Busaba Eathai will forever hold a super special place in my heart for three reasons:
- It was where I received my very first tasting invite from and the final push I needed to start a blog.
- It was the best possible place to have my first tasting, as I absolutely LOVE Thai food and these guys make some of the best Thai food I’ve ever had.
- Their Calamari.
This is the BEST calamari in Dubai (and maybe even the world). Once deep fried and then stir-fried in a peppery, gingery sauce, this calamari IS what seafood dreams are made of.
Said first tasting took place roughly a year ago, and a year down the road (and a LOT of food later), I have come a long way and so have Busaba. They have managed to serve up delicious food consistent in quality and even improved on dishes that I felt were perfect to begin with.They have now started a Saturday brunch from 1pm to 6pm(!) and I think you can see me making snow angels already. Every time I go there, I am welcomed like family, and in a city where mediocrity just doesn’t cut it, Busaba is clearly here to stay. Compliments to the chef and to the management.
The Yom Sam Sam (Pomelo salad) has improved since I last had it. The citrus in this fresh and zesty salad is perfect for alternating with richer dishes like the calamari, sticky tamarind wings, Goong Thad, etc. , and the toasted coconut on top and occasional burst of fresh red chili takes it to a whole new level!
There was no better “anniversary” post I could think of, than to feature Busaba Eathai’s new Saturday brunch. The brunch culture is an extremely popular Dubai institution and I’m starting to see a lot of unlicensed restaurants join the party. This makes me very happy, because I don’t drink to begin with, and it’s pleasant to be able to find brunch options in non-boozy, family-friendly environments. I must admit I was a little skeptical going in, and was praying with every cell in my body that the calamari is included in the brunch- and I nearly passed out from joy when I saw that most of their best-sellers are on the brunch menu, made-to-order, and free flowing- all at an unbelievable bargain of AED 150/pax.
The Goong Thad here (butterflied, batter-fried prawns), are legit one of my favorite things in the world. Fried seafood is a dime a dozen, but THESE Goong Thad are PERFECTION. You don’t bite into a mouthful of oil, instead you get a really crispy crunch. The reason I order this though, is for the dipping sauce. With flavors of lime, chili, and fish sauce, it is hands down the best dipping sauce I’ve ever had.
I got predictably overexcited and tried a plate of each of the appetizers ergo didn’t have room to try all the entrees. The staff was very generous and welcoming and encouraged me to knock myself out, but I hate wasting food so had to pull the cord when I feared the food occupying the room for dessert too.
I think by now the whole world knows how I feel about Som Tam….<3
Yes to the lemon-mint iced-tea. No to the mango-passionfruit one. There was nothing “tea” about it and tasted like overly sweet, artificially flavored juice.
I loved the peppery filling in the crispy Spring Rolls. I’m never a fan of Thai sweet chili sauce.
Sticky tamarind wings were sweet and tangy.
Pomelo Salad again
The Water Spinach tasted EXACTLY like the kind M’s (Burmese) mom makes, hence proving how authentic the flavors at Busaba are. The only difference is that she peels the cloves of garlic instead of tossing them in skin-on.
The coconut rice was so, SO good I could cry. Also, writing this review at a time when I have no access to coconut rice is making me cry.
Chili Prawns. These tasted more Chinese than Thai but then again the line is blurry sometimes.
One difference I noted
Chicken Green Curry: so flavorful and fragrant, one could almost think they’ve added perfume to this!
Beef with Ginger. I expected this to be more gingery but I do tend to OD on ginger.
I had the coconut ice-cream for dessert, but M’s choice of mango ice-cream was the winner. No mango and sticky rice on the menu, sorry!
The weather was fantastic, so we sat outdoors and wrapped up our meal with lemongrass and ginger teas. This is the best time to go outdoors, before the deadly summer dawns on us, and this brunch is NOT to be missed. It’s a refreshing change from the typical hotel brunches, and the food is phenomenal. While you may not find the same variety as you would in a bigger, fancier buffet, I can assure you that the quality of what’s on offer will floor you.
You can make a reservation on 04 4281421