Went here for a friend's birthday. Great choice of food on the menu. I must say, it is rather daunting to go there by yourself if you've never been before as the menu doesn't give much off by way of help.
I had the Tom kha chicken as my main dish. But their side dishes are perfect. They offer a great variety of dishes, which all have their very own distinct flavour. I cannot get enough of the Thai Calamari and the Chicken Satay. Those dishes are a must have when you go.
The only bad thing about this place is the fact that they don't take reservations. It is very annoying having to line up outside waiting for a table, especially during the dinner service. But it is definitely worth the wait. Enjoy.
N.B.: As they do not take reservations, you might want to get there earlier and be prepared to wait until a table is ready for you. This is especially important when you're with a large group.
Busaba Eathai at Hoxton Place came highly recommended when I was visiting the Old Street area for work recently. I ate there on a Thursday night and had no wait for a seat, which was one at a table of eight.
I had the coconut water with raspberry and the pad thai, which I thought was a bit odd in comparison to the pad thai I've had in the US. There were fried shrimp in it, which was a tad like eating fish food. The seating took some getting used to, especially for someone there alone, but the food came out quickly and the service was good.
Expect good food, but a bad dining experience.
I have tried this place twice several years apart, and let me say that the food is great. I would be close to four stars for the food, but the atmosphere is horrible when the place is full. The room is nicely decorated and the fact that you sit on benches around tables with other people is not a poblem as such, but the tables are so close to each other that the waiters and other guests keep bumping into you while you are sitting in your seat. On top of that, the noice level is extremely high. If you are more than three people it will be almost impossible to have a normal conversation.
NOT GREAT! Especially if you have to eat gluten free. They very bluntly refuse to swap out egg noddles for rice noodle. Arrogant and small minded in this day and age. Wagamamma do and there food is much better.
Amazing thai food!
So good I went back the next day to another location to try different dish...
Will definitely come back!
According to what my friend said, this Busaba Eathai is better than all others in London. Food taste good and its less oily. There isnt alot of people around lunch time so really quiet. Good for one person as well because they have really nice window seats.
I'm going to go ahead and just shrug at the screen right now. You can't see me doing it, but just imagine me wearing a cute outfit with my hair haphazardly thrown into a lopsided bun, yawning and shrugging.
Anyways, we ended up here the other night because the queue at Pizza East was stupid and we were drunk and needed immediate foodstuffs. We sat down right away. It was described to me as a Wagamama's but with Thai food, and that's a pretty apt description. I think Wagamama's is actually more delicious, and I'm not even a huge fan. The food was instantly forgettable and I wish I had spent my £15 somewhere else. It wasn't BAD, so if you need something to eat, by all means. One person in our party had good food - it was the pumpkin and sweet potato (I think?) curry, and it was really good. I was jealous.
Oh, also, the waitress tried to warn me off the jungle chicken, saying it was very spicy. If you like spicy food, you will be totally fine. It was not that hot.
Busaba Eathai at Old Street is definitely the type of place you would see next to the definition of "Hit and Miss"... Especially when it comes down to service.
Every time I have been, the food has ranged from OK to delicious, but the service has ranged from totally rude to just acceptable.
For me, Thai food is all about flavour, spice and aroma - but the experience is not about a cool brand - it's about friendly service and a great atmosphere; something that Busaba Eathai lacks.
It seems that this is another company guilty of being successful, making too much money and not caring about what they do any more as they will always do well. Shame. Great marketing maketh not a great company.
I also find companies who do not respond to negative social media comments lack the basic foundations of what customer service is all about...! *Cough* Twitter *Cough*
Don't get me wrong, I have had delicious meals here, but I have on more than one occasion left feeling underwhelmed and ripped of. As I said... Hit and miss.
Really shouldn't have trusted Time Out London on this one!
I was a little hesitant to try Thai food in London, since we have pretty great stuff here in Toronto and it seemed a little strange that Shoreditch was littered with them. We trusted some decent web reviews and peeked inside and thought that it looked like a version of Guu Izakaya in Toronto, but Thai!
Unfortuately appearances can be deceiving! Busaba has literally the sweetest pad thai I've ever had. It was filling, but even with the liberal circles of sriracha I felt like I was eating a microwave dinner full of sugar and preservatives.
The midpriced sake was subpar for the price, it took us two tries to get water after our server decided to go flirt with a chef and have a smoke.
As nice as the host was who sat us, it felt like they were more concerned with decor and ambiance and getting you in the door than the food. We should've gone to Brick Lane instead!
