London import Busaba Eathai The Beach, JBR is the perfect spot for getting your Thai food fix in a casual al fresco setting – go for the crispy calamari, stay for much more!
Situated at the Beach Dubai in JBR, Busaba Eathai with its family-style long benches and an open kitchen, looks like an interesting spot for a weekend lunch. For an un-licensed venue, it has a great selection of mocktails – M went with the mojito-esque Horapho with muddled lime, fresh basil and a combination of apple and ginger flavours. My choice, the Rareing and Ready with hibiscus tea, rose lemonade, lychee juice and a generous squeeze of fresh lime is refreshing. The menu itself is fairly easy to navigate with all the Thai classics you’d be after to complete a dining experience.
A simple som tam (green papaya salad with dried shrimp and peanuts) and the STAND-OUT crispy-fried Thai calamari were our starters. Now I don’t wax lyrical of seafood dishes lightly but this one deserves all the attention it can get. Curly-scored calamari deep-fried to a crisp perfection tossed in a potent sauce redolent with fresh ginger and green peppercorn.
Their coconut prawn gave us all sorts of tropical feels – plump prawns cooked in a light cococnut broth scented with fresh green peppercorns, lemon grass and kaffir lime and mild heat from the Thai chillies. The highlight of this dish is the play on coconut textuures – there is coconut jelly, tender coconut flesh, coconut palm hearts that all come together and add to the sweetness of the prawns, a dish that must-not be missed!
Instead of going down the usual Thai curry and rice, we opted for this Busaba Eathai style rice set that had nicely char-grilled chicken with a green-curry fried rice and a creamy reduced version of the traditional Thai green curry. The sauce had a beautiful consistency, just the right level of heat and a great balance of flavors.
In the desert section, the true test to any Thai restaurant is how well they do their Thai sticky rice and mango. Perfectly ripe Thai mango must be scooped along with a coconut milk reduction and the sticky rice making one complete cohesive bite – the version at Busaba ticks all the right boxes! We especially appreciate the generosity in the mango portions.
I wouldn’t normally venture too far away from typical Thai specialties for desserts mostly because I have too many of my usual favorites but my curiosity got the better of me and we ordered the Thai-style cheesecake – to begin with the cheese cake is layered in an almost effortless deconstructed manner that works in its favour, hints of lemongrass and kaffir lime cut through the creaminess nicely . The addition of both fresh straberries and as a coulis makes it both light and refreshing.
I highly recommend you order a a few cups of Lemongrass tea to round off your meal at Busaba, largely because of the little ginger cookies that will accompany them (you will thank me for sure). When a lunch extends to a tea and attentive service flows smoothly in between, it gets very easy to while away your weekend afternoon at Busaba – we are definitely going to return!
Location: Busaba Eathai, The Beach, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), Dubai