Busaba Eathai

Why go here:

If you’re looking for Thai food that is oozing in flavour and in a modern setting but at prices friendly to the pocket.

What it looks like:

There are a few branches of Busaba Eathai but I was at the one in Stratford. Stepping into the restaurant, you’re hit with the strong smell of sandalwood from the burning incense. Statues of Buddha and floating lotus arrangements adorn this Thai eatery and the square, polished furnishings add quite a modern touch to it. The tables are communal so unless you are in big group, be prepared to be making friends with the other diners.

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The food:

If there is one dish you must try here, it’s got to be the Thai Calamari- it’s tastier and even more addictive than Pringles.

The portions are all quite large, hence if you like small platters like me, opt for one of the soup noodles. I opted for the Tom Kha Chicken which reminded me of the one I had in Bangkok.

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For those that want to try a feisty dish instead, I highly recommend one of the dishes from the chargrilled section or the Massaman duck curry, which are all much more meaty and more spicy.

The rice and noodles section are a bit boring in my opinion because I get similar offerings in most other Asian restaurants.

The jasmine smoothie is a great accompaniment for those that have a lower tolerance to the chillies, although most of the dishes here are mild and you can just ask the waiters to make sure they get your dish ordered with fewer chillies!

The teas were the only disappointment for me since they aren’t the traditional kind which is creamy and luscious and sweet. Rather, the teas served were water-based and I found the lemongrass flavour to be a bit too strong of a flavour to complement the rest of my meal. Hence, I’d suggest sticking to the smoothies or the wine.

Verdict:

If you like Thai food, you should definitely go here since it is definitely one of the best budget-friendly Thai restaurants you can get in London. It helps that there are 12 branches of the chain, so even if you didn’t want to queue for the one in Soho for an hour, you can dine at the one in Westfield Stratford, next time you’re out there shopping.

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