There is always a certain reticence when deciding to dine at a franchise. Certainly, certain exceptions such as Nobu or Robuchon’s Le Atelier would not warrant such feelings, but otherwise restaurant chains and franchises remind us (or me at least) of certain things: KFC and McDonalds. Some fears are, undoubtedly, unfounded. Luckily this case proves so.
Eat-out plans have been constantly thwarted for us this week. Failing to ensure a table at a Korean BBQ place – which caused a little bit of frustration (this must be how Iran feels about its nuclear programme)- we decided to try out a Thai place where I had been to before with my friend Etienne. The place was decently packed, yet had no problem getting ourselves on one corner of one of their huge tables.
A small note on the etiquette of behaving in restaurants. At the nearby corner of said table, a couple were having a small date. Constantly clenched at one each other like a pair of slugs mating (have you seen slugs mating? You’d know why this was unpleasant then), they seemed more interested to eat each other than the food in their plate. Please, for the love of all that is good, stop doing that. Can you not be romantic and have a lovely date without mounting each other like a pair of rhinos in heat?
I had been deprived so much of spicy food whilst in Romania, it was utter bliss to order the sen mee (beef, capellini, spring onion and dried chilli, £7.50). Very well cooked, spicy and delicious (even though I still added some hot chilli sauce – it was a party in my mouth), the noodles boiled properly and overall a very good treat for my aching stomach. The sister went with the Pad Thai, even though she seemed more interested in my food. (I personally do not like the Pad Thai because not such a big fan of seafood).
I think the fear of franchises stem from the fact that they seem to be more interested in profits in the sense of providing lots of food, and this provision then lets you ignore the quality of your product. I don’t think Busaba Eathai does that. The food was quite good, the staff was friendly and chatty, and the place has a pleasant, Thai ambience. The huge tables where people need to sit to each other is very strongly reminiscent of food and restaurants throughout Asia.