My cousin introduced me to this wonderful restaurant. I love Thai food so when she suggested we go to Busaba Eathai (more commonly known as just Busaba) I agreed immediately. I did not regret that decision and have been to Busaba several times since then.
Busaba is a Thai flower. Eathai combines the words eat and Thai and replaces the term restaurant, which is often associated with formal dining establishments. Busaba Eathai is more of a casual dining venue offering a single course eating.
Busaba is based in London and there are 6 restaurants dotted around the city. I have visited the ones on Store Street and Bird Street but will be reviewing the one on Bird Street as that is the one I go to most often.
Decor & Ambience
When you first enter the restaurant there is a long corridor dotted with candles and incense sticks (and a statue of Buddha) which opens into a large room with large tables in it with benches all around them (Busaba operates on communal seating) with very little space between the tables. Each table comfortably seats 8 people (2 on each side of the table), but if you are a smaller party then you will usually be seated on a table with other people already sitting on it. Sometimes 3 people are seated on one bench, making it a bit of a squeeze. Unless you are quite big, this isn't really uncomfortable. This setting means that there is very little privacy as you can easily hear what other people sitting on your table are saying. I don't really mind this as I only go here for casual meals.
I have a mixed opinion about their service because I have received different kinds of service. Usually the service is brilliant even when the restaurant is packed, however, on two occasions I have received awful service.
The first time the restaurant was only half full, yet no one would come to take our order and when someone finally did, our order took at least 45 minutes to arrive! We were not compensated for the wait. The second time the restaurant was quite full, and our order again took 45 minutes to arrive. However, this time I was compensated for the awful service, and offered complimentary ginger tea. I'm not a fan of ginger tea though, so I refused but my uncle was served some in a little pot and said it tasted quite nice.
Now, on to the good. The staff is usually quite attentive, efficient and polite. They're always smiling and happy to make recommendations or tell you more about the dishes if you aren't familiar with Thai food. Orders are taken quickly and food is served fast. Of all the times I've been here, I've only had to complain twice, and once I was even compensated so I guess it's not that bad.
If you enjoy Thai food, you will love Busaba! I've tried quite a few things on their menu, and decided what my favourite is, so now that's what I always order! The menu is divided into salad, soup noodle, wok noodle, stir-fry, grilled, rice, curry and sides. These are the things I have tried so far along with their prices:
Green chicken curry (£8.70)
This is my favourite dish on the menu. As the name suggests, it's basically chicken pieces in a delicious curry. The curry is slightly spicy and full of a rich, coconut flavour and the chicken is plentiful, tender and succulent. The sweet corn and pea aubergines in the curry go really well with it. The portion is a little big for me, so I usually order an appetizer and then share this with someone else. However, if you have a big appetite, this will be perfect for you. I usually order this with jasmine rice (£2.10 for one portion). There isn't a lot to say about the rice. The portion is just the right size for me and is cooked properly.
The green curry is also served with beef or vegetables. I have not tried these but assume they have the same rich flavour as the chicken green curry.
Green curry fried rice (£8.90)
This dish is a little similar to the chicken green curry and rice that I usually have. The rice is stir fried in green curry and served with char-grilled chicken. I find this dish a little dry because I like to have lots of curry with my rice, but I think most people would enjoy this. The chicken is char grilled with the skin still on it. This dish is delicious but doesn't have the strong flavour that the chicken green curry and rice ordered separately have.
Goong tohd prawn (£5.80)
These prawns are delicious! The breadcrumb coating is nice and crispy, and compliments the prawn inside which is cooked just the right amount. The prawns are served with chilli lime sauce and the combination is divine! I'm always happy to part with my cash for this as it is truly delicious.
Coconut prawn with green peppercorn, coconut tip and lime leaf (£8.50)and Cod fillet stir-fry with Thai garlic, krachai, kaffir lime and chilli (£9.90)
I feel that these two are ok dishes. The coconut prawn stir-fry lacks flavour while the cod is a little dry for my taste. If I were rating these out of a 10, I would give them a 6. Eating out is a treat and you want to have delicious food, and while these two dishes are ok, I wouldn't describe them as delicious.
