Busaba is a brand new Thai Restaurant opened in Liverpool city centre on Hanover Street. The 5,418 square foot venue houses an attractive 144-cover restaurant and bar, and is sure to excite scouse taste buds offering the ultimate Bangkok dining experience.
It was designed by Russell Sage Studio, the space in Hanover Street, known as the home to an eclectic mix of bars and restaurants, has undergone a major development and refurbishment. The restaurant's design draws inspiration from traditional Thai architecture, furniture, textiles, joinery and modern day Bangkok and the material palette of gold, copper and blue offers a distinctly Thai flavour.
I was told the dinner would start at 6pm and to get to the restaurant before then, so Phil and me headed up to the venue at 5.30pm. Although we were warmly welcomed by the staff and seated right away, Phil sat in-front of me and the staff kindly moved the chair out of the way for space for my wheelchair, within minutes we were given a glass bottle of water to share between us and were told that we were early and nothing was set up set. The lady apologised and said someone would be over soon.
I was really surprised by the way it looked in there. It is beautiful, the décor is wonderful, and it sounds silly but the smell is amazing. They had incense and candles burning and it really smelt of Thailand, or what I hope Thailand smells like. The on disappointing thing I which caught my eye right away was the windows: they are huge, and everyone walking back from Tesco and Home Bargains, or getting off the bus really put me off. There was a woman dressed as a devil who walked past at one point and stopped to really have a good look in the venue, and the Liverpool Karaoke Tour Bus went past with drunk people singing (what sounded like) Barbie Girl. I think for a VIP event the windows would have been blocked off and maybe some beautiful looking curtains put up or something? I wasn't impressed with the people stopping to look-in and the tourists take pictures from the outside of what we were doing inside the venue.
On the chair we were sat at there were goodie bags for us to take home. On the table there was a tea light candle burning away to my left, and to the right was a napkin, Thai folk and spoon, chopsticks and some extra sauces for the food. In-front was two menus: one for drinks and one for food. We scanned them keen to make sure that their was going to be something we actually liked to eat and drink.
The choice of the starters were salt shell crab with garlic and chilli, or chicken satay with peanut sauce, or par-pia jay (aka veggie spring rolls). The mains included red chilli beef fillet with stir-fried garlic, chilli and spring onion, or steamed whole sea bass with chilli, coriander, basil lime and jasmine rice, or aromatic vegetable curry with pumpkin, red and yellow chard, and cucumber relish. The dessert was a chocolate fondant served warm with chilli chocolate cause and coconut ice-cream.
The drinks menu was another interesting choice...
Cocktails included: "Coconut Collins" Koko Kanu, Jamacian coconut rum, pineapply, lime topped with soda, lemon grass and ginger. "Jasmine Margarita" Jasmine infused tequlia, lavender liquer, apple, lemon served in a sugar rimmed glass. "Thong Lo Spritz" ginseng infused liqueur, grapefruit liqueur, finished off with white wine and elderflower. "Mussaman Infused Gin & Tonic" Lemongrass, star anise and cardamon.
Mocktails included: "Guava Collins" guava juice, kalffir lime leaves, lime juice and coconut. "Koh Samui" carrot, orange juice and toasted coconut. "Qcumber" fresh and light sparkling mineral water with cucumber extract.
There was also a beef called "Singha" and a choice of red, white or rose wine available by the glass.
20 minutes later a man came over and introduced himself as Harry and gave us a lovely welcome and took our drink order. I had a QCumber and Phil had a Koh Samui. Our drinks came really quickly and tasted wonderful! I was a little nervous as I really didn't think I'd like mine but surprised myself and loved it. I will be trying to re-create them at home - they are the perfect taste for first thing of a Spring or Summer morning.
At exactly 6pm the waiter came back over and took our orders. Phil getting the par-pia jay for starter and chilli beef fillet for main. I got the chicken satay for starter and the veggie curry for my main, we also both got the one dessert on the menu.
The starters came and both tasted wonderful, we were really impressed. I even robbed some of one of the spring rolls Phil's chose, they were so tasty. Within minutes of finishing them and the table being cleared our mains were here - I loved that! I hate it when I order food at a restaurant and end up waiting ages between the meals. The mains came; Phil really didn't get much on his plate, a couple of pieces of beef and some chilli and other veg, but he did really enjoy it. My veggie curry was really yummy but very hot. I loved the shredded fried-potato skins which were on the top but I would have loved the curry not to have chilli blended into it and the veggies to be a little smaller. I actually only had about six or seven mouthfuls of the curry and ended up leaving the rest as it was so hot. The only thing I can say about the dessert is I wish there was more of it. Neither of us used the chocolate chilli sauce but the chocolate brownie and the coconut ice cream were both beautiful and tasted amazing.
Catherine and amazing Tom, both have unbelievably great voices. Call me old though but I didn't like the fact that it was so loud, Phil and me literally had to shout across the small table we were sat at and didn't actually talk most of the time because of this. We must have looked so bored!
Once we had ate, we had one more drink and headed out the door. On our way out the staff were amazing with moving everyone aside to get my wheelchair through the crowd of people waiting to be seated for their meals, and I was handed some candy floss on a stick. I accepted and said thank you. BAD IDEA! Within minutes of going outside it was all over me, my jacket and my bag... and I was so sticky! I ended up chucking it in the bin and didn't eat any. We didn't stay around for the after party, even if it did have a free bar, and we were home by 8.30pm.
I want to mention that the whole night went towards Aldery Hey Children's Hospital which I thought was amazing to do. I love it when other companies, business and brands get involved with hospitals or charities which feel close to my heart. Phil and me gave in £20 so I hope a lot of you who did attend the event gave just as much or more.
The goodie bags included a couple of offers for Busaba Liverpool, a pen, a tea light candle and some incense sticks. All in all; the food was amazing, the staff are wonderful and the entertainment was great (although a bit too loud). I will be visiting the venue again.
Also a massive thank you to Headz N Bedz Larkhill for doing my hair for the event, and Body Embrace for doing my eyebrows. I hope you all enjoyed this blog post, and all have a wonderful day!
With love, Alisha Valerie. x