It’s a popular foodie pastime to hate on chain restaurants. You know, why in god’s name would you go to Pizza Express, Nando’s or Wagamama when you could check out the latest Botswanan street food pop up in Daltson?
Yet I have a soft spot for some of these joints that even extends to the admittedly loathsome lunchtime standby Pret A Manger. Hey, I’ve never got food poisoning from a Pret sandwich, which is more than can be said for some Michelin-starred restaurants.
With 10 restaurants to date, Busaba Eathai is hardly on the same scale as these high street monsters but it makes a decent hash of doing affordable Thai food in some pretty convenient locations. So when it was suggested that a recent night of boozing be interrupted by a visit to one of its central London branches (no, I don’t remember which, it was probably Wardour St), let’s just say I didn’t shout: “But fecking Meatliquor is that way!” Well, at least I didn’t shout it too loudly.
As usual, everything at Busaba was OK to good (the ginger and peppercorn calamari is the must-order dish, by the way), except for at the business end of things – the chicken wings.
Related: What’s the deal with Wingin’ It?
There’s not much to be said that isn’t obvious in the photo. These were some of the scrawniest damn wings I’ve ever bitten into, offering so little meat they were practically vegetarian.
One mark is awarded because the exterior was quite crispy, and a token .5 because no wings – not even the most inhumanely slaughtered, battery farm chicken wings tossed in Jimmy Savile’s shit – will ever be worse than what you find at Rileys Sports Bar.
Other than that, these wings come with a massive disclaimer. There’s plenty of decent stuff to eat at Busaba Eathai, but if it’s wings you want, look elsewhere.
Wingin’ It Verdict: 1.5/5