Pad Thai-rice noodle with prawn, dried shrimp, tofu, egg, peanut, beansprout and lime
I was a little disappointed with this dish because I felt like there weren't enough prawns and shrimp in it, while the rest of the dishes usually have an ample amount of meat in them. I am not a big fan of rice noodles, but I thought this was a good dish (apart from the lack of meat). It has a strong nutty flavour and is quite delicious.
Busaba offers the usual soft drinks and alcoholic beverages as well as a variety of exotic-sounding juices (such as the Jasmine smoothie containing passion fruit, banana, orange, natural yoghurt and jasmine) and two types of tea. I feel that the drinks are overpriced and usually ask for tap water as I live on a student budget! I have had the lemonade once, and it was delicious. My main complaint with lemonade in general is that it is too sweet and you can't really taste the lemon, but this lemonade was just perfect. People that I have gone with have tried the juices and always seem really pleased but these are priced at £3.30 for a tiny glass of juice so I refrain from ordering them.
Busaba is not overly expensive compared to other restaurants in London. On an average trip to Busaba I spend about £10 if I just have a main course with tap water. I feel that you get your money's worth here though, and don't mind parting with my cash for Busaba food about once in a month. I have had cheaper Thai food elsewhere but it doesn't taste as good.
The toilets are always perfectly clean and the two times that I have visited them I have been completely satisfied by their hygiene levels and I'm a bit of a germo-phobe so that says a lot!
A point to note is that I've never really seen many families with children at this restaurant. I'm not sure why though, maybe it's the communal seating?
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I love Busaba. It may not be very authentic but it is one of my favourite places to eat in London (I know, I'm not very cultured).
So why do I love it? Well I love the decor. I went today with two friends to the Store Street location, which is just off Tottenham Court Road. The outside is kind of oriental looking with dark wood and an orange sign. As mentioned this was set up by the same guy who did Wagamamas (Alan Yau) so it's along the same lines but with Thai food.
Inside it is pretty dark with big square dark wood tables and an exotic feel. There are groups of tea tree lights floating in water at the back of the restuarant which is a nice touch. As also mentioned by another reviewer, you will have to share your table (unless you are a big enough group to take up a whole table). My boyfriend hates this. He is very propreitary of his space and for this reason Busaba is better off as a kind of casual dining with friends as opposed to a romantic destination. It's fine unless you get stuck on a table full of loud people having silly conversations you don't agree with and then it's a little distracting. (We also witnessed one guy spill beer over the guy sitting next to him who was not part of the same party and it got pretty tense, that was quite amusing when you are trying not to notice the argument that ensues).
So the food. I doubt it's authentic. I've never been to Thailand but given how authentic Japanese food at Wagamamas is I imagine it's about the same level. The fruit juices here are lovely, I had a guava collins which was sweet but fresh tasting and some little veg spring rolls with a chilli sauce which I could have eaten about 5 more of! (They were quite little).
The food comes quickly and you order sides rather than starters and everything is brought out as it comes. I also had tofu with spinach and yellow beans which I love. The tofu is soft and flavoursome (if you like tofu- I don't eat meat) and comes with chilli and spinach. My only complaint is that they seem to have made the portions smaller (at least for the tofu). I could eat more!! To go with it I had coconut rice and some broccoli with garlic and mushrooms. I often find Thai food to be too sweet but I find Busaba to be quite light, the vegetables are al dente and don't taste 'fried to death'. I was really hungry and managed to eat everything I ordered but the portions are a good size (excepting the shrinking tofu).
Other options are sides of fish cakes and calamari. Mains include noodles, green curry and soups (I've also tried the veg pumpkin curry which was very good too). The full menu and details of locations can be found here http://www.busaba.com/menus/Main_Menu.pdf
I normally order lemongrass tea with cookies but didn't this time. For three of us the bill came to £60 so approx £20 each a head. I would happily come here every week but unfortunately no longer live in London. It's very sad.
