Since moving to Manchester, The Printworks has been my go to place for movies. I have been to the Odeon cinema there quite a few times over the past few months but I haven’t ever eaten there. Last week, we decided to visit The Printworks for the whole works and make a date night out of it. I didn’t realise how many good restaurants there are there, including Prezzo, Wasabi and Wagamama. I have a bit of a thing for Thai food though and a major craving for it at the time so we went to Busaba which is one of the newer restaurants at The Printworks.
Busaba serves delicious Thai food with a menu that offers both traditional favourites alongside more modern takes on Thai cuisine. There are also dishes that combine the two of these but more on that later… We walked into the restaurant and the first thing that really struck me was the amazing scent of burning incense. It immediately felt so authentic and we were transported a million miles from Manchester city centre.
We started with some cocktails. I went for the patpong martini. This was basically a (very delicious) pornstsr martini which seems to be my favourite cocktail at the moment. Tom chose the Eklami Mojito which was so so good. The coconut syrup was such a good addition to your standard Mojito flavour and the lemongrass and coriander gave it a really tasty Thai twist. Our waiter told us he has invented this specific drink and we were very impressed.
Next up starters. We chose the Thai calamari and the soft shell crab. Ah wow these were both so so nice. The soft shell crab came with a lovely garlic pepper sauce and the calamari incorporates a ‘secret’ glaze and this was a great addition. Calamari is one of our go to’s and it was so nice to try it with these fragrant and subtle Thai flavours.
The main course menu has so many enticing dishes on it and I found it hard to decide on just one. You have your standard Pad Thai and a collection of currys and stir fry with lots of different meats and flavours. There is also a ‘modern Bangkok’ section which has a style of dishes that are ‘new to the emerging Bangkok restaurant scene’. Like I said earlier, you also get dishes that combine these old school Thai favourites with more contemporary twists – the Sen chan pad Thai for example, which is what I went for in the end. This is basically a pad Thai dish but with the addition of crab meat, king prawns and green mango. I was hooked at the word ‘crab meat’… This dish worked so so well and the crab meat was so complimentary to the peanut flavours of the dish. I did think the green mango might have been too sweet but it really wasn’t at all. Instead it offered just a dash of fruity flavour alongside the lime juice and it did work very well.
Tom went for one of the modern Bangkok dishes and chose the steamed whole sea bass which was served with chilli, coriander and jasmine rice. The fish meat was cooked to perfection. What really stood out about this dish was how delicious the fish was but also how inexpensive it was. You can’t normally go to a restaurant and order a sea bass for just £15.95!
Finally, desserts… We were told that the banana fritters were really good and this is something I would normally go for but I saw that there was a pandan roll dish and couldn’t go for anything else. I discovered pandan cake when I was travelling in Thailand. I loved it and haven’t had it since so of course I chose this. It came a brilliant pandan green colour and with delicious coconut ice cream. Tom chose the lemon cheesecake. I personally wouldn’t normally go for the cheesecake option but this was more like a lemon tart and it was lovely! It was so so sweet and tangy.
After an amazing meal that really satisfied my Thai cravings we made our way to the Odeon cinema to watch our chosen film – The BFG… I think this film is meant for younger children but I loved Roald Dahl when I was younger and especially the BFG. I think it is the perfect film for children, full of magic and hilarious scenes. It is however a lovely, heartwarming and nostalgic film for adults too. We also found ourselves in stitches of laughter at the some of the funny scenes too so the humour doesn’t just appeal to children! Some of it is so funny.
The Odeon as usual, did not disappoint but it was particularly nice to eat so close the cinema. It was really good to have everything all in one place. Had it have not been a work night I think we would have gone for another cocktail or drink afterwards too at one of the bars/restaurants at The Printworks. It really was a lovely evening.