Banana Leaf – Glasgow –
First of all, I have never been to Malaysia. Second, a have a good friend who is from Malaysia and she is the one who recommended this restaurant to me, so I trust it must be quite authentic! Banana Leaf is a small Malaysian restaurant in the centre of Glasgow. When you see it from the outside it doesn´t look like much but it is a good option for when you feel like having something a bit different.
Let´s talk about the food now. To start with we ordered the Crispy Wonton served with Sweet and Sour Sauce and the Jemput – Jemput (vegetarian flour fritters) served with Chilli Sauce. The portions were an ok size for an starter, as you don´t want to get full too soon. The fritters were very nice, they had a good taste to them and the accompanying sauce was quite spicy but delicious. The crispy wonton was good too, although I am just quoting the other person as I don´t eat meat. He said he liked the combination of the flavours from the sauce and the dumplings. They were also soft and moist inside, with a very crunchy outside.
For the main course we ordered the Slices of Beef with Onion in Oyster Sauce and the Stir Fried King Prawn with Ginger Juice and Chinese Cooking Wine. My food was very nice but if I tell the truth it is not something I will remember forever, or even for a whole month. The sauce was think and full of flavour and the prawns were well cooked. I ordered a side of coconut rice which was great.
The beef (it seems) was only ok, and the main comment about the dish was that it could have been from any Chinese take away, which is not that good. That dish in particular didn´t bring anything new with regards of flavour or texture. Maybe it was a bad decision ordering that one, maybe all the others are much better and that one is the only not exciting option…
We also had a couple of beers and the bill was just over £30. I should mention that the atmosphere was pretty much the one you get in any Chinese restaurant in any country (but China I guess). The service wasn´t too good, I don´t think the waiter said a word while we were there. At least not to us. In fact when we arrived the place was nearly empty, we asked for a table and the reaction was as if we were bothering them with our presence. Didn´t see a smile or heard a thank you either.
I think it is an ok place to try, but I am not sure I will go back. Maybe if the service was a bit different, and they recommended some dishes, or were willing to be nicer, the whole experience could have been a bit different.
Here are my scores for Banana Leaf.