Yay! I finally got to try this Malaysian restaurant. I love South East Asian foods because their dishes are usually so flavourful with a variety of bright spices and herbs — sooo good! On this day, I went to with my friend for lunch. There are four locations of the Banana Leaf restaurant: on Broadway, in Kitsilano, on Denman, and on Davie. We visited on the one on Davie. Their website is here. As we looked through the menu, we couldn’t decide on exactly which dishes to order. But then we saw this lunch combo for $15/person, which includes a choice of three main dishes from their list and rice. We decided on the combo and we chose: Rendang Beef, Sayaur Lemak and Fish Fillet in a caramelized sweet ginger garlic sauce. We also added the papaya salad for $2 with the lunch special. I personally love the Malaysian Roti Canai so we got an order of that as well.
The salad was very refreshing with fresh pink papaya chunks, canned pineapple chunks, fresh salad greens, tomatoes, yellow bell peppers topped with shredded coconut, peanuts and a tangy refreshing dressing. It was very appetizing and the dressing wasn’t very oily, which was perfect for the richness of the main dishes that followed.
The Roti Canai is an Indian-influenced Malaysian dish. It is basically a flat flaky pastry (bread) served with a curry dipping sauce ($5). The bread itself was a little sweet, I thought I tasted some caramel and coconut flavour in the bread without the sauce. Maybe it is the fat (Ghee?) they used in it to make it so flaky and yummy. The sauce was very good as well, it was a rich coconut curry sauce. I loved it.
I wish I could take more photos of the dishes but my camera ran out of battery right after I took the photo above. The Redang Beef was a coconut curry braised with lean beef. It was very flavourful and a bit spicy, I thought it wasn’t too spicy. Sauce + Steamed Rice = Goodness. The Fish Fillet was our favourite, it was sweet and savoury, the flavour of Chinese wine was also prominent. The fish fillet was very tender and fresh. The best part of the dish was the sauteed onions and scallions — where the flavours were concentrated. The dish was a little over-seasoned if just eaten alone but perfect with steamed rice. So good, but a bit oily. The Sayur Lemak was a very mild coconut curry braised mixed veggies, a good way to balance off the stronger flavours of the two meat dishes. It was so mildly flavoured that you can just eat it without rice.
The service was good, the servers were polite and nice. The food was very good and fresh. It wasn’t very busy so the dishes came pretty quickly. The interior was very comfortable and quiet as well.
Ambi ence: 3.5/5