Busaba Eathai has been enticing people to try their fabulous Thai food at one of the most well known Foodie Festivals The Taste of London for years and I have been meaning to try it for longer than I remember but for some reason I have never managed to. Finally this weekend I made it and boy did I wish I had gone along sooner!!!
From the exterior you could be fooled into thinking that it was just another London restaurant.
But as you step between the large wooden doors you are greeted by a golden Buddha, the scent of burning incense wafting through the air and Gerbera floating gently on a shallow bed of water.
The relaxing and calm atmosphere entice you in. The appearance of the restaurant represents a Thai casual dining venue with its large wooden benches and tables with ample room to give dinners a fuss free relaxed and comfortable eating experience.
As we entered we were greeted warmly and shown to our table. There are also seating areas facing windows to allow for a more private meal should you prefer. There you can gaze out at the passersby and maybe even spot a passing celeb, very possible as it is literally just a stone’s throw from Leicester Square gardens and the Odeon Cinema. They also have some other sites dotted around London as well as Manchester and Liverpool.
The menu is clearly set out with explanations of each dish and special menus for certain times of the day clearly marked.
They have a good selection of dishes to choose from and icon / signature dishes are clearly displayed. Dish types include soups, noodle dishes; stir frys, curries and rice dishes. A range of snacks and side dishes are also available.
I was please to see that they had a children’s menu. The children’s menu also has some fun activities to keep them entertained whilst waiting for their food.
There were numerous dishes for the vegetarians among us and I was also informed that any dish that included meat could be made vegetarian should the diner desire.
Gluten free, nut free and vegetarian options can also be found on the menu.
Just a quick note, all small and large dishes will come out when ready so what one might perceive as a starter may come with the larger dishes. If you want to have them separated all you need to do is ask, nothing was too much for the fabulous guys that were on site when we visited which added to the overall experience.
Whilst we waited for our food to come we enjoyed some prawn crackers served with sweet chilli sauce and some wok tossed cashews with chilli and salt.
Starters / small dishes
Thai Calamari with Ginger and Peppercorns
This is the most popular dish on the menu and it is obvious why when you bite into the firm, thick yet tender pieces of squid with a thin batter coat that adds to the flavour but doesn’t feel at all greasy. The gorgeous flavour of the fresh ginger with the delicious secret sauce and peppercorn (the peppercorn was not overwhelming) had chopsticks diving back in for second and third pieces. This moreish dish is a must try for any newbie, you can thank me later.
Soft Shell Crab
A perfect example of how the dish should be made as the crab was not greasy and it was perfectly crisp and tasted lovely. The accompanying sauce with garlic pepper, chilli, spring onion and oyster sauce added extra flavour and heat to the dish. I do love soft shell crab and this was a great version.
Chicken Fried Rice
This is the perfect dish for children that are not very adventurous. The portion is enormous, both my girls could have shared it as a main meal. My little one loved it but only managed to eat about half of the portion which was good going for her.
Pad Thai (Children’s)
A great dish for little ones this was not spicy like the adult version and again was a very generous size. There are plenty of prawns to keep little ones happy and these were a nice and plump as you can see from the picture.
Tom Yam Goong
Full of flavour this delicious soup combines coconut, lemongrass, galangal, king prawns and glass noodles topped with fresh, fragrant Thai basil. This soups is not only filling it also tastes amazing and is one of the most popular dishes featured on the menu. Fresh ingredients are used to make this and all the other meals available.
Sen Chan Pad Thai
This is similar to the classic but with additional extras of crab meat and green mango. The combination of sweet, salty and spicy flavours work well together. Make full use of the lime as this adds a burst of flavour from the fresh lime. Having tried this version I would say the mango is a necessity which should be an ingredient added to all versions of Pad Thai it really tastes great.
All meal portions were generous and each of us felt comfortably full at the end of the meal. As part of the children’s meal there was an option of vanilla or coconut ice cream. Both children enjoyed the later and us parents tried our best to resist but failed miserably. In our defence it was very good.
You can eat a large meal here for about £20 or less per person depending on the time you dine.
Busaba Eathai is the sort of restaurant you will want to revisit over and over so you can work your way through the varied menu as well as enjoy your favourite dishes again and again.
Fancy trying this great restaurant? Want a discount? If you download their app you can get £5 off your first bill and further rewards as for regular app users!!!
We went along to Busaba Eathai as guests. All views expressed are our own.