To the disappointment of my husband, I class this as one of my all time favourite restaurants. However, I understand his disappointment. I'm not going to feed you with all the lovelies and niceties when I know that Busaba has it's nits. It's a either you absolutely love it or just like it restaurant, and strangely girls seem to be more fond of this restaurant than the guys.
Busaba - The Chain
Busaba is a Thai restaurant with three central london branches - Wardour Street in SoHo, Bird Street near Selfridges and Store Street near Tottenham Court Road. I have been to the Store Street and Wardour Street branch but in this review I will be concentrating on the Wardour Street branch as this is Busaba's flagship branch.
I understand from previous reading that Busaba was set up by the famous restauranteur, Alan Yau, of Wagamama, Hakkasan and Yauatcha fame. Thus, expect a bit of poncy-ness, great tasting food and decent prices.
When I first ate at Busaba my immediate impression was "Wow, very Sex in the City". The black and brown colour scheme draws me in and it reminds me of the deep woody furniture which is a prominent feature in the far east. There is incense burning, golden buddha statutes praying, lotus flowers floating - all very zen. Everything screams far east except for the staff which is a mixture of cultures (a bit like what you see at Wagamama). So for all those that judge the authenticity of a restaurant by the ethnicity of its staff, you'll be very confused and right to deduce that there is not a single Thai person working here, so will the food be Thai enough?
Wardour Street, SoHo
Right, firstly, you cannot book a table and it is always busy, so that means, you have to queue. The queue forms outside of the restaurant, right next to the diners that are sat by the window. This is bad - for the diners because random strangers are watching you scoff your food and for the random strangers because you get desperately hungry from watching all that food go down someone's throat! However, queue movement is pretty fast and if you're a couple, you usually don't have to wait for more than 10 minutes before you're ushered in. You're always given a menu to look at when you're waiting so by the time you get in, you can order immediately. The only tip I can give in terms of missing the queue for dinner is to get down to the restaurant at the very latest 7pm, after that you'll definitely be in the queue waiting to be seated.
Secondly, the restaurant operates on a table share scheme. You sit around a large 10 people square table on large wooden benches and are expected to budge up. There is enough room to not feel like you're sitting on someone's lap, but you have to be prepared to sit next to a stranger. The only gripe I have with this is the lack of space to dump your personal belongings. If you sit at the right table on the right side, you may be fortunate to have a coat rack behind you but if you're not, you usually have to resort to just kicking your bags and coats underneath the table, and yes, that includes your precious Gucci!
Service is super quick and I've never had a problem. Like Wagamama, your waiter will always be smiling and might even fool you in thinking you've known each other for ages!
The food also comes super quick. Portions are not particularly large but are all very filling. The food wont blow you away and I've never been to Thailand so cannot compare it with real authentic Thai food. However, I think the food tastes delicious!
I always have the same dishes - Green Curry Fried Rice (green curry fried into delicious yasmine rice and grilled chicken on the side with a drizzle of green curry and honey sauce) and tamarind chicken wings (grilled chicken wings with a tangy sweet tamarind dipping sauce). I tried other dishes but my favourite is by far the aforementioned dishes.
Green Curry Fried Rice - I adore this dish! The rice is fluffy and full of flavour (I can always taste the strong galangal and lemon grass). The green curry really seeps through and is enough to just flavour the rice and not drown it. It also has a kick but not too much of it. The chicken is beautifully grilled, although on some occasions I've had overly grilled chicken that was near charcoal but overall, it's been great most of the time. The honey and green curry sauce over my chicken is the best bit - it is sweet and full of flavour. I definitely can have this dish every day.
Tamarind chicken wings - This is actually really easy to make at home but I do enjoy splurging on this when I'm at Busaba. The best part is the sauce - it is tangy, slightly sour, full of chilis and a hint of sweetness. The flavours just dance around my mouth and all the exotic flavours really come through. Absolutely delicious!