The usual yummy squid, I got the coconut curry which had quite a few things in it I couldn't/didn't want to eat, like hard bits of lemongrass (I think) and whole green chilli, but overall I enjoyed it. I got the impression prices were higher than last time I visited but I might be mistaken. Service generally friendly and good although they do need to be attentive in the lunchtime period to people needing to pay the bill and get back to work - I delayed my friend by so long!
Busaba eYuck - in case you were wondering how I reeeeally feel.
I can understand liking the scene. And the swish layout. And the incense. And the design forward elements. But none of those frilly factors trump good food for a fair price and attentive service - none of which were present in our recent dining experience. After receiving our two pint-sized main dishes, we decided to call it a night and asked for the bill. 10 minutes later we asked again. 10 minutes later we asked again. 10 minutes later we stood up... just stood up, put our coats on and waited for our server to bring us the bill. 45 minutes after finishing our meals and asking for the bill we walked out, flanked on both sides by a line snaking out the door.
Go for it. Enjoy. Sorry for taking up those seats for so long.
A lovely place to eat but overpriced.
It's something different and the atmosphere is great but it could be greatly improved by being a little less pretentious. There are no desserts on the menu. Meh. Sometimes the portions are ungenerous. The chicken wings gets smaller every time I go.
Thai food is one of my favorites, so I was excited to try a restaurant near where I live to, maybe, find my new favorite spot and since this place is always packed I thought the chances are good! BUT I have to say I really did not like the food they served. My friend got the duck curry and I got the pad thai, because I heard the pad thai is the best thing on their menu.
If the pad thai really is the best thing i don't know how this restaurant is so packed! I thought the pad thai was awful, granted I lived in San Francisco and have high standards, but even at a bad restaurant in San Francisco the pad thai is better than here! and the curry looked more like a broth than actual curry! I would not recommend this place! They also don't have any deserts on their menu!
For me, ethnic food shouldn't be about a scene, but a food. I am officially lifting my "I only write if I like" mantra for the duration of my living in London. There simply aren't enough yelp reviews here to merit only writing about things that I like. I need to just add to the general pool. In San Fran, even the smallest joints have at least a couple hundred reviews...
Anyhow, the atmosphere was nice and I like communal eating, but the food was decidedly mediocre. We had:
Jungle Curry (not at all what I think of with thai curry... the sauce was thin, like a broth) and was not that spicy, though marked spicy on the menu.
Pad Thai (best dish we had here, but still not even near the best I've had)
Chicken Satay was fine, nothing special.
Chicken and Squash stir fry. Tasty, I liked this one.
Considering how trendy this place it, I am surprised people put up with such soso Thai food. Wagamama is much better as far as communal eating chain Asian places go.
I do worry that it's getting a little too thin on the ground. A new Busaba seems to open every other month. Soon enough, the above average prices for, what will inevitably be but isn't yet, identikit food, might just tip the balance.
But in the meantime, whilst they tiptoe the fine line between successful restaurant venture and all-out chain blandness, they're just about getting it right.
With more chains come less interested staff. Just there to make their dollar and get out of there. Felt some of that attitude when visiting here, but with waitstaff it's often pot luck.
But the thai calimari is still one of my favourite dishes in London, doesn't matter which Busaba I have it at. So damn good.
I don't know why I keep on returning there, it's not that good.
I've had maybe 6 meals there, all very average, and kinda expensive for the quality (£8 - £13 a dish) but I guess the setting is nice, square communal table, cool decoration.
Actually, I know why i go back: its next to my office.
Practical but not yummy place.
I had the absolute nicest time here on sunday with a very dear friend of mine. We shared a bunch of starters which were all equally mouth wateringly ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS. Realy lovely setting, lighting and loation too!
Great atmosphere and delicious food. The chinese broccoli, fish curry, pepper chicken, and fried calamari were full of flavors and notably fresh. This would be a good spot for celebrating a minor accomplishment, say, wrapping up a project, welcoming a coworker, having a birthday with a couple of friends.
Missing a star for value. I thought the prices were a bit high for the portion sizes. Don't arrive starving unless you're there to celebrate a raise.
Let me start by saying I loved the food I had... my fiance and I both did. The three star rating is due to the poor service.... but let's start with the food! We eat thai all over the world, so I feel like we have a pretty good understanding of good/not good :]
We split the following: Tom Kha soup, chinese broccoli, vegetable spring rolls, sticky rice and red lamb curry. I have to say - all were outstanding. I can't speak to the noodle dishes, but these were great.
