Tour Southeast Asia at Banana Leaf

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Banana Leaf TriNoMaWith all the character, flavor and influence of Asian cuisine, I just can’t get enough of it. The color and aroma, as it intertwines with sweet, tangy and spicy flavor is simply irresistible. It’s a testament of the different influences from China, Europe and North America — a tapestry of culture that is very evident, with similarities and yet is unique on its own. I had the opportunity to tour Southeast Asia at Banana Leaf Restaurant as I got to taste the wide range of dishes hailing from the said region.

Inside Banana Leaf TriNoMaBanana Leaf - Buko JuiceAs I entered the restaurant, I noticed how clean and simple the entire place is. I love that it’s well-lit, with big windows that allows the natural light to illuminate the entire place. They also offer al fresco dining which is quite nice because the place is actually at the topmost part of the mall.

When everyone got settled, our host started ordering food and drinks. While we wait, I was served my buko juice still its shell, with only a small hole opening enough for the straw. It’s also wrapped in plastic. This actually gives me an assurance that my drink was not mishandled. My experience ordering buko juice in this presentation has the top chopped so it can be opened and the young coconut meat eaten. I was told that we can actually have it opened after. I opted not to.

Banana Leaf - Roti CanaiThen our appetizer was served — Roti Canai — a soft bread reminiscent of a crepe in thinness but a cooked longer I suppose. It’s served with curry-flavored dip and condensed milk. Those with sweet tooth will surely love dipping the bread on the latter while others may feel they’re having an early dessert and would rather have the former. I like both, and I dipped my bread alternately. I learned that Roti Canai is of Indian influence but is often found in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Everyone got crazy when the rest of the food was served on the table as we scramble to take photos of it while we ask what the food was about.

Rice and Noodles: Pad Thai Banana Leaf Syle and Nasi Goreng above, and Vietnamese Fried Rice below. I am very familiar with the dishes above that I ended up enjoying the Vietnamese Fried Rice, first because of the presentation, second, because it complemented the rest of the dishes that was served on the table.

Banana Leaf - Vietnamese Fried RicePoultry: The Thai Green Curry Chicken with Eggplant and Sweet Basil is enough for a complete meal with the meat and vegetables. It’s spicy, which I love! The Hainanese Chicken has more flavor than what I used to get. I guess it’s because sauce was drizzled over the chicken before it was served.Banana Leaf - Stir Fried Oat Prawns Singaporean StyleBanana Leaf - Tilapia with Assam Sambal SauceBanana Leaf - Stir Fried Clams in Singaporean Chili Sauce

Seafood: I love seafood, and so I clapped my hands silently when Stir Fried Oat Prawns Singaporean Style, Tilapia with Assam Sambal Sauce and Stir Fried Clams in Singaporean Chili Sauce were served on the table. I think I ate two pieces of the 5 prawns served. Unfortunately, you’d end up disregarding the oats that covered each prawn because you have to remove the shell. Maybe if they already remove it prior to cooking so that the oats would coat the seafood well, and that you’d end up eating everything. I’m sure it’ll have a different character — that crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside experience. The best for me is the Tilapia, beautifully presented and drizzled with sauce. I like the fact that it retained the crispiness despite having the Sambal Sauce.

Banana Leaf - Stir Fried Chinese Kangkong with Sambal SauceLast but not the least, of course is the veggie for a complete meal — Stir Fried Chinese Kang Kong with Sambal Sauce.

The dining experience was a feast to my senses. There’s nothing that I didn’t like among the food that we ate, but I do have my recommendations. It was also quite an experience eating on banana leaves instead of a plate. I’m sure to order Roti Canai, Vietnamese Fried Rice, Thai Green Curry Chicken with Eggplant and Sweet Basil, Tilapia with Assam Sambal Sauce and Stir Fried Clams in Singaporean Chili Sauce. Fortunately I can take a tour of Southeast Asia whenever I get the craving because the Banana Leaf also has branches at The Podium, Greenbelt or even Cebu.

11 Responses

  1. Everything looks so good. I have tried Roti Canai but here in SG, we call it Roti Prata. I was confused if it is from India or Malaysia but you finally enlightened me. Haha. Initially, I thought it was legit Indian food because of the curry but some say it’s from Malaysia. Apparently, it can be both.

    When I was a kid, my grandpa built this bahay kubo at our backyard and on weekends, my family and I usually have lunch there. We cook food using uling and we also grill fish and pork and chicken and then we eat on a banana leaf. We literally used the leaf as our plates. Those days were awesome. Wish we can do it again. 🙂

  2. I got to dine here last year with my friend and her family at their Robinsons’ Ermita branch. I loved each and every dish they ordered! An Asian tour without leaving my seat 😛

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