Oh Banana Leaf, how I wish you existed in Edmonton. I’ve been to Banana Leaf more times than some of my Calgarian friends (see here and here for previous trips)! If that ain’t a stamp of approval, then I don’t know what is. Seriously, one of my favourite places in Cowtown!
We decided to come for a late Sunday Mother’s Day brunch (sans mothers!) and it was busy. Wait time was about 25 minutes to get a table for four but as always, totally worth the wait. People eat and go so turnover is fairly quick. Hurray for Asians being considerate when it comes to eating. The two waitresses/daughters run the front and are always excellent.
Hours are good – don’t forget they’re closed Monday! No reservations on weekends.
Cute little hand written notes about their social media pages and other things.
Everything on the menu is bomb. I have yet to try anything here that I haven’t liked. Roti canai is a must.
The bah kut teh (#14) is actually delicious. Very medicinal. You also can’t go wrong with the traditional nasi lemak. A ton of people ordered it while we were waiting and it looked soooo good.
Laksa, laksa, laksa. Get in my belly.
Last page is more standard soups – dumplings and udon. The only one I’ve tried here is the ground pork and wonton noodles (#35).
Enough already, let’s get to the food. Prepare to start drooling.
Mango green tea (#42) ($4.50)
Litaly wanted passion fruit green tea but that was the one they were out of so he settled with mango. Super light, refreshing and not overpowering, a good thing in my books.
Mango slush (#56) ($5.50)
It’s an extra $0.75 for coconut jelly, red bean or grass jelly. I’ve never had the slush (frozen fruit) before so we decided to try the mango with coconut jelly. Best decision ever. So fresh! You can taste the mango pulp. Can’t wait to try the other slush flavours.
Roti canai (#6) ($4.50)
Always a must order. Crispy, flaky, tender, melt in your mouth deliciousness. Dip into the curry sauce and the roti elevates to another level. I seriously need to figure out how to make this sauce at home.
Deep fried tofu with garlic and green onion (#8) ($6.50)
My sis loves this appetizer as she can get it cooked to accommodate her gluten intolerance. Always comes out piping hot with a slight crunchy exterior but oh so soft, silky smooth inside. Litaly said this was the best tofu he’s eaten.
Curry chicken rice (#15) ($12.50)
We decided to try something new and got the curry chicken rice plate. Rice with a cooked egg on top, peanuts (addictively good), cucumber and curry chicken. The chicken was super tender and flavourful. It has two spicy icons on the menu but we didn’t find it packing much heat. But flavour is spot on so it’s all good.
Deep fried chicken with Thai lemon sauce rice (#19) ($12.50)
Another new dish we tried but requested without the deep fried batter. I actually really liked the sauce as you get a light sweetness and pinch of acidity. Stir fried onion and green onions top things off. Same accompaniments as the curry chicken rice.
Curry beef brisket laksa (#26) ($12.95)
This is what you come to Banana Leaf for. You have to order at least one of the laksa’s – you honestly can’t go wrong. I think I’ve tried them all by the now. The beef brisket is super tender but still retains a nice bite. Creamy, rich, spicy, I could eat this bowl every day. I’d also probably be fat but it would be totally worth it.
Found my old photos from a previous trip. Round two, let’s go:
Spicy glutinous rice roll (#2) ($6.50)
Finally got to try their spicy glutinous rice roll! These are only on the menu once in a blue moon. I wasn’t blown away but they were good. Reminds me of joong (Chinese rice wrapped in lotus leaves) that you get at dim sum or grandma’s house.
Deep fried crispy chicken nuggets (#10) ($9.95)
Taiwanese style with your choice of spice salt or garlic and onion. Obivously, we went with the spicy option. I never get to order this because my sis can’t eat it but we were with two other friends so I finally got to try it! It’s even better than the deep fried tofu, if that’s possible.
Grilled fish wrapped in banana leaf and rice (#21) ($13.95)
If you have time, order the grilled fish. It takes about 25 to 30 minutes to prepare but the wait is well worth it. Bursting with flavour and incredibly tender, the only question now is where can I find my own banana leaf to replicate this dish? Amazing.
Curry beef brisket laksa (#26) ($12.95)
The broth actually looks different than above. I remember this one being much more creamier. Still so much depth, complexity and flavour in one bowl. The beef brisket is tender and generous in portion.
Hainanese chicken laksa (#27) ($12.50)
The Hainanese chicken laksa is just as good, if not better. You get a variety of chicken pieces along with tofu, a hard boiled egg and other delicious goodies. My mouth is watering just looking at that broth.
Banana Leaf is the best. The only place to go to get your Taiwanese and Malaysian cravings satisfied. Don’t forget – cash or debit only.
Banana Leaf Tropical Cuisine
3330 – 32 Street NE