Banana Leaf (Fairview Location)- Weird Music But Decent Malaysian Food ~ Eating With Kirby

4 January 2012

Banana Leaf (Fairview Location)- Weird Music But Decent Malaysian Food

For my friend’s birthday, a bunch of us gathered at Banana Leaf (West Broadway location) to try their ‘award winning’ Malaysian cuisine. I’ve always doubted whether Banana Leaf serve truly authentic Malaysian food because I’ve always heard mediocre reviews by my Malaysian friends.

Anyhow, we arrived on a cold and stormy night and I was pleasantly surprised to see the restaurant booming with customers. 

The colour of their walls are really bright and it created quite an energetic ambiance. My friends and I however all disliked their choice of background music because it was like loud club music that you can never relax to. During the entire meal I was quite tense because everything was quite chaotic (or it could just be because of our large table).

We were given some roasted peanuts to munch on while deciding what to order.

Rae and I first ordered a Virgin Lychee Mojito ($5.00) to share. The mojito was actually more like a slush which was definitely not what Rae and I were expecting. Nevertheless, it was really refreshing and had the perfect balance of mint and lychee.

The birthday girl ordered a Young Coconut ($5.00) for her beverage.

The picture above had two servings of Roti Canai ($6.00 for 2 pcs) which amounts to four pieces in total. The roti was done quite well with the layers being flaky and crispy. 

We ordered a combination of Satay Skewers (chicken, beef, pork) for $1.75 each. It came with a lovely but oily spiced peanut dip. The skewers were really flavourful and had a good char on it so I was happy with this appetizer.

We also had the Gado-Gado ($7.00) which is a bean sprout, tofu, potato, and cucumber salad, topped with egg and satay sauce. I didn’t take a liking to this dish but I can’t really pinpoint why. It could be because it was served lukewarm and didn’t look very appetizing from the presentation. My friends enjoyed it though.

I have never tried Nasi Lemak with Sambal Seafood ($13.00) before so Rae had to explain to me what it was. Basically, it is coconut rice served on a banana leaf with dried anchovies, cucumber, egg and peanuts, rending beef, sambal fish, prawns , and squid.

The coconut rice was very fragrant and I actually liked eating it by itself. They don’t hold back for this dish so the flavours of the meat, seafood, and anchovies were really pungent... ESPECIALLY, the anchovies.

My favourite part of the dish was the rice, shrimp and squid rings. It’s quite rich and oily though so I would never get this unless I am sharing it with someone.

Since we were at at Malaysian restaurant, we had to get the Laksa! We settled for the Singapore Laksa ($11.00) which had rice noodles in a coconut soup base and topped with bean sprouts, cilantro, tofu, egg, chicken, fishcake, squid, and shrimp.

It was pretty good! But then again, to me it tasted the same as the one I made at home with Rae using the store bought Laksa premix (post here).

I didn’t try much of the Mee Goreng ($11.00) but I think my friends liked it. I didn’t find it too special though.

Last but not least, the Curry Boneless Chicken ($13.00). It has the basic boneless chicken breast simmered in curry with lemon grass and coconut cream. Even though it was only alright for me, I particularly liked the fact that there was okra in it. If you don’t know what okra is, it’s a weird slimy vegetable that is not abundant here in Vancouver, but very much so in Malaysia.

I think this bowl of rice came with the curry chicken but I’m not very sure.

Because one of our friends knew one of the servers, he kindly treated us and the birthday girl with complementary Pisang Gorengs ($6.00). Pisang Goreng is essentially crispy fried banana with ice-cream topped with crushed peanuts and gula melaka. We had the mango and coconut ice-cream. Everything about this dessert was delicious so I highly recommend getting it!

Overall, it's a decent Malaysian restaurant, and though I would not go as far to say that everything here is authentic, the food here is quite tasty and it should be able to satisfy your cravings for Malaysian food.

Based on these reasons:
  • I highly recommend their fried banana dessert (next time, I'm trying their durian dessert!)
  • prices are not very cheap but it's reasonable
  • you can probably make similar Laksa at home
  • weird clubbing music, and we could tell our main waitress did not like our large party 

Service Rating: 3/5
Food Rating: 3.5/5
Price: $$-$$$

Overall Rating: 3/5

Happy Eating!

 <-- okra

Banana Leaf (Fairview) on Urbanspoon

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