Before we start I would like to put an end to a popular misconception about chefs. Yes it’s how we earn our living and yes it’s our big passion in life but there are times you want to whip off your apron, ditch the oven gloves and head out for a curry. This is something my wife and I often do, especially after a particularly long day of filming, and we are lucky enough to have the most awesome Thai restaurant just around the corner from our flat.
The Busaba Eathai Shoreditch sits on Bethnal Green Road and if you don’t look up you could easily miss it as it is tucked away above the vibrant Kinnaree Bar. If your experience of Thai cuisine begins and ends with green curry then you are in for a real treat. In fairness, Busaba Eathai is more brand than restaurant as there are no less that 12 branches across the capital and the first 2 outside of the capital, in Manchester and Liverpool, are earmarked for opening next January and February respectively.
Many great restaurants have a back story involving their owners having some kind of epiphany or citing emotive inspiration. This one is a tad different. Alan Yau opened the first branch in Soho back in 1999 with a very simple philosophy; to create a modern and casual Thai dining experience that consisted of a one course service designed to feed you with as little fuss as possible. The clean, contemporary interior combines chrome and wood to create an elegant but relaxed dining experience. This foodie is particularly impressed by the fact that the customer is king here and nothing is too much trouble for the attentive staff.
The name comes from the Busaba, which is a Thai flower, and a fusion of the words Eat and Thai to create Eathai. 15 years and thousands of satisfied customers later, yours truly included, the restaurant is going from strength to strength and also offers Asian inspired smoothies and juices and a simple but refined wine list. I have never failed to be impressed by the dishes I have enjoyed here over the years, but they deserve a blog of their own 🙂
The Busaba Eathai has its own living ethos called Sookjai which is based on the traditional values of Buddhism. It’s all about avoiding the every day chaos which acts as a distraction and instead focusing on living life as it comes and creating a reality of your every own. As somebody who lives life in the fast lane in a parallel digital universe I can buy into this totally. Well, I can for a couple of hours at Busaba Eathai before I get back on my hamster wheel!
Things to try
The Calamari is nothing like anything you will of tasted. ( I was never a big fan until I tried Busaba’s peppery version)
Thai Green Curry
Sliced Roasted Duck (This arrives pink, so adjust of you prefer well done)