve never had a bad meal at Busaba. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve ever tasted on the menu (I have my favourites!) and each time I vow to try that famous mussaman duck curry. Like I need an excuse to go back!
They have several restaurants all over London and have even opened a branch in St Albans. I hope they expand further afield as the food is truly tasty and the dining experience is enjoyable. If you do happen to be in London and fancy a delicious Thai meal in a relaxed atmosphere, then head to Busaba! The Wardour Street branch is my personal favourite. They do take bookings but I’ve never had a problem getting a table. I actually quite like queuing up outside for a few minutes!
The menu is split into small plates and snacks, curries and stir fries, wok noodles, salads, chargrills and sides. They also have a small selection of desserts but these are only available at selected restaurants. I have ordered green tea for after dinner though and that goes down a treat.
My favourite thing to order is the chicken butternut squash stir fry with coconut rice. Its absolutely delicious. The chicken thigh is succulent and meaty and the squash is vibrant, flavoursome and cooked to perfection. Its got enough bite to feel chunky but soft enough to melt in the mouth. I love having the rice to soak up the delicious spicy stir fry sauce.
My second favourite is the classic Pad Thai. How can you not love a Pad Thai! There is nothing worse than a noodle dish that just feels like noodles with some sauce and two king prawns! This one has enough of everything to create a variety of tastes but also nothing is too over bearing. I love the lime on the side and I always squeeze over a generous amount! The acidity just brings everything together.
The ‘Must try’ Thai Calamari:
No matter what I am having for mains, I always, always order a side of Thai Calamari. I fell in love with this the moment I first tasted it back in 2008 and I’ve ordered it every time I’ve visited Busaba ever since. There is absolutely nothing that tastes like this anywhere else.
Its calamari but not as you know it, there is no batter and no garlicky mayo dip! This calamari is scored on one side and wok fried with ginger and green peppercorns. Its sweet and crispy on the edges and slightly sticky from the green peppercorns. The meat is succulent and cooked to perfection. I’d even come as close to saying that I come to Busaba just to eat this!
I usually share a portion with my friends and I encourage every one to try it. There is nothing that comes close to how this tastes. A Thai twist on a firm favourite.
I think in 2018 I’ll have to make a special visit to try that Mussaman Duck Curry as I’ve been thinking I should try it for the last 10 years! But every time I’m swayed by my usual favourites or I am just not in the mood for a curry. So in 2018 I will make sure I try it!
Have you been to Busaba? What is your favourite dish? Have you tried the mussaman duck curry?