Its layout is very similar to that of the Wardour Street branch but, refreshingly, there isn’t the ever present queue which I have always associated with the Soho branch. Yet, on the first lunch of its first weekend, there was already enough of a buzz as the place started to fill up. So perhaps I wasn’t the only local excited about this greatly anticipated opening.
For those unfamiliar with Busaba Ethai’s menu, the food here is Thai. There are the staple dishes such as Pad Thai and Green Chicken Curry and there are also those which present you with a surprising burst of flavour, such as the Red Beef Curry that contains lychee or Thai Calamari that is made with ginger and peppercorn.
At the launch, I tasted an array of dishes which I had never entertained in the past. I usually stick to the Pad Thai or Mussaman Duck Curry, which never fail.
But what a revelation the launch party was. First off and the last dish I tried was the ostrich, which tasted like a cross between lamb and beef. It was succulent and not a tough chewy bird as I had imagined. There were soups to try, vegetarian stir-fry dishes, noodles and plenty of seafood as well as meat. My favourites were the scallops and also the char-grilled duck and as much as I enjoyed the Prosecco and Bellinis, the (non-alcoholic) Guava Collins was very refreshing and surprisingly very delicious.
When a chain joins a high street, there may be some scepticism. But having revisited King’s Road’s Busaba Ethai over the weekend for lunch, it proved efficient, friendly and reliable with its dishes and service.