They really lost us on the service though. We asked for water & the bill many times and didn't get either until 20 minutes had passed and my fiance finally stood up with the credit card in his hand (side note - we are very patient patrons as we were both servers, so we do anything to keep from being rude to the wait staff).
The food I would give 5 stars; the service 2... so we meet in the middle(ish). Maybe you'll have more luck!
It's a good Busaba restaurant. The food is as good as any other Busaba Eathai (Musaman Duck is still one of the best curries I've ever had !), and unlike other critics, I really thought the Pad Thai was of comparable quality as what you find in other good thai restaurants.
However, when the menu mentions "Spicy", you can be sure it's really hot, so be careful !
In addition, there is more space in-between the tables, so you don't feel like you're in a school canteen like in the Soho restaurant.
Waiters are friendly as usual.
Aw c'mon! What's with all the 3 stars!!!
Busaba is great with delicious fusion-ish Thai food!
Loving the canteen style dining tables and the cool relaxing chill out atmosphere!
MM! Yummy drinks yum yum! Lemongrass and ginger pressé and their coconut water mixes are goooood!
Green papaya salad, calamari, morning glory and pad thai jay are on my to-go list! Everything else is also good with alright prices. Portions aren't huge, considering the pricing isn't super expensive anyway.
Does get crowded on weekends and even weekday nights.
Well that was terrible. Thai food for people who don't like Thai food. The duck curry was cloyingly sweet - I had the taste of sugar coating my mouth an hour later. Terribly overpriced for the quality and portion sizes. And the service was inattentive - they asked us what we wanted to order as soon as we sat down and later we had to ask a second server for water because the first wandered off to chat with friends. Don't make the same mistake. Avoid.
I wasn't planning on going to this branch, but they lucked out because East London was easier to get to in the snow than any of the Central branches. And it was the perfect choice. The food is the same as you'd expect in any of the branches (I went straight to the squid and beef with ginger - I've tried a lot of the menu but those are my absolute favourites).
I also got to try the monkfish curry, which was tasty, but not my favourite (always too much sauce, but that's handy for roti dipping). The staff were friendly, and we even stuck around for an extra portion of squid at the end of our meal. Yummy yummy yummy. Well worth trekking across London in the snow for. Really.
Thing I like about Busaba (aside from the squid) is that you don't feel like you're intruding in someone's space, even with the communal seating. It's busy, but you can still have your own conversation. This branch was quiet, so we didn't feel rushed at all. It's not the kind of place you want to linger in, but you'll come out full, happy, not that much poorer (dinner for two with drinks £40) and maybe even with a takeaway box for another portion of squid.
I really, really like the food and the whole experience here. I can definitely recommend the jungle curry and brown rice the rice even comes in a little wooden tub. The seating is set out on large tables so it's quite likely you'll be sharing with strangers. This makes it better as somewhere to go on the way to or from somewhere else rather than as an intimate meal.
This branch gets very busy with queues out the door so I'd suggest you get there early.
I really thought I was going to love Busaba Eathai - I wanted to love it. 2 mins from home I was hoping for a regular lunch spot. As the reviews all state - great decor, friendly staff, nice ambience and yes the food is tasty. The portions just felt a bit mean - especially the drinks. There I have said it. Maybe I am just greedy but I was left feeling that it wasn't quite enough. And for the money we paid it should have been. Perhaps I didn't order well and should give it another go...maybe. There is a lot of competition for lunch in Shoreditch - better than yelo round the corner but not much. Yes it looks great, has a buzzy atmosphere and the food is good - just not somewhere to go if you are really hungry unless you want to run up a king size bill.....
A rather pleasant place around this area [Old Street] but i can't say I was impressed with their food.
The place looks nice, I find the big windows slightly too intrusive as all the pass-byers are too much of a distraction,. It doesn't feel like a quality dining place, it's more of a canteen feel in my opinion. The staff didn't seem to be very willing to help in terms of the menu and options. It's was more of a 'eat and leave' feel. I wasn't impressed.
I would definitely not say that the food is that great, though i must also mention that it may be a matter of taste.
Also half way through the meal i was having, my stomach had a rather weird reaction to what I was eating, it was bad. Stomach ache and all that... I am very unimpressed with this place.
I do hope others will have better experiences there than mine.
ps: the restroom is lush. i must give credit to that. the sign on the door for men and women's toilet is great! hehe
Im a regular at Busaba, absolutely looove to deep fried squid and the Pad Thai.
