I often walk past Busaba Eathai on Wardour Street, look at the queue and wonder just what all the fuss is about. One Thursday as I sat in the cafe over the road I thought it was about time I found out.
It was early evening, the perfect time to slip in before the crowds arrive. The first thing that struck me was the eclectic mix of people. From young trendy fashion workers to suited and booted business men, Busaba Eathai attracts them all.
The tables are communal and the atmosphere is constantly buzzing. The friendly staff make it easy for first timers by going through the menu and making suggestions. The food ranges from traditional Thai dishes such as Pad Thai and Tom Yam to the restaurants own take on Thai cuisine. It’s also impressive to see brown rice on the menu, something which is still a rarity in London restaurants.
I decided on Sen Chan style Pad Thai that was so fresh it tasted like it had just come from a Bangkok street stall. I also ordered a side of the Sam Tam (green papaya salad with dried shrimp & cherry tomato). Oh Som Tam how I have missed you! Just the right amount, the papaya was crunchy but juicy and the hot and sour sauce mixed to perfection. My sister chose the Dolly Pad Mee (dolly noodle with prawn, fish cake, choi sum & chilli) and succulent breaded and fried Gohn Tohd prawns that sealed the deal on this place. I was now beginning to understand just what the fuss was about.
Deciding to keep with the Thai theme we also ordered two Chang beers. Food is served fast and our side dishes arrived not long after the drinks. We struggled to finish the generous portions and had wanted to try the Cha teas but even with our top buttons undone we couldn‘t fit anything else in!
Busaba Eathai is one of the best Thai restaurants in London for both food and value, it‘s hard to believe just how cheap the food is. The menu is refreshed every six months to keep people coming back. I for one am sure I will be back and certainly won’t be leaving it six months.
Cuisine type: Thai
Dinner for 2 (excluding drinks): £26
106-110 Wardour Street
Tel: 020 7255 8686
And also at various locations throughout London
www.busaba.com for full details
Review by Julia Pearson