Conceived by renowned chef and founder of Wagamama, Alan Yau, Busaba – named after a traditional Thai flower – is bringing the delicacies and delights of modern Bangkok to St Albans.

As an established chain that began in London in 1999, CEO Jason Myers says St Albans is the perfect location.

He says: “I used to work in St Albans and it’s such a great city with a thriving cultural life, so it was an obvious choice. We spent £1.2million revamping the premises to make it just right and we have a fantastic team who are so happy and excited to be here.”

The new location in Verulam Road with nearby parking in Christopher Place, brings with it some changes. While the London restaurants emphasise ‘communal dining’ with different parties sitting together at large square tables, the St Albans Busaba also offers cosy and comfortable separate tables for a more family-friendly vibe.

The décor is modern and spacious and its warm lighting and high ceilings give the restaurant a stylish feel.

With minimal fuss on the walls, the place mats feature amazing Bangkok street art and the stories behind them are a nice touch.

The authentic Thai condiments also emphasise the Busaba ethos of giving diners a true taste of Thai cuisine and culture.

As part of the restaurant’s buzzing evening launch, head chef Jude Sangsida created four palate testers to whet our appetite and tantalise the tastebuds. All were delicate but flavoursome and showcased the sweet, sour, salty and spicy elements of traditional Thai cooking.

The drinks menu features a range of Asian-inspired juices, smoothies and cocktails, as well as a simple yet selective wine list.

I chose the Asian Mojito with kaffir lime leaves, giving an exotic take on the traditional drink that worked wonderfully.

Next, I chose the starter of Pandan chicken, which did not disappoint. Wrapped in the traditional leaves of the Pandan tree in South Asia, the tender chicken was cooked to perfection and came with a tasty soy and sesame sauce.

My guest went for the traditional Thai dish of Som Tam papaya salad, which was packed with flavour and spice and provided a refreshing start to the meal.

For mains, I opted for the popular street food dish of pad Thai noodles, but the standout dish has to be the slow-cooked beef curry that my guest ordered.

The sweetness from tomatoes and peppers in the sauce was balanced perfectly with the heat of the chilli that cut through with a real kick. It was so good I couldn’t help tucking in.

But, don’t worry if spice isn’t your thing, the restaurant’s speciality Tamarind grilled duck looked equally appetising.

With its Chinese influence, this dish is more delicately spiced and its aromatic flavours provide a wonderful alternative to the fiery heat of some of the other dishes on offer.

It smelt absolutely delicious and if the other diners’ faces were any indication, it tasted just as good.

So, if you’re after a more modern and authentic alternative to the usual Asian cuisine, then Busaba St Albans is a great choice.

Its menu of freshly prepared salads, noodles, stir fries and curries is reasonably priced with generous portion sizes (its Christmas menu offers two courses for £19.90) and includes a delicious variety of authentic Thai food and drinks.

Busaba St Albans, 7-11 Verulam Road, Christopher Place, St Albans, AL3 4DA. Details: 01727 224680