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Friday
Mar182011

Busaba Eathai

 

Busaba Eathai has three locations, and so has not yet reached the Wagamama style domination I'm sure Alan Yau, the owner of both, has planned. I am a Wagamama fan and was curious about this place after hearing such good things. So The Sibling, The Leftie and  I headed out one evening.




The place itself is a cut above your average Wagamama. All sleek, dark wood, low lighting and candles. It doesn't feel cheap by any means. Whilst Wagamama is a little too utilitarian in look to feel like a potential nice dinner place, this could happily facilitate a first date. Like Wagamama however, Yau has gone for the communal dining theme, which he is clearly so fond off. Personally, I'm not a fan of this. Noodles are rarely eaten elegantly, and whilst I feel my dining companions love me enough to forgive me after having to watch me attempt to eat Ramen, with random strangers you're not afforded this luxury. It works the other way too. Who wants to stare at a random person enjoying their meal? In a way it feels like your invading on other's private moments. During our meal, the diners opposite us were celebrating a birthday with present, and thus had an audience of the other eight diners watching them open presents. Awkward, to say the least.


Ever budget conscious, we ordered only mains each. I went for a Pad Thai,£7.40 which was good. My knowledge of Thai food leaves a lot to be desired. I finished the whole thing however, and given the bargain price they were generous with the prawns. 


The Leftie was left unimpressed by his Pat King Talay at £8.50. He found it greasy and rather underwhelming.


The real star of the evening was The Sibling's Ostrich, £7.80 It was great to see such an interesting ingredient that I assume few people have tried, at a price and environment that would appeal to a lot of people. Points for making interesting food accessible. Not only was it interesting, it was also wonderfully cooked. It got such high praise The Sibling described it as one of the best things she had eaten in a while. The rice that accompanied it however, left a lot to be desired. It was strangely dry, and I would have thought along with noodles, this place should have rice down pat.


The service was average until we reached the bill. It seems strange, especially in a restaurant that prides itself on affordability, to assume that any change is automatically a tip and not bring any change back at all. In our case, they assumed a 25% tip. This would have been okay, had they brought the change back the first time we asked. But they didnt. It took about 15 minutes to get our money back, at which point none of us really felt like tipping at all. But we did, and in total for our meals, a glass of wine, a pot of tea, the service and a beer, the damage was just under £40.00


So it was good, not outstanding, but good. I would probably go back again, and probably will now The Boyfriend and I are on a strict budget, I'll just watch out for my change.

Busaba Eathai on Urbanspoon

 

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