Busaba Eathai

  • Restaurants
  • Thai
2 Love It

Conceived by restaurateur Alan Yau more than a decade ago, this original branch of Busaba Eathai attracted queues round the block when it opened in Soho. These days, Yau has only a minority share, and Busaba has become a ten-strong chain – but it’s still not your average Thai joint. The dark, handsome interior combines teak wood, incense and dimly lit lanterns. With spacious shared tables, no reservations and brisk service, the restaurant remains a great spot for a casual meal with friends.

Renowned Thai chef David Thompson’s influence is now far less pronounced than in the early days when he was menu consultant, though there are still a few dishes that aren’t often seen in London, such as the sen chan pad thai (a pimped pad thai with crab originating from the Chanthaburi province of eastern Thailand). The unusual addition of green mango gave this dish a nice crunch, while the mild chilli kick married well with the sweet and sour tang.

A more mainstream tom yam talay was a disappointment, however; what should have been an aromatic, spicy seafood soup was overpowered by fish sauce with only a hint of lemongrass coming through. Busaba may not be as polished or as innovative as when it opened, but you’ll still find a measure of inexpensive charm here.


Venue name: Busaba Eathai
Address: 106-110 Wardour Street
Opening hours: Meals served noon-11pm Mon-Thur; noon-11.30pm Fri and Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square or Tottenham Court Road
Price: Main courses £9.50-£10.50
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Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:6
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
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Martin H

Busaba has to be a must visit if you fancy a Thai lunch in Soho.  There are other restaurants in the chain, but given I work in Soho, this is the one I visit regularly.  

The star of the show is the Calamari.  This is some of the best squid in town, always cooked very well and the flavour is amazing.  I recently visited Thai Land and fell in love with Massaman curries and Busaba's Duck Massaman is very very good.  Other highlights if the menu are the Pad Thai, the Beef Sirloin.  Service is usually fairly good.

It is great value for money and definielty worth a visit

Kishma S

The food at Busaba is consistently good and with the Taste of Thailand (after 6pm) it's a bargain.

With the set menu I had prawn crackers, sticky wings and chilli beef rice for £12.90. The chilli beef was mince which I wasn't expecting but it was tasty nevertheless.

I was disappointed that Soho don't have a cocktail list but they have their own twist on a Bellini with guava and strawberry which was nice and reasonably priced.

The experience was let down by the service which was very slow and unhelpful, at one point a waitress just ignored me point blank.

Karen d
moderatorStaff Writer

I'm not usually a fan of chain restaurants but Busaba is my exception. I think the quality of food is exeptional and I never get bored of the spicy Thai Green Curry, the deliciously cooked calamari and fried prawns, I'm also a big fan of their Jasmine juice. The staff is always friendly, and although the restaurants can be over crowded and you can end up easily squeezed next to other diners, it is a great place for reasonably priced Thai food.

Sarah P

Busaba Ethai is always consistently great –even on the busiest of Friday or Saturday nights; the food is tasty, the service is brilliant (speedy and efficient) and the atmosphere is always buzzing. Although you can’t book, the queue always moves quickly so don’t be deterred! I highly recommend the calamari & jungle curry…


I went to the one on the Wardour Street. We waited 5 minutes for seat of two. When we got in, the seats were set as one big table with 10 people. It was terrible. You have to blend you arms and close/cross your legs tightly, just like a thief, in order to avoid touch with someone you do not know but sat next to you. The food was not too bad, but the environment let you want to leave as soon as possible.


If you want a quick thai meal this is the place to go. A variety of choices on the menu, great curries!


Busaba Eathai is a favourite eatery of mine, with its delicious meals, modest prices and central locations. It is a casual, informal place with communal tables, promising a relaxing atmosphere with candles, flowers and incense scent welcome you in. The menu is diverse enough. Food is both healthy and tasty, not a combination we see often! I would recommend chicken satay as a starter, char-grilled duck (or beef) or pad thai as a main course, and asparagus fried rice as a side dish. But the legendary food here for me is tom kha chicken, with lemongrass and coconut. Perfect for chilly winter weather! Busaba is known with its quick service and kind, friendly waiters with a smiling face. They don’t take bookings, so you have to queue in the evenings, but most of the time you are inside quickly. It does not come as a surprise that here is voted Londoner’s favourite restaurant by Time Out.


good food - duck massaman is tasty, rich and meaty. Coconut rapsberry water was lovely, if a little pricey. Great for a sociable, affordable meal however service is a little ropey when busy.