Busaba Eathai is a ‘modern Thai eatery’. The brainchild of Alan Yau, the same man behind such Asian creations as Wagamama and Hakkasan, we visited Busaba Eathai’s Marylebone restaurant just across the street from Selfridges.
With incense burning as you enter, the dimly lit restaurant is definitely pleasing on the eye – full marks for atmosphere. The restaurant is big inside and the tables are large, allowing for lots of people or at peak times sharing with some other guests, much similar to the concept in Wagamama.
The menu is quite vast and holds a good variety, while dishes are very reasonably priced (more or less all mains are under £10). The drinks, such as local Thai beer and whiskey, bring an element of validity to the experience. The same goes for the condiments placed on the table – genuine Thai branded fish sauce, soy sauce and chilli sauce recognisable from a recent trip to Thailand. A few minutes in and I had ordered a Thai Green Curry, whilst Editor Alex chose the Pad Thai – two staple eastern dishes and no doubt popular choices at Busaba Eathai.
We all love a quick meal and Busaba Eathai is definitely built for a half hour break from work or shopping. But sometimes it really can be the case that food comes just too fast – no more than about 7 minutes after ordering, our food arrived.
The summary was that the food was nothing special. The Thai Green Curry was good (in fact exceptional in comparison to the Pad Thai), offering decent flavour but lacking the variety of ingredients you might find in the same dish in Thailand.
The Pad Thai tasted overwhelmingly sweet, whilst the tofu it contained was soggy and still cold in the middle. The small mound of ground peanuts that sits to the left of the dish to be scattered across the meal should you desire was still congealed, as if not properly defrosted. When you are eating a dish containing prawns, peace of mind over the freshness of your meal is a top priority – realistically this could have been made a week ago and reheated.
All in all a little disappointing – especially as a big Wagamama fan. We couldn’t help but feel the impressive interior and resulting atmosphere exists to blind you from the substandard quality of the food – Marylebone has far better to offer.
8-13 Bird Street
Nearest Tube: Bond Street
Phone: 020 7518 8080
Website: Busaba Eathai