A Christmas menu doesn’t have to involve brussel sprouts and cranberry sauce to be festive, sometimes a few seasonal ingredients and some unusual combinations will do the trick. If you’re not into bacon and stuffing on everything from mid November basically up until the end of December (like me) then Busaba Eathai’s Bangkok Christmas menu may just be your thing.
You get Thai Prawn Crackers with Sweet Chilli Dip to start, which for me is always a winner. (They’re the most moorish pre dinner nibble you could ever put in front of me and I’m always in serious danger of ruining my meal by stuffing myself to oblivion before the starters arrive.) Then you get to pick a starter and a main. There isn’t load to choose from but the choices are good.
We shared Matchstick Chicken Wings and Northern Thai Chicken Laksa to start. The wings were dry – rather than in a sticky sauce – but still moist and tasty and the soup warmed us up good and proper. For mains we did half and half again. Grilled Mussaman Chicken and Black Pepper Venison Stir-Fry. The peanut sauce for the chicken was spiced with cinnamon, star anise and clementine – a nice nod to the festive season – and the chicken was covered in a really tasty dry rub. Our sweet potato fries were ever so slightly undercooked which was a shame but smothered in sauce it didn’t really matter. It didn’t matter about anything actually because the Venison Stir Fry was so bloody good. The oyster and garlic sauce was so insanely rich and scrumptious we had to ask for extra and the meat was tender to the point of perfection.
Busaba is one of the only chain restaurants I fully endorse. I can’t say every single one I’ve eaten in always smashes it but generally they’re pretty damn good. Only thing that was missing from the festive menu was the calamari. It felt like such a waste being there and not having a portion; if you know then you know.
Oh and you MUST have the Belini.