A drizzly rainy Saturday in Liverpool, was brightened up by a quick lunch of sunshine. If you’re in-between shopping and prepping for a night with the girls (as I was), but also a big lover of fresh food it can be tricky to find a lunch option that ticks both boxes, particularly on the high street. Steering away from the greasy street food vendors and chain burger restaurants, I stumbled across Busaba just around the back of Liverpool One, hidden away from the main shopping street.
The setting is decadent and instantly transports you to the Orient, whilst the service is warm, friendly and welcoming. The menu is accommodating and accessible, with the “something for everyone” vibe offered by so many of these high street cheap eats chains. Dishes range from small bites to stir fries and meatier items off the grill. Our server Francesca was fantastic, helpful and very patient with my dining partner who is not only vegan but extremely indecisive. Soon enough, I’d made a decision on what I was lunching on and my friend had left her lunch in the destiny of our waitress (no pressure!)
A fantastic selection of drinks from the norm to some more exotic juice blends, giving the feeling of something you’d find on the menu of a high end spa. Unfortunately, as both of us had a drive (and a boozy evening) awaiting us, I didn’t get a chance to browse the wine list.
Soon enough our food had arrived and we weren’t disappointed. My dish of chicken and butternut squash stir fry with cashew nuts and a bowl of sticky rice on the side was super fresh, vibrant, and the perfect amount of spicy tingle on the lips. The flavours were intense, the chicken was tender, the butternut squash lifting the entire dish making it feel like it was doing you some good, and the cashew nuts adding a delightful touch of texture to the dish. The rice perfectly steamed and just the right amount to mop up all of the sauce from the main dish….it was too good to waste!
My lunch partner’s surprise dish was a hearty bowl of broth with coated tofu, a plethora of earthy wild mushrooms and silsok glass noodles. Warming with a deep, intense taste kept varied with the selection of mushrooms, and with a lightness from the delicate tofu which just absorbed all of the surrounding flavours beautifully. It came with the acclamation it was one of the best vegan dishes she’s ever had in a restaurant, so thumbs up all round!
Imagine Wagamama’s, but with a bit of soul, a bit of love and a bit of heart thrown into the mix and you’re pretty much there. The dishes we had left our hungers satisfied and our souls feeling nourished from the abundance of fresh ingredients used; certainly a rarity from restaurants normally found in such prominent high street sites.
If you’re out and about in town, with only a narrow window to fill for lunch but don’t want to succumb to a soul destroying meal-deal, then Busaba is the place to go. At £25.90 (service charge not included) for two mains and two soft drinks, leaving with two content belly’s and smiling face, it’s definitely somewhere I’ll be paying a visit to again.