'Busaba' means flower and grace in Thai. It's also the newest Thai restaurant to spring up about two months ago at the upmarket Bangsar Shopping Centre; its elegant and tastefully furnished ambience encapsulating the very essence of its graceful name.
Part of the Sea Cuisine Group of Restaurants that is known for its hospitality with a heart philosophy and fine establishments such as Celadon, Flying Chillies, Amarin Heavenly Thai, Basil and Good Evening Bangkok among others in the Klang Valley and Absolute Thai in Singapore, Busaba is the group's 14th outlet.
Marketing director Elyna Tan states that Sea Cuisine's restaurants boast different brand names and interior concepts as each is distinctly conceptualized by Thanee Laivarintr, one of the co-owners who happens to be an architect cum interior designer.
It is one of the few stylishly chic interior outlets that cater for families with prices that won't burn that big a hole in one's pocket. Unless of course you decide to splurge on premium specialities such as Baked Oysters with XO Sauce and Fresh Oysters served with Home-made Thai Sauce.
The head chef Sonthaya Kundet, 40, from Southern Thailand keeps a close eye on food quality and is currently initiating fellow counterpart Ubon Kaiyamung, 38, to ensure Busaba's specialities are up to mark.
So what's good here? I'd recommend you start with Thai Iced Tea, a cold, triple-layered concoction of black tea, milk and palm syrup. The subtly sweet and milky drink is perfect for dousing your palate that would be set ablaze by the extensive selection of Thai dishes.
Prime your palate with Mieng Kam, a traditional appetizer of fresh Thai betel leaves filled and rolled with seven condiments and piquant Thai shrimp paste. You'd enjoy the patische of different flavours and textures that burst forth in your mouth.
I can't recall when was the last time I had a good Tom Yam Prawn but was delighted to discover the orange-hued broth is well-balanced in all its requisite spicy, sour and briny aspects; brimming with the invigorating nuances of lime, lemongrass and chilli in each spoonful.
It's impossible to eat Thai food without steamed fragrant jasmine rice and in this case, it serves as the base for the accompanying piquant curries and robust delicacies.
Your salivary glands will go into overdrive once the stimulating Thai Mango Salad served with Crispy River Prawn hit your palate. Complemented by the rich Green Curry Chicken served with Salted Fish, it's guaranteed to send you up onto cloud nine.
Another unique dish is Sizzling Beef Striploin with Northern Thai Sauce, popularly known among the Thais as Weeping Tiger. Its unusual name originated from Thai folklore which believed that tigers were the only creatures that hunt and eat cows. However, when men came along and started partaking beef, the tigers wept as they no longer have cows to devour.
Nothing beats a bowl of Thab Tim Krob or Chilled Water Chestnut with Jackfruit and Fresh Coconut Strips in Coconut Milk; the sweet coconut milk-based broth filled with ruby-red dices of crunchy water chestnuts, strips of fresh jackfruit and young coconut goes down a real treat after all that tantalising fare. The notable Mango with Sticky Rice left us with sweet memories of our first visit to Busaba.
BUSABA Heavenly Thai
F15, 1st Floor
Bangsar Shopping Centre
285, Jalan Maarof
59000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2093 7708
Fax: 03-2093 7710