Birthday Dinner – Banana Leaf

You all know I’m crazy about Banana Leaf. Are you surprised I chose to go there for one of my birthday dinners? I knew you wouldn’t be. I’m rarely there when it’s so busy, so at prime time on a weekend evening, we had to wait. How unfamiliar. So while waiting, I watched them make the roti for the appetizers. It started out as a big ball of dough, and he magically stretched and fwacked it until it became all thinned out and huge. It was fascinating.

After watching the roti acrobatics, we had to get the roti canai. I think our appetites had been whetted by this season’s premiere episode of No Reservations, with my favorite eater, Anthony Bourdain. He had gone to Singapore and eaten all this great food, so I’d been hankering for Banana Leaf for weeks.

I’ve had the roti canai before and liked it, but it had been awhile since I last tasted this. I enjoyed it very much this time round. The bread is thin and chewy, and when accompanied with the side of curry with chicken and potatoes, it’s a perfect little appetizer. It looks like a small thing of bread, but remember, it’s huge and has been folded over many times. It is plenty of food for two people.

I chose Hokkien Char Mee as one of the dishes to get. It comes with really thick yellow noodles in a soy sauce with pork, shrimp, squid, and veggies. This is a great and flavorful dish. Not mild at all. I would totally order this again. You know I’m in love with most kinds of noodles.

Like I said, Tony had eaten all this great food during the Singapore episode, and one of the dishes was Prawn Mee. I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I’m a fan of many of the noodle soup dishes at Banana Leaf, but I hadn’t tried this one yet. It has thick egg noodles, sliced pork, shrimp, veggies, and bean sprouts in a spicy shrimp broth. It’s weird because the broth is red from the top (yes it’s spicy), but when you actually scoop it up in a spoon, it’s actually much more grey. Strange, but truly tasty. I could have done without the pork, it was a bit too porky for me, and would have preferred more shrimp instead.

The service was fairly good, as usual. With it being so busy, it was probably not as good as other times. The hokkien char mee took too long to come out though. The appertizer and prawn mee came out at the same time, and we were wondering where the hokkien was. We had to ask about it once before it eventually came out. Otherwise, everything was great as usual. Great food, cheap prices, good service.

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