I live about 20 minutes away from the town of St Albans, a gorgeous city full of adorable coffee shops and amazing looking restaurants, all of which I want to explore more of. And last week I was invited along to experience one of St Albans newest Thai restaurants, Busaba, and was invited to their launch night, doesn't that sound fancy?
Enjoying the perks of being the boyfriend of a food blogger, I brought along Chris with me to the opening of Busaba, where we were both greeted with a glass of bubbly. Looking around the restaurant you could see it was full of hussle and bussle and excitement for the opening, with a DJ playing music, and an artist creating art work to be displayed in the restaurant.
Once we were shown to our table we were greeted by the head chef who presented to us a sample of four dishes to try from their menu while we decided what to eat. The dishes were designed to be sweet, sour, salty and spicy and were a great sample to the food we were about to taste at Busaba.
As it was the opening night they had a sample menu available for a few of their dishes, as well as a few signature cocktails. For my starter I decided on the Thai Calamari, which came with ginger and green peppercorn, and gosh did it taste amazing - a nice twist on a normal calamari dish.
Chris, who's a little more adventurous with spicy food, picked the Som Tam - green papaya salad, dried shrimp, peanut, cherry tomato and lime. I'm not one for spicy food, but Chris loves it so it wasn't a surprise he picked out one of the spiciest things on the menu. It was fiery dish, with lots of flavour - perfect if you like something a little hotter.
When it came to picking a main there was no competition from me, I had to pick the Tamarind Grilled Duck. As a big lover of duck dishes I was excited to see what the Thai take on this would be, which came with Chinese broccoli and sticky rice. The duck was cooked absolutely beautifully, and the tamarind sauce really complemented the flavours of the duck.
Chris once again decided to pick out the spiciest dish, and opted for the Pad Kwetio - flat rice noodle, smoked chicken, king prawn, shitake mushroom and sweet potato fries. As it's another spicy dish, and I'm a wimp with spice I didn't pinch any of Chris's dinner, although I may have pinched a few sweet potato fries, which were oh my, amazing.
All in all it was a lovely evening, and the whole atmosphere of the opening night was wonderful. If you looked around the restaurant you could see tables of people enjoying the food and cocktails on offer, and overall looked like it was a successful opening night. Not having experienced proper thai food before, I wasn't sure what to expect from the food, but I feel like I know a little more about the flavours from a Thai dish now, and I'm looking forward to heading back to Busaba to try some more soon!