Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right Busaba Eathai

Busaba Eathai

Restaurants, Thai Soho
4 out of 5 stars
(29user reviews)

Time Out says

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.




Address: 106-110 Wardour Street
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square or Tottenham Court Road
Do you own this business?

Users say (29)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:11
  • 3 star:8
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:1
2 people listening

Love the decor. Food was delicious- Thai calamari and pad Thai. The monitor cocktail was great too!


If you want a relatively inexpensive Thai meal, Busaba is certainly as good a restaurant to head towards as any other . However, if you are in a rush, you might want to re-consider. We went for a set menu with main and side at £12.95. We both decided on the kanomjin noodle laksa with chicken pieces in a curry sauce with spring onions laced with coconut and bean sprouts. Very tasty! Our sides were avocado and mint salad, which was delicious but not appreciated by my companion who dislikes coriander, and edamame beans. You can't go far wrong with that. We shared our large square table with two other couples and the service was good.nAlthough the beans arrived quite quickly, we had to wait almost half an hour for the main course. If you have a theatre to catch, you might want to leave yourself plenty of time.


Not somewhere I'd visit if I had the choice. The food is only OK and nothing special but it's appeal is that the food here compared to other Thai restaurants is relatively cheap. Neither here nor there.

Amazing calamari and beef curry, nice atmosphere , guava Collins juice are the best .

All style and very little substance... very stingy with the portions.

The som tam was like it was just thrown together without any care to texture nor taste.

The calamari was tough and rubbery.

The noodle soup was mainly just stock.

Even with the discount... it was overpriced.


I wouldn't choose to go to Busabai Eathai if I was specifically looking for great Thai food at a reasonable price, and had thought about it in advance. I believe there are absolutely better places to eat Thai and Thai fusion in London, plus I am a fan of independent restaurants.

However, sometimes, you just want a quick bite to eat and a safe go-to place that you know will be tasty and easy and in this case, Busaba Eathai hits the mark for me.

It was a rainy, crowded Saturday night when my friend and I went in to the Soho branch, our pre-planned restaurant choice having been too busy to accommodate us. We got served by the most delightful friendly waitress and sat on a comfortable communal table. All the food we ordered was tasty, arrived in good time and was generous in size. Nothing would put me off coming here again, but equally I would never make a special journey here - it's not the kind of place you crave to go back to.


As far as chains go, Busaba is definitely among the best. I've eaten at quite a few different branches and the food, service and atmosphere have always been great. You should most definitely try the jungle curry - it's not as hot as they say!

I have only ever been to the location near Goodge Street, the seating is unusual and it is a bit crowded at times but the service and food are always excellent. Reasonably priced too.

This is the original Busaba, the first one I ever visited and I can still remember the queuing along Wardour Street to get a seat to this day. Loads of branches have obviously popped up since then, but this site still hasn't lost its charm and style despite the location - and the service is always top notch.


My friend and I were craving Thai food and so we decided to try Busaba Eathai. We came to pick this restaurant because we had heard from friends and reviews online that they were pretty good and served up several traditional Thai dishes. 

However, I was rather disappointed with the food. We ordered a couple starters including the Pandan Chicken, which was decent enough. We then obviously went for some Pad Thai, as that's one of the most traditional Thai dishes. This was such a let down. The noodles were white in colour (normally, it's slightly darkened by the sauce used) and it tasted rather bland, nothing like what we're used to in Asia and when we had it in Thailand. We also had the Green Chicken Curry, which definitely helped redeem the experience, as this was the most authentic and delicious dish out of everything we had. 

I wouldn't recommend this restaurant if you're looking for an authentic Thai meal. The Pad Thai is an absolute disappointment but the other traditional dishes we had were alright.

Been twice recently to the Soho branch and the food has been consistently excellent. The Thai Calamari is an absolute winner as is the Chicken Satay and Green Curry. Prices are reasonable and the service is excellent. Perfect for a quick bite with no fuss. 


Great Thai food in the heart of Soho, with quite reasonable prices. All day open either for lunch or dinner. Avoid after 19.00 and weekends as it becomes too busy/with long queues. Excellent for a pre-theatre meal. Great variety of Thai meals and nice combos that can save you even more money!


My friend and I really fancied some quick Thai food so popped in here between cocktail bars. We were seated quickly (be-warned the tables are sharing tables only so you are sat on a corner of a table of 8) however once sat were left waiting quite a long time to have our order taken. We both went for a Pad Thai and boy did it come quickly. Unfortunately it was COLD - not luke warm but FREEZING. We ate until we could grab a waiter, which also took quite a while, and told them it was cold. They took it away immediately with an apology and brought out a hot hot hot replacement quick enough so I have to give them some stars for the way they dealt with it. It isn't a bad Pad Thai but I have had better - not worth the aggro! It then took forever to get hold of someone to pay the bill. When we did get hold of them we then had to wait for it to be brought over and they put service charge on! Bloody cheek!


To put it simply, if you don’t know what to eat, this will always be a safe choice. Pad thai or curry are the obvious picks, but all the dishes are flavoursome, quite healthy and affordable.No matter which location you visit, the quality is consistent. And you can even order it home with Deliveroo. Such a dream!

Good quality thai food. However, I would recommend staying away from the mussaman duck curry if you're hungry as the portion size is fairly small.


Good Thai food conveniently located in the heart of Soho. I had the spicy chili beef rice which lived up to its spice rating.


One of my favourite restaurants in London, it never feels like a chain - the Goodge Street outpost is the best. Worth a visit just for my favourite dish of all time - the thai calamari, gingery, peppery amazingness. The non-alcoholic cocktails are also well worth a try. 


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


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.

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.

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.

Snap up exclusive discounts in London

Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...