Busaba Eathai

2 Store Street
London WC1E 7DF
020 7299 7900
http://www.busaba.com/

Opening Hours:
Monday to Thursday 12-11pm
Friday to Saturday 12-11.30pm
Sunday 12-10pm

We’ve been to Busaba Eathai about 2 years ago, but strangely we don’t remember very much about it. Somehow though, we didn’t think that the food was bad, but that was as far as our memory would bring us. We decided to visit it again, to give it a second chance, also because so many people seem to think so highly of it. It was raining really heavily on Sunday when we went there, so it was quite lucky that we chose to go when we did, since it was just a short walk away from Church.

We were there before they opened, but since it was raining so heavily outside the waiter let us into the restaurant while they had their staff meeting.

 

The concept is very similar to Cha Cha Moon, with its large communal tables, and quirky fonts in its menus. We didn’t have to share our table with others since it was quite quiet when we were there.

Anyway, we were there with D and QJ, so we had 4 mains in all. A’s beef kwetio (sic) had a good broth, with nice tender slices of beef, but the kwetio was appalling. It was too hard and not cooked through properly. It wasn’t even pretending to be al dente, but was completely undercooked. It clumped together awkwardly and was just unpleasant to eat.

 

K’s Chiang Mai noodle was good. It reminded him of the lamb curry dish he had in Cha Cha Moon but this was miles better. The curry was excellent and nicely spiced, with a lot of flavor, very unlike the tasteless lamb curry at Cha Cha Moon. However, he too had issues with the noodles. While A’s noodles were undercooked, K’s noodles were completely overcooked and way too soggy. The lamb was good though.

D had Pad Thai, which was alright, but not the best we’ve had. It definitely couldn’t match up to the standard of Addie’s Thai Café, but it was a commendable attempt at Pad Thai. QJ’s vegetarian Asparagus Fried Rice was also above average, and we liked very much the ‘wok hei’ taste in it. ‘Wok hei’ is this yummy, slightly charred taste, that you get in stir fried food when its been cooked above a very strong flame, which was what we got with the fried rice, so that was a few points earned for Busaba Eathai.

We shared a Calamari starter. This was a very different style from what we’re used to, and the ginger made it very unique.

Overall we weren’t blown away by the food. We didn’t exactly come with very high expectations to begin with, since Busaba Eathai never ever advertised itself as authentic Thai food, and we place a lot of weight on authenticity. Indeed, the food is hardly authentic Thai food, but as imitation Thai, watered down for the undiscerning palate, it was a commendable effort.

Service: 6/10
Food: 6.5/10

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