Decent Thai food in Hoxton
While there are so many Thai restaurants in London, it is never easy to find a good authentic Thai as many have developed into more "western friendly" styles and abandoned the true essence of Thai food. Thai Kitchen 101 in Hammersmith and Addie's in Earl Courts came to mind when it comes to good old fashion Thai in West London, but what about East London? I had no idea. Found some decent reviews on Busaba Eathai in Old Street so off I went to see what it has to offer.
There are actually a few different Busaba Eathai in London. Created by Alan Yau, the same restaurateur gave us Hakkasan and Wagamama. Busaba Eathai has a very casual setting with eastern candle burning across which gives it a very Eastern temple smell to it, large tables mean you will need to share with strangers unless you have a group of at least four, this is more of a canteen than restaurant, pretty much Wagamma style but in Thai instead of Japanese.
The drinks was rather disappointed, I ordered a Guava Collins which has guava, lime, coconut and Thai lime leaf. All I tasted was the Guava which most likely came from Rubicon pack, and all other ingredients were most likely pre mixed. No freshness and other flavours from the support ingredients whatsoever, expected a lot better than that.
On to the food, for sides/ starters we had chicken satay and Thai calamari, the chicken was nicely grilled and the satay sauces was nicely blended with good nutty aroma, but... why the hell did they had mayo on top?! Totally destroyed the dish and at over £5 for four small pieces of chicken meat, not really good value I must say. The Thai calamari on the other hand was really nice, nicely seasoned with the hint of ginger and black pepper really shines through and the calamari itself was sweet and tender. Of course there are better calamari out there but for the money it is charging I think it was very good indeed.
For main we had coconut prawn and jungle curry. The coconut prawn was properly a little too sweet which dominated other flavours, the sweet and creamy taste however did went really nice with the fired prawn and just enough black pepper to cut through the cream otherwise it would had been a total one dimension in term of taste. The jungle curry was a real let down, the grilled chicken was nice on its own, the curry, or rather just a spicy soup was nothing but just pure spices and was very westerly, everything inside the "soup" was decent but the restaurant really should had call this "Jungle soup" instead of Jungle curry.
Busaba Eathai definitely fallen to the category of serving Eastern food aiming at the western audience, I must say I wasn't that impress at all given I had some much better Thai in London and were cheaper too. This is more of an ideal place for a quick working lunch or if you are local and after some causal dinning, nothing more, just treat it like Wagamama.
£20 per head
319 Old Street
London EC1V 9LE