Busaba Eathai, a leading Thai restaurant group, has opened their latest venue within a brand new multi-use building in the heart of London’s East End.
Busaba Eathai opened its first branch in 1999 on Soho’s Wardour Street and 15 years on now runs 12 sites across the capital.
The new Busaba is spread across two floors with space for 164 covers within the impressive dining room, Kinnaree bar and two terrace areas. We caught up with David Archer, from Archer Humphryes Architects, who have worked with Busaba since 1998 helping them to develop the Wardour Street venue and the following 11. David commented:
“The Busaba chain is different because as the chain has developed the design has not been diluted; instead the content of the design has been maintained. The same amount of effort goes into the design of each branch including the attention to detail, the quality of the materials and the execution of the concept.
“The selection of the contractors has been painstaking and as we have worked with some of them before the client and design team have been really pleased with the results. As a business Archer Humphryes Architects work for a few clients and have done for a long time. Busaba is one of those clients and we have a longstanding, important, precious and fruitful working relationship which we are both proud of and cherish.”
Before works began on site Busaba Eathai owned the ground for a long time. Works began on the construction of the unit in the autumn 2014 and design works began shortly after. Within Shoreditch venues tend to be reclaimed or industrial spaces, but the Busaba venue breaks from traditional as it is housed within a brand new building which is part of a much larger development. As a result the restaurant comprises many subdivided spaces, a plethora of columns, double height space which is sub lit and an atmospheric glass bridge suspended over water.
Diners enter the venue via the glass bridge into the top lit double height space which is lined with traditional tie hard wood hiroko detailing. The Kinnaree bar, named after an angelic half-woman, half swan creature that travels between the human and mystical worlds, has been adorned with a selection of Thai art which gives the space an authentic Thai feel. The art pieces include khon dance masks, bronze temple bells and a hand carved Kinnaree statue.
Cocktails served within the Kinnaree bar have been heavily influenced by modern Thai twists and popular classics combining the rich flavours and aromas of Thailand. The extensive list includes the Jasmine Martini, Mussaman Sour and Kalamansi Negroni.
A tropical courtyard, complete with a reflection pool, a Buddha shrine and an impressive staircase, connects the Kinnaree bar and classic dining room.
The Busaba menu at Shoreditch comprises brand favourites such as Thai Calamari, Sen Chan Pad Thai, Green Chicken Curry with new addition of the Short Eats at Shoreditch lunch menu which will feature new creations from Executive Chef Jude Sangsida, such as Thai Railway Fried Rice, Thai Roti Wraps and Chilli Beef Rice Set. The Short Eats menu is priced between £5 and £8 and the menus will change seasonally to ensure diners have plenty of choice every time they visit.
The Shoreditch site will be home to the Busaba CookThai academy offering the brands budding chefs the chance to develop their skills during the week. At the weekend Executive chef Jude Sangsida and his colleagues will share their talents with members of the public via CookThai academy classes and workshops.
Jason Myers, CEO of Busaba Eathai, commented:
“This launch marks a pivotal moment in the Busaba Eathai story, Our new site here in Shoreditch brings together all of the magic of its predecessors as well as representing our evolution as we celebrate our 15th birthday and look forward to our expansion across the UK.”
To celebrate the chain’s 15th birthday free yoga classes, meditation sessions, CookThai miniseries and wellbeing talks will be hosted at Busaba Eathai Shoreditch. All of the above will be free of charge as will numerous live music events beginning mid-February.