A Sunday in London is always exciting, as there is always something going on. Even for someone like me that has been living here for five years, on a Sunday there is always a new event somewhere, a local market, a pop-up exhibition, or simply a corner of the City I haven’t visited yet. Last Sunday I wanted to go to the Vintage Furniture Market in Bethnal Green, in Central/North London, as I have been looking for a coffee table for my flat but haven’t managed to find one yet. The area is vibrant, slightly hipstery in places, and not touristy at all.I have only realised while walking on the street that it’s in Bethnal Green where the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood is.
It was quite a nice market, with lots of sellers and some nice cuttlery and bowls: I didn’t find the coffee table, though I got forw beautiful emerald mid-century enamel bowls from Norway. The day was glourius, the sun was shining so my friend Lyndon and I decided to walk to Old street and eat at Busaba Eathai, a Thai restaurant my friend had tried before.
Busaba Eathai is now a small chain of modern Thai eatery conceived by Alan Yau in Soho’s Wardour Street in 1999. The name comes from the thai flower Busaba, and the restaurant offers an interesting selection of freshly prepared soups, stir fries and curries.
The relaxed “Sookjai ” phylosophy of the restaurant (that means ‘to enjoy’ and ‘happy heart’ and that is about avoiding the everyday chaos that distracts you) is reflected by the atmosphere of the place itself: water ponds at the entrance, flowers and candles are a calming, enjoyable welcoming surprise.
We started the meal with a refreshing and soothing ginger and honey tea. The honey comes on the side and you can gradually add it to the hot tea, while drinking it.
I was in the mood for something warm but refreshing, and the tom kha chicken sounded appealing. Indeed, this lemongrass chicken soup with glass noodles, coconut and galangal (similar to ginger) was a wondeful dish. Slightly thick, incredibly flavoursome and aromatic. It was definitily worth having it!
We then tried a large different dishes to have an overall tasting experience of the flavours of the restaurant. My friend had tried before, and wanted to order again the thai calamari with ginger and green peppercorn: my favourite dish after the soup; tender but meaty, wonderful seasoning, delicious. The Matchstick chicken (split wings with pandan leaf) and the prawn crackers with sweet chilli sauceare a crispy treat to whets the appetite. Also interesting the Goong tohd (breaded king prawns with chilli lime sauce). We also enjoyed the chicken satay with peanut sauce and the fish cakes with cucumber and peanut relish.
I’d recommend busaba also if you are a fan of fresh juices: the Guava collins (guava, lime, coconut, lime leaf) is an absolute delight. A tip: order it with no ice!
I am looking forward to visit again one of the Busaba restaurants! There are some that are closer to the more touristic areas, like Leicester Square. You can find here the list of the locations. If you like Thai food and you are in London, Busaba is a place we highly recommend. Have you been already? Let us know what you think!
Or if you are craving Thai but are planning to have a relaxed night in, try our Thai-mussels Recipe!