News > Business

Alan Yau to launch Naamyaa, all-day Thai café concept, in London

By Joe Lutrario , 18-Jul-2012
Last updated the 31-Jul-2012 at 09:48 GMT

Related topics: Business, Venues, People, Restaurants

Wagamama and Hakkasan founder Alan Yau is set to launch Naamyaa, a sister restaurant brand to Busaba Eathai with a more approachable, all-day focused Thai dining style, this autumn in London.

Naamyaa, a more approachable, all-day focused Thai dining style sister concept to Busaba Eathai, is  Alan Yau's latest restaurant project and is set to launch this autumn in London

Naamyaa, a more approachable, all-day focused Thai dining style sister concept to Busaba Eathai, is Alan Yau's latest restaurant project and is set to launch this autumn in London

Naamyaa will be loosely based on the eclectic cafés of Bangkok that offer authentic Thai dishes alongside Western items.

Designed by David Archer, who worked on Aaya and Hakkasan, the site for the inaugural unit is part of a new development in London’s Angel Building on the crossroads between City Road and Upper Street.

Like Busaba, the new format will require large sites, typically between 100 and 120 covers.


The 10-strong Busaba restaurant brand does well in its current locations but Yau believes the look, price and high authenticity of the proposition is holding it back from significant expansion, particularly in shopping malls, airports and certain cities and towns outside London.

The chain currently operates nine sites in London plus a unit in Oxfordshire’s Bicester Village designer outlet centre.

Busaba will continue to expand, but Yau gives the impression that the focus will be on its little sister for the time being with more London locations already under consideration. 

"I simply want to do something more accessible," says Yau. "The interior of Busaba is very ethnic and dark, it’s a night time orientated offering. Naamyaa will be lighter; it’s a cafe rather than a restaurant. The price of Busaba has inevitably gone up over the years, when we launched it was around £12 per head but now it’s more like £18."

Phoenix Capital Partners, who brought Busaba back in 2008, are backing the project. Yau is still very much involved, as is his wife, Busaba managing director Jale Erentok.

Culinary diversity

While Busaba’s food offering is highly authentic, Naamyaa will reflect Bangkok’s increasing culinary diversity with influences from the West as well as Thailand’s more immediate neighbours. 

The menu has not yet been finalised but will revolve around 10 regional Thai curries (Naamyaa means pot), all served with condiments and kanom jin noodles, and Bangkok street food dishes.

It will also offer some more familiar Western dishes with Thai influences, but Yau stresses that Naamyaa is not a fusion or themed proposition. Non-Thai items such as breakfast pastries will be available to establish the chain as an all-day player while spend is anticipated to be around £13 per head.

"Busaba is a pure Thai experience, Naamyaa will be more eclectic," adds Yau. Naamyaa will offer a very high quality product but it’s been designed to appeal to a more diverse audience."

For an exclusive interview with Alan Yau pick up the next issue of Restaurant magazine , in which the creative force behind Wagamama and Hakkasan talks about immigration, expansion and the possibility of a Chinese McDonald's.  


60-Second Skill: Pouring champagne

60-Second Skill: Pouring champagne

As demonstrated at the Moet UK Sommelier of the Year competition, champagne pouring requires skills and knowledge....

Mark Poynton: Pearls of Wisdom

Mark Poynton: Pearls of Wisdom

The British chef-patron of the Michelin-starred Alimentum and star of Great British Menu Mark Poynton talks about...

Interview with Glendola Leisure's Alexander Salussolia
Small Talk

Alexander Salussolia on Silk & Grain, market niches and nurturing future talent

Managing director of Glendola Leisure Alexander Salussolia joined the company in 1992 as an area manager, before...

60-Second Skill: Using #foodporn to your advantage

60-Second Skill: Using #foodporn to your advantage

Customers posting pictures of your food on social media is a trend you can't escape, but by...

Hospitality openings: July 2014

Hospitality openings: July 2014

Our latest round of up of the hottest hospitality openings includes Dev Biswal's new Ambrette in Canterbury, Wahaca's...

Gallery: Belsfield Hotel re-launches with Laura Ashley interiors

Gallery: Belsfield Hotel re-launches with Laura Ashley interiors

Laura Ashley has partnered with the Belsfield Hotel in the Lake District, seeing it undergo a complete...

Find us on Facebook

Digital Edition - Restaurant Magazine

Access to the Restaurant Magazine digital edition