You might be thinking, why am I reviewing the toilets. I don't normally review toilets in restaurant reviews unless they are dire or completely unique. Luckily, Busaba's toilets are utterly unique and must be mentioned.
Upon going downstairs to the toilets, you'll be presented with a challenge. There are no "normal" signs indicating which toilet are male or female. Instead there are symbols on two doors - one looks like an "i" and on the other, a wonky "i". On my first visit, I must have stood there for about 2 minutes wondering which one to go through but luckily for me, a man came out of one of them so I took the decision that I should go through the other door! The answer to the conundrum is this - the "i" looks like a man standing up going for a pee so that's the mens' toilets and the wonky "i" looks like a woman squatting over the toilet so that's the ladies' toilets!
Another quirk of the toilets was discovered when I went to wash my hands. I couldn't find the handwash and after a good search saw that it was in front of me, in the sink. As I went to reach for a squirt, a pair of very manly looking hands grabbed it! To my horror, I realised that the sink had an opening at about torso height. I looked down through the hole and lo and behold, I could see the men's toilets! Of course I didn't stare too long but when I suddenly saw my husband's hand reaching for the handwash, I quickly grabbed his hands! And yes, a little scream from the other side of the wall was heard! Very funny - highly recommended for pranks if you're as childish as me!
A meal at Busaba for two minus the alcohol will set you back about £20 and that's decent considering it's central London. Toilet quirks aside, I think this is a great restaurant and every so often I do manage to convince my husband to queue up with me and sit with strangers, so he must like it to some extent.
For most people being invited out for dinner is a real pleasure but for me being invited out for food is a bit of a nightmare. Don't get me wrong it's not the going with friends that causes me the problem - that is very much the best bit for me. But the food and where we eat is the nightmare. You see ever since I was told by a lovely doctor that I had to go on a fat free diet (which has now been scaled up to fat restricted - woohoo!) it is often difficult to find a restaurant that caters for such a diet. So when I go out I usually end up having salad without dressing or fillet steak, chicken or white fish/tuna/prawns, dry vegetables (no oil or butter) and pudding is pretty much out of the window unless they do fruit salad or sorbet. This might not be so bad if it wasn't for the fact that I have always been a bit of a foodie and an exotic foodie at that.
One of my favourite cuisines has always been Thai. I love how fragrant the food is and I used to love cooking with coconut (for this reason I also used to love the Indian cooking from the region of Kerala). However, many thai restaurants in this country have a habit of combining these wonderful flavours with far too much oil and so I had to kiss goodbye to eating this food out. That was until a few weeks ago when my husband sent me a link http://www.busaba.com/ for a restaurant called Busaba and said "This is where they want to take us - think you'll be ok?" Hesitantly I surveyed the menu. It actually didn't look too bad. There were the obvious "that'll be swimming in fat" dishes but there were quite a few others that looked like they were really fresh so I told my husband to say OK. However I was still a bit nervous about what I would encounter there so we decided to go and try it out before our dinner with friends.
Busaba (which is a Thai flower) is based in London and they have three restaurants in Bird Street, Store Street and Wardour Street and for the purposes of this review I will be reviewing the Wardour Street branch which ideally located for theatre land and a short walk from Tottenham Court Road and Piccadilly.
So we all arrived outside the restaurant at 7.30pm on a Friday night. I say we arrived outside but really I mean we arrived at the end of a very long queue which went past the restaurant. We couldn't even stand and look in on what everyone was eating! However we didn't let this put us off and we stood there (with our umbrellas up by now) waiting patiently even though the queue didn't seem to be moving very quickly. A server came out with menus and took down the number in our party (in this case 2). We stood there chatting for about 5 minutes and then suddenly the same server appeared again and said "Follow me". We were queue jumping. We must have walked past 50 people. It was great! You see you don't book a table at this place so they serve you as and when they have space. So being 2 people was advantageous to us.
