Saturday, October 26, 2013
Busaba Eathai (Goodge Street)
A cosy Thai place, Busaba Eathai didn’t do anything totally wrong, but at the same time, didn’t get anything perfectly right either. On entering, we were directed to the corner of a table to sit (where there were already several parties dining). This set up, whilst probably economically efficient for the restaurant owners, severely detracts from the intimacy of a meal, and thus I wouldn’t recommend bringing someone here on a date, or even if you’re with mates and wish to have some proper alone time together. This all sorta jars with the Hollister-level low lighting, presumably put in there to create an ambience of closeness. As for the food, I was as impressed as could be given the unfriendly London price tags.
For starter, we had spring rolls, which is a hard one to mess up, and, unsurprisingly, they went down well (it helped that we were absolutely famished). For my main I ordered spicy prawns, then instantly regretted it (I like to think that I have the stomach for hot food, but I ain’t great). Gracefully, they weren’t that spicy – I could have taken it stronger, and I love prawns, so that plate constituted a gastronomical win. My friend had the chicken curry dish, which was pleasantly moreish, even if the chicken could have been cooked a lot better. The rice was a little on the stale side, but no doubt the cooks will try to palm that off is "oh that's how they cook it in Thailand". To drink, I had cranberry juice, and got a rude awakening on central London restaurant drink prices - £3 for about 250ml? C’mon now.
By now means a failure, Busaba Eathai was an elegant enough venue, with edible dishes, classy toilets and noticeably high-end clientele. Perhaps that’s the problem – my palate is not quite that sophisticated yet, and there was something that all these people found so commendable in this place that went over my head. Charming, but not earth-shattering.