Having been in London for just 3 weeks, I had already been recommended Banana Tree Restaurant by 2 fellow foodies and I had to go and find out what all the fuss was about.
We arrived at about 6.30pm on a Friday night and the restaurant was already full! They don’t take reservations so you have to walk in and wait. I noticed the queue growing shortly after we arrived however they really do cram the tables in so the wait time isn’t too long.
As we were reading the menu a homeless guy wandered over to our table in the corner and started asking me to buy a Big Issue, I said “no thanks”politely but he was relentless, he just kept talking to me in another language and I was drawn to his hand which was going under my menu while he was talking to me. I read an article about this recently and it suddenly clicked that he was trying to steal my phone which was placed under my menu by distracting me. I told him to go away and my friend alerted the staff who escorted him out.
This is a very unusual scenario in a London restaurant, the table next to us began asking us if we were ok and commenting on how strange it was that he even got inside the restaurant. The staff apologized and alerted police as they saw him going into other restaurants – always an adventure with me, even at the Banana Tree Restaurant!
Anyways we got over it as soon as we saw the food arrive on the tables nearby, it looked sooo good! Everything on the menu sounds exotic and delicious and you can make your meal a combo for £3.95 which includes corn cakes and a side salad.
We ordered Chicken satay and Crispy fried dough to start which are both served with satay sauce. The fried dough is basically like doughnut batter which you dip in the satay sauce, it was simple but delicious! The Satay was yummy, it came with parcels of sticky rice and a pickled salad which cleansed the palette. I would definitely recommend them both as they but when the gigantic plates arrived we realised although we were starving we really didn’t need starters.
For mains we had crispy chicken in mango and lime sauce and a beef rendang curry. The crispy chicken was ok but a little on the boring side for me, I would not get it again. I love thai food for all the depth and exotic flavours but this dish was pretty one dimensional. The rendang on the other hand was delicious! It was fragrant, spicy and melted in your mouth. The rice was infused with lemon grass and even on its own was really enjoyable.
I loved how the dishes were served at Banana Tree, they had that authentic street food feel with the banana leaf and huge portions. If you are a fan of Thai or indo-chinese then you must try banana tree!