Friday, 30 December 2011

Eathai, Eat lots of Thai... at Busaba Eathai

Usually this blog prefers to focus on local independent businesses and restaurants, but I thought I might make an exception for one of my favourite London chains, and it's only a little chain, promise. There were a certain set of hoardings I saw appear on the Kings Road that caused a small squeal of excitement, and possibly a very tiny anticipatory dribble. Long having been a fan of Soho Asian diner, Busaba Eathai, I was pretty gleeful to have my own local branch.

Some of you may have visited the other Busabas - besides the venue in Soho I believe there is one in the City and another in Hoxton, and now Chelsea - but the concept has been faithfully transported into SW3. The interior is full of dark woods, big shared square diner tables, twinkling tea lights, glistening buddhas and the smell of incense. The menu is full of South Asian favourites, all of great quality, although not especially adventurous, and the prices are similar to those of Wagamama. Unsurprising that, considering that Busaba is an offshoot of the same stable.

On this occasion, the boy and I indulged in rather a feast. I think I've mentioned about a million times over that Thai and South East Asian food is pretty much my favourite thing ever. We kicked off with beers and orange and cranberry juice (Bottle Green rather than freshly pressed I'm afraid, but really delicious... must track some down when I'm next in Waitrose). For starters we shared Tom Yam Talay, a spicy and sour seafood noodle soup, goong tohd prawns in breadcrumbs with a chili lime sauce (this was beautifully fried, with the prawns still soft and juicy and the sauce was most refreshing) and lightly steamed chinese broccoli with garlic and brocolli which also tasted tasty and virtuous.

For mains we tucked into a Malaysian favourite of mine, Pad Kewtio, which features chicken, king prawns and holy basil in a chilli sauce around thick rice noodles. However, the piece-de-resistance was the red beef curry, with lychee, parsnip, lime leaf and chilli. The coconut sauce was thick, creamy and nutty, just the way I like it. Although true thai aficiionados might find the sauce lacking in spice, there are some loose chilis in there for the braver amongst you and I'd say the heat is about right for most western pallets.

Busaba Eatthai
358 Kings Road
London SW3 5UZ

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