Eating Out: Busaba Eathai
Last year, Andy (the fella) and I ate our way through Thailand for 25 days and ever since then we’ve been on a mission to find somewhere in London that made a pad thai that tasted like the one we had in Kanachanburi. In this tiny quiet town where we could only seem to find one street of food vendors, was this lone old man with his cart serving only one dish: Pad Thai. It was smokey, well-balanced and most of all – it wasn’t sweet like the incarnations of the dish you get in Europe (why is it orange?!). The most amazing thing was that it only cost us 20p! TWENTY PENCE!!! It was… prefect. We severely regret not giving him more money, especially after understanding our terrible hand signals to leave out the bean sprouts. So we swear to you, Kanachanburi pad thai man - if we ever find you again, we will pay you handsomely!
So yes, on with the review. Last night we visited Busaba Eathai, another of Alan Yau’s ventures in modern asian dining (although he’s now sold Busaba on). Gotta say, the man has style. The dark wood and ambient lighting is very earthy but also sophisticated and welcoming. Although we had to queue outside for 10 mins, the mixed scents of thai ingredients and joss sticks floating out the open windows smelt so heavenly that I really didn’t mind. The place is almost laid out like a canteen with big communal tables, which I loved as we ended up sitting next to a couple of Peruvian siblings whom we got on with so well, we all went to Zebranos after.
Needless to say, the first thing we ordered was the pad thai. Despite how it looks in the photo, the portion was a decent size for one person with a satisfactory 5 king prawns within it. I did think it was a bit too sweet though *sigh* but maybe that’s being unfair as you can’t really compare to being in Thailand. Really though, it was a delicious dish, and we hoovered up every last bit of it.
What is this. This certainly wasn’t the roti I was expecting to get and it made me a little sad as I was looking forward to dipping a soft, lightly fried bread into my duck curry. What we got made me think that something went wrong and the bread was mistakenly deep-fried for too long. It was chewy and hard. Bring back the real roti!