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8-13 Bird Street
Ten years, ten branches. Busaba Eathai has picked up the pace of late, but standards remain high & its regulars loyal. This chain of Thai eateries, conceived by Alan Yau, gets away with things a less sexy outfit could not: hour-long waits for a berth, no starters, no desserts, communal tables. What’s its secret (aside from the Thai calamari which has most readers in rapture)? In short, it’s ‘quick, affordable, informal & open all day’. Chic interiors, low lighting & that all-important ‘buzz’ don’t do it any harm either. There’s a feeling that portions are shrinking, but the menu of stir-fries, curries, noodles & salads still pleases most visitors. The appeal of certain dishes never diminishes – think stargazer monkfish curry, stir-fried morning glory, & pad thai with prawns, not forgetting those delectable calamari.
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8-13 Bird Street
Bond Street Tube Station 125m
Marble Arch Tube Station 606m
James Street 50m
Mon-Sun 12N-11pm (Fri-Sat -11.30pm Sun -10pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
Shoppers searching for culinary respite on Oxford Street often struggle for good options. It was therefore a pleasure to encounter Busaba Eathai on Bird Street, just a stone’s throw from Selfridges. I was vaguely aware of the restaurant, and although part of a small chain, the service and atmosphere on the occasion we visited was friendly and welcoming, perhaps more akin to that of a local establishment. Beyond the warm greeting, the set-up is definitely enticing: dark wood, amber lighting and an appropriately cool musical soundtrack. The place was surprisingly quiet when we visited and so the communal tables were not an issue as there was no need to share. For those who quibble about this (and diners should be aware that the tables here are square rather than the long establishment-like benches found at Wagamama), there is also the option to sit at a window-side counter, ideal for people watching/ shopper spotting. In terms of the food, the emphasis is Asian/ Thai and the approach is in keeping with many restaurants these days, a series of small dishes that can be shared and are brought to the table when ready. There is hence no division between starters and mains, but the menu is instead logically and helpfully split into categories such as salads, stir fries and grills. Spicy options and vegetarian ones are also clearly denoted. Dishes are mostly priced in the £7-10 range with the priciest at £12-13. Be aware, however, in a group the bill can quickly escalate if several are ordered and we did not end up finishing everything. This was, however, more a commentary on our over-ordering than the quality. In this latter respect, there were no ‘bad’ dishes from the range we selected. Busaba’s famous spicy calamari were a hit, but we also enjoyed the soft shell prawn, fried chicken (which had a lovely hint of lemongrass) and cod fillet among others. All in, a success. Local workers should also take note of the fact that a take-away service is available.
Food + drink: 5
I took my boyfriend there last night (19th Dec 08), it was so much better than I had imagined. The ambience was lovely, busy and relaxed at the same time – very civilised. The food was wonderful, not what I usually choose when going to a Thai. The calamari and prawn starters were delicious. I highly recommend this place and would go back in no time.
As part of the Hakkasan stable…obviously this restaurant is really popular, especially the branch right next to Selfridges! Thankfully the queue didn't take too long – about 15 minutes to get inside (you can't book this place for a casual meal).
The atmosphere was great as the place was packed with its slightly dimmed interior and you are usually seated at a table with 8 other people. Even though you may lose a little bit of privacy this is worth it as this way you won't ever have to worry that you will get ignored by the waiters! I mean, there are only so many gigantic tables in this place! They turn the heating quite high in here as well so you won't ever have to worry when you've just come in from the blistering cold.
Our waiter is quite witty and the food came without any problems. I'm not a big fan of Thai as I seem to stick to only a few basics – Lamb curry & rice is always a safe choice if you're very confused by the menu of chilli food. They have a good choice of both drinks and food on the menu to satisfy all the picky healthy diners out there (esp vegetarians!) and the price is very reasonable for the high quality and food at this restaurant.
Worth a try, if you haven't been there yet!
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Christmas banquet £29 per person
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A La Carte Menu
Group dining - Bangkok Banquet £28.90 per person
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Group dining - Bangkok Thai £19.90 per person
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