This week Busaba Eathai's Kingston Riverside restaurant celebrated it's relaunch, and I was very kindly invited along. My first experience of Busaba Eathai occurred on my eighteenth birthday when my family and I stumbled into the Tottenham Court Road restaurant for a celebratory lunch. It was pretty much love at first everything - the food was delicious, the drinks were refreshing and I enjoyed the distinct ambience of Busaba Eathai's dining experience.
Time has flown by since then and Busaba Eathai has continued to grow, expanding further and further afield from it's flagship restuarant on Wardour Street. The brainchild of restauranteur Alan Yau - also responsible for Wagamamas, Hakkasan and Yauatcha - Busaba Eathai offers a modern take on thai food, with absolutely delicious dishes at very reasonable prices.
Busaba Eathai Kingston Riverside is located right on the river front with a pretty sizeable outdoor seating area. Inside, it boasts the typical atmospheric interior that I've come to associate with Busaba Eathai restaurants. The only big difference that I noticed was the lack of communal tables which results in a more traditional dining experience. However, in spite of this, the Kingston Riverside restaurant still has the same infectious energy as it's central London counterparts.
At the relaunch party I was able to sample a number of Busaba Eathai's dishes. My favourite by far was Busaba Eathai's Thai Calamari with Ginger and Green Peppercorn (pictured above). It was cooked really well and had a depth of flavour that made it incredibly more-ish. I was also really impressed with the Goong tohd - breaded king prawns with chilli and lime sauce - which had a complexity of flavour that worked really well with its crispy exterior. Dishes that might otherwise feel a little bit boring are brought back to life with delicate, balanced spicing that befitted a range of palettes - you certainly don't have to be a chilli-lover to eat here.
Busaba Eathai was designed with a minimal no-fuss menu that offers delicous one-course meals. However, if there's anything that I learnt at the Kingston Riverside relaunch it's that Busaba Eathai's menu doesn't have to be hurried through. You can happily sit down and enjoy snacks and "small plate" dishes over cocktails or wine before ordering a noodle-dish or curry to share. It's very easy to while away time in such a beautiful location! I particularly enjoyed the changing light as the sun set behind the bridge, and with outdoor heaters keeping you warm (and incredibly attentive staff) it's a lovely venue to spend an evening.
All in all, I had a wonderful time at Busaba Eathai's Kingston Riverside restaurant and I'm definitely planning to return. With warmer months approaching it will be a perfect venue for both lunch or dinner, and I'll be trying to nab myself a seat outside!