Busaba Eathai


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

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
2 people listening
john a


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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.