Nothing screams “Authentic Thai Restaurant” more than placing on every table, an eating utensil that majority of Thai people have probably never seen. Having heard about Busaba as being a traditional Thai restaurant, you can imagine the shocking, earth-shattering, and devastating horror of seeing CHOPSTICKS on each table.
I can say with confidence to the people of Busaba Eathai: my dear but confused friends, you would have to travel no less than 3000 miles from Bangkok to find a local cuisine that uses chopsticks. To those of you wondering, yes, I still ended up ordering food, albeit with not the highest expectations. I opted for a green papaya salad and a red beef curry – the litmus test for any Thai eatery. While ordering, the Italian waiter suggested I get the curry with sticky rice as “that’s the way they do it in Thailand.” No, Salvatore, that’s the way they do it in China, but I’ll give you points for getting the right continent…
The papaya salad was surprisingly good. It was as spicy as I would want it to be, they put in dried shrimp which I felt was a very nice touch, and the peanuts provided a nice crunch in between the soft papaya and noodles of the salad. However, as I would soon find out, this was merely a cruel ploy by the Devils of Inauthenticity to place me in a false sense of comfort. The beef was thick and chewy, not thin and soft as it ought to be. They used regular lime leaves instead of kaffir lime, but that’s okay, kaffir lime is only the most important ingredient in all of Thai food. As I took my first spoonful, it starting pouring down outside. Clearly the Thai gods had flown over to London to shed their tears. My friend ordered a green curry, and upon seeing corn present in it I too wanted to shed tears. Additionally, instead of tangy and spicy, the curry was sweet and almost sugary. By now there was thunder outside. How they manage to get away with charging £10.50 for what evidently is curry powder in water is beyond my understanding.
Overall, when considering Busaba as an option for a Thai meal, it’s best to think of it as Indian/Chinese food served by Southern Europeans.
£20 (2 people)
22 Store St, London WC1E 7DF
0207 299 7900