Busaba Eathai: "Distinctly average food in trendy surroundings" Busaba Eathai Tip by kit_mc

Busaba Eathai, London: 14 reviews and 15 photos

  Busaba Eathai
by kit_mc

I'd passed this place quite a few times and it's always fairly busy with quite a stylish ambience, which I thought a good sign. I popped in for lunch the other day to rest my bones after an afternoon's shopping and boy was I disappointed.

This restaurant is part of the growing set of trendy noodle eateries here, but I'd say it's a matter of style over substance. The menu certainly looks promising with some interesting sounding dishes to be had. The surroundings are undeniably very trendy, the usual shared tables, a warm teak coloured interior and toilets that are so stylish and over-designed that they've been raved about by reviewers more than the food.

Overall I wasn't impressed by this place, but in it's favour there is space to sit and eat outdoors which is quite a rare treat in London of a summer.

Favorite Dish: While the decor in this place is undeniably funky, to be honest, I ate the blandest Tom Yam Kai (spicy lemongrass and chicken noodle soup) that I have ever tasted, even though it was marked in the menu as being especially spicy. My eating partner had a chicken and rice dish that was also just plain bland. The quality of the meat was pretty poor, which at around 7 a dish didn't impress.

We had a 750ml bottle of water at around 2 which was the cheapest drinks option, rather than the (small) glasses of fruit smoothies that are available for about 2.50. Alcohol is also served. Note that this is a non-smoking restaurant.

Service was mixed, pretty disorganised and it took over 10 minutes for us to order our main course, while the people next to us were served within three minutes of sitting down. A slight air of pretentiousness wafted from the waiting staff too.

Overall I would say this place certainly didn't live up to its reputation the day I went and is best avoided. I've found Wagamama's chain of noodle bars to be a much more reliable bet, although again the staff there can have a bit of a superiority complex going on. Well, if one will choose to eat in one of those trendy noodle bars...

A meal for 2 at Busaba will set you back around 20 to 25.

Address: 22 Store Street, Bloomsbury, WC1E 7DF
Price Comparison: about average
Directions: Going north up Tottenham Court Road, Store Street is about 5 minutes walk on the right hand side.

There is also a branch on Wardour Street in Soho which is more popular with queues that reflect this.

Phone: 020 7299 7900
Price: US$11-20
Rating: 1
Theme: Pan-Asian and Pacific Rim
Website: http://www.busaba.com

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jul 4, 2005
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