Busaba Eathai

Restaurants, Thai Oxford Street
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 2 out of 5 stars
(10user reviews)
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Busaba Eathai
© Paul Mattsson

Has anyone told Busaba Eathai that the Thai generally don’t eat with chopsticks? We can’t help feeling that their routine supply on Busaba’s communal tables (forks and spoons appear when food arrives) spreads ignorance.

But there’s no doubt this quality chain attracts an international crowd; customers on our visit included Indian families, Italian babes and Essex builders. The spacious Bird Street and smaller, quieter Store Street branches are, we feel, superior to the Wardour Street original, although the latter has undergone refurbishment.

Busaba’s iconic metres of smooth, shiny wood are brightened at Bird Street with floating gerberas and tea lights, wafting incense, and an expansive view of white tiles.

The menu is tweaked occasionally (we long for the return of mooli omelette), but perennial favourites include Thai-style calamares; prawn pomelo with proper betel leaves; morning glory with yellow bean, garlic and chilli; and the cashew and coconut cookies that are included with the tisanes.

Smoky grilled aubergine arrived pretty as a picture topped with toasted coconut, chilli and fresh mint. Fresh chillies and green peppercorns added heat to a light stir-fry of seasoned cod fillet (at £9.70 among the pricier main courses).

A jasmine smoothie was expectedly fragrant and surprisingly crunchy, thanks to blended passion-fruit seeds. We’ve received complaints about service here, but in our experience it’s usually friendly and swift.



Venue name: Busaba Eathai
Address: 8-13 Bird Street
Opening hours: Meals served noon-11pm Mon-Thur; noon-11.30pm Fri, Sat; noon-10pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Bond Street tube
Price: Main courses £6.20-£10.90
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Average User Rating

1.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:6
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Alexandra L

Time was you could depend on Busaba for a decent plate of well flavoured and good value Thai food. A recent visit to this branch would suggest that this time is long past.

Pandan Chicken was attractively wrapped in glossy green leaves but devoid of any real taste while Spring Rolls were comparable with a high end supermarket at best. Most disappointing of all was the unfortunately generous plate of Chicken Pad Thai which appeared as nothing more than noodles, bean sprouts & ragged looking pieces of meat, devoid of any freshness or colour. One of the most fragrant and flavourful dishes of Asia was reduced here to a mountain of sad, colourless food.

While service is fine and food is prompt, neither would be enough to persuade me to return again – there are just too many other better places to eat in the capital and perhaps it’s time Busaba went and benchmarked a few of them because a quick & reasonably priced dinner is still entirely possible in the capital. Now, if you need me, I’ll be having an ever dependable Pollo ad Astra across the street…

deha d

Well...new menu new concept!! luckily calamari are still in the menu otherwise i could not survive without : )  I love the new grilled dishes presented as kind of turkish kebab style...

The restaurant in Oxford Circus looks amazing and very innovative. The atmosphere is friendly and the food taste amazingly. i would come back again...of course to eat my favourite calamari!!!!! :)

Sonny C

This is a great chain with quality food. Particularly good for solo lunchers to grab a tasty bite to eat while out & about. The 50% off with Timeout card makes it an absolute steal too. I've never had a bad meal with the food always fresh & delicious. The mixed starter is a great Thai tapas lunch for one with 4 of their best starters included.

Jack V

Time out listed this restaurant as being a restaurant where you get discounts however the staff refused to accept it. The service was very slow, the food was all cold and it took us about 30 minutes to get a bill. Awful all round from Timeout and the restaurant.  

Gary R

If this were actually Thai food it would be the worst Thai food that I have ever tasted. I have not been to Thailand but have eaten in very many Thai family run restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. Someone is playing a little trick on London with this chain


Nice atmosphere for friends to gather. However, I don't think it's authentic thai but more like a fusion food affair. You should also know that you will get Tapas style portions and will end up ordering several small dishes and share, It's a bit ridiculous that the chicken stir fry with cashews and chilli is almost the same price as the plate of broccoli side(£6 +). You don't get rice with the main, you have to buy a side order. The price has gone up significantly in this place since a few years ago, unfortunately quality didn't go up with it. Note: the chicken is always thighs meat never breast, which can be annoying given the prices charged.


Thai people do use chopsticks. I've no idea where you've got the idea that they don't-when I visited, the Thai people I met couldn't get their head around using a knife and fork! You're getting one star just for this blatantly wrong statement!

Mr Mitesh

Well I am a lover of oriental/asian food so im gonna be honest! Hospitality/Presentation: 4.5 stars. Well mannered staff and lovely incense smell upon entering the restaurant so no problem here. Food: Green Thai Curry which I had tried was ok but not great. I mean the sauce was nice but the chicken pieces was somehow not that great, it felt like ripped up pieces just chucked into a lovely Green thai (I cannot be bothered style) sauce so would only give this dish 2 stars out of 5 and portion size lacked as well. It felt like I was having soup! Jungle Curry: Again another dish in which the sauce was nice but the quality of the actual chicken was quite poor, not enough and for £7.90 if you are pretty hungry you would be bit disappointed. Value for Money: As most of these restuarants are based in the city the prices are certainly not cheap but as this one is concerned, do not look to forward to it as there are better Thai restaurant out there otherwise for your 1st time its nothing special! Overall 2 out of 5 stars room for improvement


You have to be kidding me! I have spent a lot of time in Bangkok and I would never ever take a Thai friend to this restaurant chain. I think they would just be embarrassed. The food is lacking in flavor and cannot be called Thai - it contravenes the Trade Descriptions Act. Save your money for a trip to Thailand. The chopsticks are not the only travesty in this restaurant - NOT ALOI


Not cheap, food barely average and small overpriced portions, tables crowded and uncomfortable (there were 6 of us and we had to share our table with strangers), plus we were overcharged, but still there was a queue outside the door for the whole of the two hours we were there. Nowt so queer as folk, hey? We wont be returning.

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