Thai restaurant group Busaba Eathai is to open a cocktail bar within its new flagship site in east London as it prepares to expand outside of its London heartland.
It plans to launch the new restaurant (pictured) in Shoreditch in February, spread across two floors with 164 covers in the dining room plus two terraces and the Kinnaree Bar.
The bar will be decorated with a selection of Thai art, from khon dance masks and bronze temple bells to the centrepiece: a hand-carved kinnaree statue created by craftsman Lert from the far north of Thailand.
The cocktail list will include modern Thai twists and popular classics, all influenced by the rich flavours and aromas of Thailand. The extended list includes the Jasmine Martini, a fragrant mix of gin, cloudy sake, jasmine and guava, the Mussaman Sour, a twist on the New York Sour inspired by the earthy spices of southern Thailand, and Ning’s Mango Colada – Busaba’s tribute to the best mango sticky rice street food stall in Bangkok.
Pronounced “khin-NAH-rah”, the bar is named after an angelic half-woman, half-swan creature that adorns many temples and palaces in Thailand. She is a celestial messenger who is a graceful, admired beauty travelling between the human and mystical worlds.
Connecting the Kinnaree Bar and the classic Busaba dining room will be a tropical courtyard with soaring living walls, a statuesque staircase, a serene reflection pool and the Busaba Buddha shrine.
Busaba Eathai, which opened its first restaurant in Wardour Street, Soho, in 1999, has expanded to 12 sites across London, most recently launching a new restaurant at The O2.
Jason Myers, chief executive of Busaba Eathai, said: “This launch marks a pivotal moment in the Busaba Eathai story. Our new site here in Shoreditch brings together all of the magic of its predecessors as well as representing our evolution as we celebrate our 15th birthday and look forward to our expansion across the UK.”
The Shoreditch site will be home to the Busaba CookThai academy, a development and teaching kitchen for the company’s chefs during the week but open to the public at the weekend from April, under executive chef Jude Sangsida and his team.
Changing regularly, the Kinnaree Lunch Menu, served only in the bar on weekdays, will offer dishes from “innovation sessions” at the CookThai Academy. A few of the dishes that will be featured in the opening weeks include the traditional Thai railway fried rice, Thai roti wraps and Chilli beef rice set, all priced between £5 and £8.
Dishes in the communal dining room will include Thai calamari, sen chan pad Thai and green chicken curry.