After a nice relaxed morning at Champneys and wandering through the St Albans weekly market, it was definitely time for lunch. Cue much peering in windows, checking out menus, and by-passing anywhere with queues because patience is NOT my middle name. Around the corner away from the main streets we stumbled across Busaba….a place I had heard of but never tried, so, feeling more adventurous than a delicious but generic pasta place, in we went.
It hadn’t been open long today but we were surprised to find it totally empty! Unfortunately for them I think that was mostly due to location because there was no passing trade to tempt in the casual shopper. We were greeted straight away, shown to our table, and given plenty of time to study the menu without being pressured but also without sitting around twiddling our thumbs.
Drinks arrived promptly (Pomegranate and Elderflower Pressé – lovely and refreshing), with starters not too far behind. We had decided to go for the “2-plate Bangkok fix” lunch menu as it gave us an opportunity to try new things without splashing out too much if we didn’t like it. Thankfully we loved all of it so here is a break down:
Starters: Chicken Satay // Por-Pia Jay
The chicken satay was a reminder of what satay really can be with chunky pieces of nut and chilly and lightly grilled chicken, whilst the por-pia jay turned out to be mini spring rolls with a sweet chilli dipping sauce, emphasis on the chilli. The beauty of picking different things meant we could try more and it was worth it – portion sizes were perfect for a starter leaving you temporarily satisfied but ready for more.
Mains: Chicken pad Thai // Duck noodles
These plates, as with the starters, were beautifully presented with stunning bright colours, an intense balance of sweet/salty/sour flavours, and still staying light yet filling. We didn’t feel the need to add any of condiments (eg soy sauce) as the flavours were incredible, and definitely not the siracha as there was already a kick of heat in the Duck dish.
We opted out of dessert, although there was plenty on offer, because it was only meant to be a light lunch and there was birthday cake waiting for me at home!
The gentleman who served us was friendly, not imposing, but always quick to respond to requests.
Overall, it was a lovely lunch with incredible food, and perfectly peaceful for us at that time of day. I would love to go back on a Friday night to experience the atmosphere when it gets busy as well.