The kids and I agreed that the flavor was very authentic and representative of the hawker centre food you can get in Penang. The downside was that the prices were definitely American, not the ridiculously cheap US$2-3 meals I get in Malaysia. We went for a very late lunch, so the restaurant wasn't busy at all. My daughter was excited by the sections named after various Malaysian towns like Ipoh. My sons thought the place was different from a typical hawker center in that this restaurant had a) air conditioning; b) good quality napkins; c) clean bathrooms; and d) no stray animals running through. All plusses in my book!
My favorite dish, Char Kway Teow, was spot on. Yay!! I'm so glad that it won't be exiting my life once I'm back in Texas.
|Stir-fried Flat Noodle (Chow Kueh Teow)|
Malaysian famous stir fried flat noodle with shrimp, calamari, bean sprouts, egg, soy sauce and chili paste.
When the Roti Canai came out, one of my cousins the same age as my kid bit in and started saying, "Mmmmm... this is soooo good." She'd dined here a few times before and was quite eager to accompany us there this summer day. It was a little bit more buttery than what I am accustomed to in Penang, but I'm a butter lover, so I won't complain.
|Indian Pancake (Roti Canai)|
All time Malaysian favorite, crispy style pancake served with curry dipping sauce
My picky-eater daughter gobbled up the Sweet and Sour Chicken. I like to think of it as her broadening her horizons from just the Chinese-American version of this dish to trying the Malaysian style, too.
|Sweet and Sour Chicken|
My oldest boy ordered his hawker centre standard, Curry Mee, and gave it a thumbs up.
|Curry Seafood Noodle|
Egg noodle served in curry broth with seafood and bean sprouts
|Banana Leaf Curry Chicken|
Chicken cooked over low heat with lemongrass and chili paste and simmered in thick coconut gravy
|Malaysian Shredded Roasted Duck|
Very similar to Peking Duck
|Singapore Fried Rice|
Fried rice served with shrimp, calamari, BBQ pork and vegetables
|Water Spinach (Kang Kung) Belacan|
Sauteed convolvulus with spicy Malaysian shrimp paste sauce
(Note that the menu says "convulse" but this is a misspelling and no convulsions should occur.)
The menu at Banana Leaf is quite extensive and representative of typical Malaysian cuisine. Despite the name, this isn't true banana leaf dining since everything was eaten off of plates with cutlery.
There's another Malaysian restaurant in the same strip called Mamak which I'm sure I'll enjoy, too, when I get back to Texas for good. Asam Laksa on the north side of Houston is another place I'll have to try.
Banana Leaf I
9889 Bellaire Boulevard, Suite 311
Banana Leaf II
9896 Bellaire Boulevard, Suite A
Click here for the website for both Banana Leaf restaurants.