Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Banana leaf and the Good Lovelies

Friday night after a wicked week of work I went out with my husband and 4 friends for dinner and a concert.  Connie chose the restaurant based on recommendations and we were all happy with her choice.  We went to the Banana Leaf on West Broadway which is a Malaysian Restaurant.  Luckily Connie had made a reservation as the place was packed.

It had a good atmosphere friendly with a good buzz, some how you just felt the food would be good.  The menu was large and a little overwhelming, and 3 of the group chose the $28.00 tasting menu, I am not sure if this was part of the dine out Vancouver, but it came with a tasting flight of wines as well for a further $15.00 which actually was well worth it, the wines were good (so they tell me) and they were generous "tastes".  Connie and shared Braised Lamb Shank in Cumin & Star Anise, Sambal green beans and 2 types of rice, and my husband chose the chicken curry and steamed rice.

Spicy calamari
We also shared a plate of Spicy Calamari, though not my favourite dish was still very good and the spicy sauce was very moorish.

One of the starters that came with the tasting menu Roti Canai was a wonderful flaky pastry/bread with a dipping sauce.

Roti Canai and satay

They also had a salad which had a lovely light dressing with fresh pineapple and papaya to start. The green beans sambal came with the tasting menu and we had ordered them as well but we ate them all. The mussels that came with the tasting menu were wonderful too, we would not let them take the sauce when all the mussels were eaten so that we could spoon it over the rice later.

Sambal green beans
The beans reminded me a lot of the spicy green beans that I always order at the Fortune Gardens at Broadway and Granville.  They were perfectly cooked salty and spicy in a very good way.

Lamb shanks
The lamb shank was probably my favourite of all the dishes.  It was meltingly tender and the sauce is making me salivate just looking at this rather blurry picture.

My husband's boneless chicken breast simmered in creamy curry with lemon grass, coconut cream was also fabulous, though unfortunately we did not get a photograph .But at $13.00 proved that if you were willingly to forgo all the other wonderful flavours and of course the wine, you could in fact have a great dinner for under $20.00 and feel very satisfied.

Steamed coconut rice
The coconut rice was served in a banana leaf and there was much discussion at the table as to how this was done, was it steamed in the leaf or wrapped up after cooking? Obviously some experimenting will have to be done.
Crispy fried bananas
The tasting menu came with a late harvest merlot and crispy fried bananas, I did not try either but there were no complaints from those that had them.

There were some other dishes but as I do not have a picture and a failing memory I can not describe them, but really everything was good.

After dinner we went a couple of blocks away to the Rogue folk club where .The Good Lovelies were playing.  It was a wonderful concert I had heard of them on the CBC and have a couple of songs on my ipod, they were just as good live and also very funny. It is a great location based in an old church, very down home and intimate, this was the 2nd time my husband and I have been, but certainly not the last.

All in all a great Friday night out in Vancouver.


  1. Goodness me that meal looks good! And nothing beats a meltingly tender lamb shank! :)

  2. When I was able to work my friends and I ate lunch there on occasion.It really is a fabulous's been in business for many years. So glad you all enjoyed your meal. Liz