Busaba Eathai

Restaurants, Thai Leicester Square
32 Love It
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Busaba Eathai
© Paul Mattsson

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
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Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:0
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Nice food can get crazy busy. The thai calamari and matchstick chicken are both good ways to start the meal. The mussaman duck curry with coconut rice is very tasty. It can get insanely busy so definitely worth booking if you can. The staff are generally pretty good but it is not unusual to have to hunt down staff so you can order/pay. The seating is pretty uncomfortable consisting of hard wood but the communal tables are good for a little bit of eaves drooping and food snooping if nothing else.


Food is great! The duck breast is delicious and melts in your mouth, the coconut rice has a nice coco flavour without being overly sweet and the calamari starters are crunchy and flavoursome. Nice portions too. Love it! However, the juices are slightly disappointing as one ingredient often overpowers the others. Shame.

The place itself is made of big communal tables with a wooden modern design. It’s very low-lit though, which is slightly annoying. Staff is friendly but often gets a bit overwhelmed when it starts to be busy. I recommend advanced bookings as the place can get quite crowded sometimes.

All in all a nice Thai restaurant in central London.

Staff WriterStaff Comp

Although I normally shy away from chain restaurants, I think this one is actually decent value and good food. The one on Store St is particularly good for work lunches.

moderatorStaff Writer

This is possibly my favourite Thai restaurant in London. I don't care if it's a chain, the dishes are just incredible, from the Thai green curry, to the shrimp stir fry and pad thai, not to mention the starters: deep fried shrimps or the calamari. The Jasmine Juice is incredible too! The staff is always super friendly and all dishes are served together and extremely quickly. It can get a bit crowded and noisy but oh well, you are there for the food! 

Went to the Floral street branch. It's all about the value, £27 per head (between 8) for mains and selection of small plates, couple of bottles of wine and the food I had was good if nothing exceptional. Would say it was a little awkward a group of eight of us being placed on a table with two strangers though..(probably worse for them)..so perhaps not the best venue for a larger group.

they've taken my favourite dish off of the menu and I've tried a few different dishes to try and find something similar but everything tastes the same. They over use chilli in everything so can't taste the difference


Visited yesterday with my daughter in the early evening. Lovely atmosphere as soon as you walk in-scented joss sticks-friendly, genuine welcome from the staff. You can either choose window facing seats or large tables, but be prepared to share with other guests at busy times. We ordered Southern Seafood: scallops, prawns, fish roll and chilli in a very hot and spicy sauce; fried chicken in a lemongrass and sweet lime sauce; pad thai and jasmine rice. All dishes were top class and delicious. I came here a few months ago with a friend who had lived in Thailand for many yearsand she said the food was as good as the food in Thailand. Good, attentive service. Added to this, using the Time Out card means you get 50% off all food.

The first Busaba I ever visited when the queues were a nightmare. Since expanding, it's easier to get into this one, but only just. It's in such a great location.

I have been to this place 2 times to far, always loved the food and service. With 50% discount from TimeOut Card members its a treat.. I strongly recommend this place..  


Been here around 5 or 6 times, love the place and would recommend to anyone. Plus 50% off food with the time out card, cant go wrong at all.

Staff Writer

Tasty thai cuisine delivered in a canteen styled atmosphere. the food is packed with strong and authentic flavours. The staff is friendly and efficient. This is an excellent choice if you are craving for Thai food at excellent value. It can be very noisy though, not recommended for a date or a romantic quiet evening. You must try the Thai calamari and one of the curry's from the list (shame though they removed the shrimps curry from the menu!!). Busaba becomes ever better if you have a Time Out Card which will give you 50% discount on the bill.

I dined in Busabai this week and found out they have a new prawn yellow curry dish on the menu which is delicious!

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. 

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.