Atmosphere is chilled, you'll have to share a table but its not that bad once you sit down.
Only thing I think they could improve is to have an ambience music on.
apart from that its great!
I was quite surprised with Busaba because I wasn't expecting a lot from a chain restaurant. Their chicken green curry is excellent. Try their Jasmine Tea smoothie too, it's delicious!
We had Ginger beef, Garlic pepper ostrich, Thai calamari, Chinese broccoli. It was fantastic. All of the dishes had their own distinct flavours and were cooked to perfection and also felt quite unique. They had a very interesting beer, Beerlao. The price is very reasonable and comparable to the Brick Lane curry houses but the food here is better quality and much more interesting. The atmosphere was great, being not too crowded and we didn't feel pressured to order quickly or rushed to get us out. A great find.
From other reviews I was expecting something akin to Wagamama's (ie quick and canteenish), but instead found myself rather impressed by Busaba. Reasonably priced dishes, great presentation, nice vibe, and EVERYTHING was delish. They only lose a star because the sweet potato in my stir fry was a little undercooked (I know - I'm strict), but I love love loved my meal all the same. The table-sharing situation didn't feel intrusive, and the service was good, even when it got busy. Also really nice to see a place be generous with the cashew nuts in the cashew dishes as well. Glorious. Will definitely come back.
LOVE. THIS. PLACE.
The ambience is so lovely, perfect lighting & friendly and efficient staff.
I've been quite a few times now, i find that its best to go with a few friends so that you can take up a whole table yourselves, that way you don't have to share with strangers. But to be honest, i'm not too bothered by that at all and the times i've been with just one other i've thoroughly enjoyed.
The food.. my god the food..My personal favourites have to be the 'Black pepper beef' & 'Red lamb curry'. The rice is cooked perfectly and i cant forget to mention the 'Ginger & honey tea' which I ordered randomly once and now cant live without haha.
..& The toilets are awesome.. and clean!!!!
Definitely give this place a go! it's always much quieter in the weekday daytimes so if its just a couple of you i recommend checking it out then!
I judge all thai restaurants on the curry... and the curry here was GREAT. however, the SERVICE?! Came here for the first time and it was quite nice.. but the 2nd time (on a friday night) - NOT nice. Was with a group of 5 and the server decided upon himself to keep the change. We actually had to ask for the change?! plus.. the red wine was sour however, in good conversation and dining, I did not notice until the glass was 1/2 empty so I didn't complain. Customer beware.
My boyfriend brought me here and I really liked it up until the food. You all sit fairly close together but not to the point that I ended up going home with the wrong person or that I got to hear every intimate detail of their conversation which is fine however I was expecting more from the food. My squid starter was overcooked and slightly cold by the time it arrived. I'm a big pad thai fan so was hoping this would be an improvement only it wasn't. It lacked taste and was rather on the small side. Even though the place is massive the lighting and wooden tables give a delicate intimacy. Just the thing when you want to have a lovely dinner not ruined by light.
Great food and atmosphere
I love Busaba and was really excited to go here recently.
The problem with this Old St branch is the waiters don't seem to communicate with each other and they brought us two glasses of wine instead of 1 wine, 1 lemonade and a water.. We would have gladly taken the wine for free though ;)
When ordering I was told the ginger and peppercorn calamari was coming without the peppercorns. Is that not the half the essence of the dish?! Curious, I ordered it anyway as I love Busaba thai calamari. It was really bland, and I shouldn't have ordered it (my mistake).
We had to ask 3 waiters to bring us the bill at the end of the meal and another couple to bring us some water throughout.
I'll still eat at Busaba, it would be nice if the staff were a bit more organised though.
Sorry the food is no good. A man cannot live on ambiance alone.
I was ecstatic when the latest branch of Busaba Eathai opened in Old St last month. Shoreditch usually grits its teeth at chains opening in an area which is largely populated by indies however it seems by the creative launch I attended the day before it's official opening, that this one is welcomed with opening arms. There is something quite cult like about Busaba and its clean fresh wooden interior. They did a very good job of gutting out what used to be Shish (no kebab smells apparent) and the food is fab as per usual. There are (to my knowledge) no other competitors of this standard. Yelo in the square is still a favourite for quick bites. Miso (in my opinion) is awful. Busaba is definitely one for the lunchtime treats - even casual business lunches. I have now visited every branch of Busaba - Bird St being my previous favourite. This one is 30 seconds away from where I work - happy :)
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