Located in the basement restaurant area of the Power Plant Mall, the Banana Leaf is a very popular eatery. With an extensive menu that consists of a selection of Asian dishes from Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.
At 7.30ish on a Friday evening, our party of 4 had to wait for 20 minutes for a table to become available. That they are able to seat a table 4 times in an evening would be doing their bottom line no harm at all.
As the name suggests, diners are given, instead of a plate, a square of banana leaf to eat from. Looking akin to a place mat, it took this Kano a couple of minutes to overcome the ingrained reticence to eating off the napery.
The food is served in individual bowls for each dish which we all shared. We started with Thai spring rolls which were of the large variety and very tasty if a little too oily for my taste or perhaps more correctly, my fingers. Perhaps a few more minutes draining after leaving the deep fry would have alleviated the problem.
The Nasi Goreng rice was delightful, so much so that a second serving was ordered, nicely sticky and coloured with saffron with an interesting assortment of additives that made it a pleasure to eat on its own or as an accompaniment for the other dishes. These included a pork Malay curry which had a good kick to it even if the meat was a little on the tough side. The chicken Hong Kong curry was milder but still flavoursome, the beef spare ribs in black bean sauce hit the spot even if a little light on with spare ribs. The highlight of the meal was the fried noodles with pork chop, the chop had been de-boned and sliced into bite size pieces, mixed with the noodles and their assorted flavourings to make a mouth watering treat.
The menu included a wide selection of soft drinks and a couple of the local brews. A wine list is also available with half a dozen whites and 7 reds. Six of the reds are merlots or merlot blends, which is not high on your scribe’s favourites list, and the one Cab Sav was out of stock.
Fortunately a couple of minutes walk away is a Rustan’s supermarket which sports a decent cellar. With corkage at 300 pesos a bottle of 6 year old French Bordeaux from there came in at around the same price as the listed wines and accompanied the meal very nicely.
All in all, it was an enjoyable repast. Good food, good company and good wine, what more can a person ask for?