As popular as it may be, the word is still getting out about this fabulous Thai food haunt, which began life as a one-off in Wardour Street before rapidly becoming a 9-restaurant chain, the latest emerging on Floral Street, Covent Garden on July 4th.
Created by Wagamama and Hakkasan tycoon Alan Yau, the restaurants have lived up to a reputation of offering fine communal dining at pocket-friendly prices, which doesn’t compromise on the quality of the food or the edgy/cool experience. Billowing incense, a mini Buddha and moody wood interiors greet you at the door, casting visitors a million miles away for the Capital, while dishes are beautiful to look at, like the chilli-prawn stirfry, a sculpted mound of spicy rice, peppers and juicy prawns. There’s also the green curry rice, which is similarly presented, except for slices of chargrilled chicken and a few spoonfuls of curry on the side.
The calamari is another stunner, simply because it tastes AMAZING! Coated in a light batter and served marinated in ginger and peppercorns, it’ll probably be the best you’ve ever had as it exceeds what we’ve come to expect from a dish usually too chewy and dull to rank as particularly exceptional. At £6.50, it’s considerably dear for a side dish, but the upper-end of the prices on the simple menu generally stop at just over £12 – and that’s not bad for char-grilled steak or duck.
As for drinks, these include smoothies, juice mixers and various teas, all roughly around the £3 mark for soft drinks, which is “sort of” okay for what you’re getting – but for an extra £1.50, you could knock back a Merlot or Sauvignon instead. To their credit, the homemade lemonade is worth it and delish, although a bit on the sweet side.
Speaking of which, there’s no dessert menu on offer, and the only other downside is that there’s guaranteed queues to get in if you go during peak times. But as an enjoyable and satisfactory dining experience overall? It’s pretty much on par with the best of London’s casual hotspots and takes Thai food, literally, to a whole new level.
For more information, visit www.busaba.com