Busaba Eathai

© Paul Mattsson
Leicester Square
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This chain of budget Thai eateries is experiencing a growth spurt. After years of just three branches, several more are cropping up around London. The Panton Street outlet is ideal for Leicester Square, and spacious enough to accommodate the inevitable tourist rush. Staff continue to seat patrons tightly around the large communal tables, despite plenty of empty seats nearby. Otherwise, service was generally upbeat and efficient.

The menu – both food and drink – has also been growing, but is still compact and offers a decent variety of salads, soups, stir-fries, curries and noodle dishes. We enjoyed the new refreshing ‘muddled’ drinks of coconut water (mixed with either raspberry or lychee juice), and iced earl grey and raspberry tea.

Stir-fried pepper ostrich sounded interesting, but wasn’t: the meat coated in a heavy cornfloury sauce that obliterated any natural flavours of the bird. Chinese broccoli with shiitake mushrooms came in quite a mean portion, with only a few slivers of flavoursome fungi. We would also avoid the new ‘Thai roti’, which was dry and grainy.

But the old favourites are still worth returning for, such as a soothing, galangal-rich tom kha noodle soup with chargrilled chicken and slippery glass noodles, or aromatic pandan chicken.

Venue name: Busaba Eathai
Address: 35 Panton Street
Opening hours: Meals served noon-11pm Mon-Thur; noon-11.30pm Fri, Sat; noon-10pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus tube
Price: Main courses £6.20-£10.90

Average User Rating

3.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
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jackaro s

tasty food, authentic Thai flavours, buzzy, informal atmosphere, excellent value, especially pre-theatre 6-7 pm special, friendly service, a little disorganised at times, but overall would visit again and again. 

Sonia F

I think Busaba Eathai have been adapting their menu as they have grown, and I find the dishes now are very carefully thought out and prepared - no matter which restaurant I've been into. Their duck curry especially is homely, comforting and packed full of flavour. Yum!


I had the Chargrilled Chicken with spicy cucumber salad and sticky rice. The chicken was dry and over cooked. The sticky rice looked like it had been reheated in a microwave oven and was hard and chewy and the cucumber salad was stupidly spiced to the point that it ruined and already awful meal!


I've been in Busaba at least around 3 times. Normally I go for duck, fried chicken with lemon and noodles. I've tried both the ginger tea and the lemon one and both are really good. I really enjoy going there as I like the environment and the food is good value for price.


My ginger tea was delicious as was my prawn chilli noodle dish, but my son's chicken was cold and my prawns were luke warm too. I wouldn't rush back to this place.