We were led by the waitress into a large open plan restaurant. In fact Busaba isn't called a restaurant but rather an Eathai as they believe a restaurant implies a more formal dining experience whereas here it is very cosy communal dining. It isn't like Wagamamas where you sit on long bench tables (although you do sit on a bench) but each table is a large square where you can sit 10 diners comfortably. Sometimes they squeeze more on a table but this is for larger parties. We saw one party had 14 in there on one table. As you enter on the left there is a Thai god/goddess figure sat amongst various plants with incense burning and lots of tealights. This is quite a nice touch and helps to set the mood. Each table is illuminated by a large low hanging light and was set with brown paper mats. On top of each mat was white paper napkin with a pair of wooden chopsticks on top of that. Overall the lighting level in the restaurant is quite low but very pleasant and combined with the dark wood floor and wooden furniture you have a feeling of the traditional with a contemporary twist. The bar/service area looks very clean and modern as did the coat hanging area.
The atmosphere was buzzing and friendly. It was really relaxing even though you could tell that everything around you was constantly changing as diners left and arrived. Everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves and all you can hear is the swell of other diners chattering away either amongst their group or fellow diners as busy servers duck in an out with huge trays full of food. On numerous occasions we heard diners ask fellow diners what it was that they had just ordered or comment on how nice their food looked. Of course there were some diners keeping themselves to themselves but because you don't book you sit where you are put so if you are looking for a quiet romantic meal this may not be the place for you. That said the atmosphere is great so it is an ideal date place. Well I wouldn't have minded going there for a date anyway!
The service was fast and professional. Some might call it aloof or abrupt because there was no real rapport built between you and server. You don't have waiters and waitresses in the traditional sense. They don't greet you, show you to your table, take your drinks order, bring the drinks, take your food order etc like you get in most restaurants but rather you will encounter a number of servers. However each one was polite and efficient but not overly friendly. Yet that didn't really matter. It wasn't a bad thing - in fact in many ways I prefer this approach to having to have small talk you would rather not be having with a waiter/waitress. But that might just be me!
Now of course the reason most people go to a restaurant is because of the food. The menu is quite varied but don't expect to see starters and main courses. The food is served together in one course and features a range of fuller sized plates, rice dishes and side dishes. You can order a dessert if you want to afterwards though although the choice is limited with desserts such as green tea ice cream and red bean paste fritters. There were a few more dessert dishes available but to be honest we were so stuffed from the main courses that desserts were not an option for us.
The rest of the menu is divided into Salads, Soup Noodle, Wok Noodle, Stir-fry, Rice, Grilled, Curry and Sides. The prices of each dish vary - some seem very expensive for what they are and others quite cheap. They range from £6 to £11 per "main" dish with sides ranging from £1.70 to £5.90. The drinks were a mix of Asian influences. You had your usual soft drinks with freshly squeezed juices, herbal teas, Thai and Asian beer and sake. The wine list is quite small but very reasonably priced. The menu makes the food sound really appealing and appetising and you can see that there are many authentic ingredients and flavours used in each dish. You could have dishes like Aromatic Butternut Pumpkin Curry or crabmeat egg fried rice or Rose Apple stir fry. All of these descriptions just want to make you tuck in. But on this occasion I chose Pandan chicken from the stir fry section which is chicken marinated in garlic and coriander root, wrapped in pandan leaves, Chinese broccoli with garlic and shitake mushrooms and jasmine rice, whilst my husband had Char grilled rib eye beef, crabmeat egg fried rice and Goang Tohd Prawn in breadcrumb with chilli green mango dressing. And all of this was washed down by a nice cold Singha beer.
