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|Address:||103 Wardour Street, London W1F 0UQ|
|Tel:||020 7437 1351|
|Price: £29.00||Wine: £13.25|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-11pm (Sun -10.30pm)|
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
I guess it's not great to start a review by saying “I don't normally write reviews, but I just had to in this case”? – Oh well, too late. I just felt that this was the ‘underdog’ of Asian chains that needed a thumbs up!
I visited Banana Tree Soho last Friday night with a three colleagues after work (we're all in our mid 20's). A few friends of mine kept going on about this place, so thought why not!
Make sure you get there early, or you may have to wait around for a bit! We got there at around 8pm and waited only 5-10minutes luckily – the large group behind us weren't so lucky!
It's quite funky in there, it has a very ‘market-syle’, ‘back home’ type of feel with it's exposed ceiling and use of raw materials like metal, concrete and this huge cage above the kitchen (seriously, it's big!). My only comment is that a bit more lighting would have been nice (menus were a bit hard to read)
Even during an extremely busy evening with a queue, they still managed to attend to us efficiently and go through some details of the menu! One of my colleagues is a veg this month for some reason, and they even had a Vegetarian Specific menu! (well done Banana Tree).
There were a lot of dishes on the ‘newspaper style’ menu which we had to try! however considering we were very hungry, decided to go for the chef's signature dishes. I had The Legendary Rendang with a side of rice and Spicy Green Papaya Salad. The Legendary Rendang was served in a cast iron pan on a wooden block, with a bamboo / banana leaf inside – it was very well done, however made my expectations very high. The Rendang was around 5 big chunks of prime beef, very tender – served in a rich sauce with a lemongrass kick to it at the end (my mouth is watering talking about it), it was delicious! one of the best curries I had ever tasted! My only complain (if any), is that the chunks were quite big, almost felt like a cannibal eating it!
The Spicy Green Papaya Salad was nothing like I have tried before, it is definitely spicy after a few mouth fulls, however always leaves a burst of freshness from the Papaya and mint – you have to try it. My colleague Hiran devoured his!
We all had one of their freshly made ‘Raw Juices’ which was delicious, however they do an interesting list of cocktails, including a ‘Dirty Thai Guy’?!!
I am not a chef, or food blogger, however am a customer (representing the masses) – someone who eats out a lot! and can honestly say that Banana Tree is up there with some of my favourites. They offer authentic style cuisine, emphasising on fresh herbs and spices from their ‘indochina’ area, and it doesn't break the bank! (around £25 per head). The only way to compare this restaurant is to say it is in between Wagamama's (in terms of style) and Busaba (in terms of cuisine quality) – however the restaurant has a certain personality that Wagamama's does not – but don't take my word for it, try them out.