I’m not particularly big on writing about chains but I thought this place deserved a quick mention. I lived in Thailand for short while and frankly the food out there has always had a special place in my stomach, so fresh, rich, spicy and delicious. Although there are almost no examples of authentic Southeast Asian cuisine in the western world, Thai food lovers could not fail to enjoy a hearty feed at Busaba Eathai.
First of all it is a chain, something akin to Wagamama (which I loathe, it’s no comparison), so don’t expect a real taste of the Land of Smiles. I stupidly asked for a specific Thai dish, which was only met with confusion, and I was swiftly put in my place not to be a smart arse and stray from the structure of the menu. The menu consists of stylised, modern interpretations of Thai classic dishes, and although not strictly authentic, they’re pretty damn tasty. The ‘Red beef curry’ is particularly moreish, the diced beef is ‘melt in the mouth’ tender, pair it with a golden Thai roti and sticky rice and you’re laughing your way into a smiley food coma. The ‘Thai calamari’ is sweet, sticky and spicy, a great snack. The ‘Mussaman duck curry’ is quite lovely too, although for those of you in the know, it doesn’t come anywhere close to the massaman at Ying Yang on Koh Tao, but then nowhere in the world does.
Anyway, if you’re floating around town looking for a quick bite, be sure to stop into one of these little chain gems; you’ll feel satisfied, with your stomach full and your wallet only a fraction lighter. There’s a good vibe, it’s dark and moody but buzzy and young, just try to avoid peak times at dinner, the queues can grow substantially. So forget you’re in a chain, pull up a stool and smile, you may be a million miles from Thailand but you’re on the doorstep of a good meal.
London (various locations)