Now I have to say that despite the place being full to the rafters nearly, our food arrived within 15 minutes of ordering. This was great as we were starving! Overall the food was a bit hit and miss. It was pleasant but it didn't blow me away. The Pandan chicken was moist but not greasy (a big consideration for me) yet the flavours quite imbalanced with the garlic being too overpowering. The soy dip was lost against the chicken and the pandan leaf wrap was a great talking point but the novelty of breaking the chicken out of the parcels wore thin after a while especially there were 7 of parcels with 2 pieces of chicken each. The quality of the chicken was also not the greatest as it was either tough and stringy or a bit gristly. The jasmine rice was a little dry and the Chinese broccoli came covered in slices of garlic and a couple of shitake mushrooms. At the bottom of the dish was an almost broth like sauce which was just plain messy and tasteless. That said I was stuffed after eating this. The portions are not huge but are filling so you must be careful not to over order. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy the food but it could have been a lot better.
My husband however fared much better and his steak was beautifully cooked medium rare and cut into strips to dip into chilli sauce, the prawns were nice and crispy with a delightful sauce and the crabmeat rice was lovely and sweet and spicy. My only other gripe is that we could have done with ordering another drink whilst eating but it was really hard to grab a server's attention unless you had empty plates! So we decided to go to the pub after instead.
This little lot set us back around £45 which wouldn't have been too bad if the food was up to scratch but it seemed a little much for what we had. There was no service charge though for a party under 5 persons and we didn't leave a tip. However for parties over 5 there is a suggested 10% service charge will be added to the bill.
I had to visit the facilities before I left and again I felt that these were in need of an update. Going downstairs to the toilets it seemed like it would be the same kind of plush contemporary feel of the main eating area but the closer you got the more you felt it needed a bit of attention. The signs on the doors were a little confusing - the ladies looked like a double angled closed up S and the gents look like a single crooked figure. Luckily I guessed correctly! The toilets were clean and had all the usual ladies facilities but they just needed to be freshened up décor wise and the doors were really heavy. The sink was cute though. It was a sunken sink with a mirror above and the soap dispenser was in the sink and I thought I could see the reflection of dispenser in a mirror at the back. But then I realised when I saw a pair of manly hands attacking the soap at the same time as I was that I had either undergone some strange transformation or there was actually only one sink in between the ladies and gents. The soap was lovely - it had the distinct medicinal smell of galangal and was a lovely touch for a thai restaurant. There were no dryers but rather paper towels. I have to say I prefer dryers but again that is just my preference.
Overall we had a nice time and we did go back there with our friends on Saturday. We got there at 8pm and it took us longer to get in as there were 4 of us but it was still a nice buzzing place to eat. Again the food was a bit hit and miss but the atmosphere more than made up for it. We will definitely be going back there in the future but I don't think it will become a regular haunt.
I work in Soho and am pretty spoiled for choice when it comes to eating out - there are so many restaurants to choose from. But one that always has a queue outside it is Busaba Eathai on Wardour Street, right in the heart of Soho. Busaba Eathai was launched Alan Yau, who also owned Wagamama and Hakkasan and is now one of my new favourite places to eat.
Busaba is located on Wardour St, a 5 minute walk from Oxford Circus or Tottenham Court Road and ideally located for a pre-theatre meal. It serves up delicious Thai food in a communal dining setting similar to Wagamamas - tables seat about 8 so not a place for a romantic date. I've not found this to be a problem at all - people are normally pretty friendly and wherever possible the waiters will seat you with a space between parties so you don't feel like they're eavesdropping on your conversation! What the communal dining aspect does seem to create is a buzz - I've never been to Busaba and felt it was lacking in atmosphere - there's always lots of chatter going on and a really lively atmosphere. The decor is all dark wood and lighting is low, giving it more of an intimate feel than the stark canteen atmosphere of Wagamama. However, the front of the restaurant has two huge windows so enough light pours through that you can still see what you're eating! In summer they open up the windows, giving a more cafe style feel.
