Liverpool is currently experiencing a restaurant renaissance, every week it seems a new eatery opens it’s doors, breathing new life into what were some of the city’s most run down areas. Ginger and Cream was invited along to the VIP launch night of one of Hanover Street’s latest openings, Busaba, which offers modern Thai cuisine in a casual dining venue. Since, I couldn’t attend I sent along my roving reporter chums Anna and Jamie to try it out on my behalf and report back.
Since the first Busaba restaurant opened in London’s Soho back in 1999, the business has expended to include several other London venues along with outposts in Manchester and Dubai, Liverpool now joins to fold. Hanover Street is totally revived and somewhat of a foodie destination these days, which makes a welcome change from the depressing sight it cut just a few years ago.
Anna and Jamie excitedly (first evening out without babies for almost 2 years, so you can imagine!) rocked up to the venue to find a full on red carpet experience, which really set the scene for what was to be a fantastic evening ahead.
Inside they were greeted by Francesca their fantastic waitress, who was lovely and along with the other staff couldn’t do enough to ensure that everyone was having a great time. She was even kind enough to send over some additional pictures from the blessing by Buddhist Monks that had taken place earlier on that day. Francesca explained the importance of this blessing to ward off any negative energies and wish fortune on the new venture.
The interior of the venue pays close attention to the natural elements to ensure a good energy flow within the room, so you’ll find water in bowls with floating flowers, metal Buddha’s and flags representing air. Fire is shown in the burning candles and the kitchen furniture is wooden, lucky ladies adorn the wall above the kitchen representing charity and the fact that they are able to feed anyone who comes into the restaurant. The staff all wear little string bracelets that have been given to them by the Monks to connect them all to work together as a team.
After a warm welcome, cocktails were flowing and perhaps one too many Jasmine Margaritas (the fave tipple) a deliciously different combination of jasmine infused tequila, lavender liquor, apple and lemon, were enjoyed.
After wetting palettes and settling in at the table it was time to tackle the banquet set menu, which included starters such as Soft Shell Crab and Chicken Satay. Jamie is Vegan and the Chef’s were only too pleased to rustle up a suitable starter for him, they delivered a flavour packed hot and spicy Somtam salad – raw papaya, spicy and sweet with Thai green chili, lime juice, peanuts, long snake beans, cherry tomatoes all brought together with palm sugar and tamarind. Simply divine!
Next up was the Aromatic Vegetable Curry a combination of red and yellow chard with pumpkin, French beans, served with rice and cucumber relish. Lovely smooth, spicy and gorgeous flavours that seemed to zing into action right across the palette, it was heartily enjoyed.
There was no Vegan pudding available so Anna tried the Chocolate Fondant which she admitted was a little disappointing as it proved to be on the dry side and the accompanying coconut ice cream lacked the intensity of flavour it needed. It would have been great to have finished off with some lovely fresh fruits or a more traditional Thai dessert perhaps.
Overall a great night was had, the food delicious and service was excellent. Plenty of fun was had in the Tuk-Tuk, and the interior décor is beautiful, like an escape to Thailand itself.
The cocktails were so lovely that Anna and Jamie were fuzzy headed and merry when they left, there was a real buzz in the air and atmosphere was great! Another visit is definitely on the cards, is anyone willing to baby sit?!
Peace and Love
Ginger and Cream XOXO
Busaba Liverpool, Unit 2 Liverpool One, L1 3DN. Telephone: 0151 541 1770
Note – Ginger and Cream was invited as a guest of Busaba, Liverpool for their VIP Launch Night