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Banana Leaf (Broadway) – Vancouver

June 21st, 2009 · No Comments

Banana Leaf (Broadway) - Malaysian Food - Vancouver Banana Leaf (Broadway) - Malaysian Food - Vancouver Banana Leaf (Broadway) - Malaysian Food - Vancouver Banana Leaf (Broadway) - Malaysian Food - Vancouver
Just a quick review: Out for lunch with about 10 co-workers, landed here at 12:05pm and was out, full, and happy by 12:55pm.

Banana Leaf is a local chain of Malaysian restaurants that does some truly delicious food – and this branch on Broadway is no exception.

We started the meal with Roti Canai ($5) – billed on the menu as “Flaky layered bread with curry dip, the Indian community’s greatest culinary contribution to Malaysia.” – the description doesn’t do the food justice. The roti is light, thin, soft bread (sort of like a tortilla, but delicious all on its own) that comes with a delicious red curry dipping sauce.

Someone else ordered the Vegetable Spring Rolls ($5) – billed as “Deep fried spring rolls filled with jicama roots, green bean, celery, cabbage & carrot.” While a bit larger and heavier than the nem ran that eaters at Vietnamese restaurants will be familiar with, these rolls have a delicate, crispy wrapping, and a mix of veggies inside that are full of flavour. Not much else to say – they’re spring rolls – fill them up, cook them well, and people will like them.

My main was the Char Kuey Teow – ordered ‘spicy’ ($8) – Fried flat rice noodle in sweet soy sauce & chili with egg, bean sprout, shrimp, fish cake & squid. This dish (if you like fish) is one not to miss. wish perfectly-cooked soft flat rice noodles and squid, fish cake – very full of fishy flavour and spicy enough that I went through a few glasses of water in the short 10 minutes that it took to finish off this very large serving.

Service was extremely efficient, friendly, and fast. They had no problem splitting the bill up to about 10 credit cards, and it was overall a great experience. They tend to fill up fast at lunchtime, so if you’re going, it’s best to call ahead and make a reservation.

Recently, I went back to Banana Leaf for dinner. Service is fast and efficient. Sort of unexpected was the loudish lounge music playing in the background which doesn’t quite jive with the Malay decor. Judging by the large display board of drinks as you walk in the door and the showcase full of wine and beer bottles – I assume the restaurant is trying to promote a loungy atmosphere where people would quaff a few drinks before and during dinner. Somehow, alcohol has never been a pairing I make too often with Asian food (aside from beer) but to each his/her own. Maybe it is because many asian restaurants, if they do serve wine, sometimes its quality is not up to the same level as the food. We got the roti canai again (a must) – we actually quickly ran out of the curry sauce which accompanies it and they gladly provided us with more. We ordered some hot sauce as well and although we liked it, it is quite fishy (I think there must be dried fish or shrimp in it) so it will not appeal to all. Although sambal green beans is a dish I have ordered and enjoyed in the past – we tried the sambal water spinach which is only available during the summer and is sort of like spinach but with a hollow stalk – which was good even though sllightly overcooked. We tried the grilled red snapper which, although tasty, was goopier than expected as it came breaded and slathered with sauce on a bed of tin foil with one lonely sad banana leaf. I guess I had been more expecting an actual grilled fish (tail and all) on a banana leaf. If you don’t know what to order – they also have a tasting/chef’s menu which is not too pricey at $25.

Banana Leaf (Broadway location)
820 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC
Tel: (604) 731-6333
Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner
www.bananaleaf-vancouver.com
Tel: (604) 731-6333


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Tags: Asian · Vancouver

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