The menu is very extensive filled with standard Thai style with Ramens (soupy noodle dishes), Phads (egg noodle dishes) and enough side dishes to keep you choosing for hours. Being the predictable creature I am, I went for the Phad Thai - rice noodle stir-fried with prawn, dried shrimp, tofu and peanuts garnished with beansprouts and lime which was absolutely delicious - bursting with flavour and not at all a bland dish as many Phad Thais can be - and enough to utterly fill me up! Boyfriend's choice was Massaman Duck Curry potato, peanut and onion and with sticky rice, which being one of those annoying people who like to sample other people's food but won't share any of their own, I can confirm was equally delicious. Our side dishes of breaded prawns and spring rolls where also fantastic. Portions are generous though, so be warned and don't go too mad on ordering side dishes, no matter how tempting they sound! I've not sampled anything on the menu that was outrageously spicy, although all the dishes are packed with flavour. There is a variety of drinks available from wines and beers (Singha, Tiger) to fruit juices. The juices are very exotic sounding, including ingredients like lemongrass, jasmine and carrot - I'm sure they're fantastically good for you but I'll be sticking to my coke thanks!
At £6.10 for my Phad Thai and around £10 for the duck curry and rice, the prices are very reasonable and on a par with somewhere like Wagamama. With side dishes I would expect to pay around £30 for a meal for 2. Personally I prefer Thai to Wagamama's Japanese style so my choice of the two would definitely be here, but what really tips the balance for me is that the dishes at Busaba Eathai are all served at the same time! For me, there is nothing worse than sitting across from your partner watching them eat while you wait to be served your meal! Service in general is pretty good, not overly intrusive but attentive and they allow you enough time so that you don't feel hurried.
Despite the relation between tastefulness and price of the food is reasonable, the costumer service is dreadful. Some of the waiters in Busaba 22, Store Street are arrogant and particularly the manager, A. W. is rude and disrespectful and has not idea in how to run a business with elegance. They don't know neither good manners nor good education. A disgrace for the restaurant industry. I don't have any reason to come back. My recommendation to everybody is: avoid it.
Orginally we wanted to go to the "Mandarin" restaurant in Chinatown. On our way my wife bought some special drinks (don't know the name) which she knows from Taiwan. We hadn't finished drinking when we arrived at the "Mandarin". Thinking they would tell us if this would present a problem we sat down and were finally ready to order. Apparently they did see the drinks and then asked us out, cause we should "drink it where we bought it". Ahh..very friendly, especially when the restaurant was almost empty. This tops almost Wong Kei.. Anyway, we ventured further to "Busaba Eathai". I passed by this Thai restaurants a couple of times, there always seems to be a lively atmosphere, so finally I went there with my wife. And they didn't even throw us out, even though I was still having my drink. ATMOSPHERE: As I said the atmosphere is really good, especially in sommer when the windows are open. They put a lot of effort in it. There are candles, incense, statues..very nice. At most times its quite packed. About 8 people share one table, so its not suitable for an intimate date. The people there are mixed as London is: Blacks, Asians, Europeans. Really amazing is that none of the waiters were Thai, even though its a Thai restaurant. The good news for non-smokers is that they do not allow smoking. TOILETS: Toilets are the best I have ever seen in London. If you go to Busaba you should have a look even if you don't have the urge to relieve yourself. ;) QUALITY OF FOOD: We ordered "Chicken butternut squash stir fry" (5.50) and "Asparagus and oyster mushroom fried rice" (4.90) which both was very delicious and quickly served. Maybe a little bit salty though. The menue has the following sections: Noodles, Rice, Curries, Stir-fried & Grilled, Sides. They have many exotic drinks: Jasmine smoothie, passion peach, mango lassi, Nam po
lamai for about 2.70 each. Sake cost 3.20 for 180ml. They have also Thai Whiskey and Beer (Singha, Tiger, Siam Thai). PRICE: The price is good compared to the quality of food, the central location and the atmosphere you get. SERVICE/STAFF: Staff was friendly there, even though they don't give you a take-away box, for the reason that they don't have a licence for that. Hmm..didn't even know you need a licence for doing that. They have a feedback questionnaire which you can fill out, so apparently they are very keen to improve their service. So all in all I can highly recommend this restaurant..five stars for that one.