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3
  • Food3.5
  • Service3
  • Value3
  • Ambiance3
  • Reviews78

Banana Leaf

820 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC V6H1E6
Tel: (604) 731-6333 Order Online
Neighbourhood: West Side
  • Cuisine: Malaysian
  • Price: $$ ($15 - $30)
  • Reservations: Accepted
  • Service: Takeout, Delivery
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner
  • Hours: Mon - Thu: 11:30AM - 2PM & 5PM - 10PM, Fri: 11:30AM - 2PM & 5PM - 2:30PM, Sat: 12PM - 3PM & 5PM - 10:30PM, Sun: 12PM - 3PM & 5PM - 10PM
  • A Malaysian restaurant on Broadway Street.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 78 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Delicious Food For My Good-Bye Lunch
By Crispy of Vancouver (32 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, March 10, 2011 - 8:47pm [Dine in]

Intrigued with Malaysian food, I've always wanted to try Banana Leaf. Today was my last day on the job before starting a new position next week, and my wonderful co-workers decided to take me to Banana Leaf for lunch. Turns out, it was a great idea! Our server was very friendly; she did a terrific job. I ordered the Mee Goreng, and it was very tasty. I would definitely order it again, as I plan to return. We all had something different (there were six of us). One of us had lettuce wraps - those looked really good, Hainese Chicken (forgive my spelling) mmmmmm.....Nasi Goreng, and a laksa dish. I sampled the calamari, which was deep-fried - it was nice and light. Lunch dishes weren't too expensive, at about $8/dish. We considered trying the sampler lunch, which is $15/person, and offers a nice variety of things, however some of us weren't as adventurous. Maybe when I come back with the family.

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All-round Indulgence
By Bonka of Vancouver (464 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - 3:40am [Dine in]

My girlfriend brought me to accompany her friend on a dinner date and chose Banana Leaf. Malaysian food doesn’t quite lend itself to enjoyment on a sunny day but it’s hard to resist.

As with every restaurant that offers their variation of the staple bread, we made a double order of the must have roti canai to compliment our dishes. The lamb curry was fantastic with a thick coconut broth with fork tender pieces of lamb. The sambal tiger prawns were shell off with tails intact and coated with a garlic chili sauce. The prawns were plump but I thought the sauce was a little over the top in heaviness but I liked the bit of a kick it gave. I didn’t care much for the dried shrimps but that’s a personal preference. The nasi goreng made its way to the table and is certainly better than many fried rice concoctions out there but it is heavy and just sits at the bottom of your stomach. The curry tofu and vegetables were ok on the whole – the combination didn’t seem to work for me with the big chunks of okra and peppers swimming in a thin tamarind sauce but the vegetables and tofu themselves were cooked well. I ordered off a bowl of their Hainanese steamed rice, a pillowy and fluffy mound of rice cooked in broth – a nice change from plain rice.

While our server was friendly overall speed was on the slow end. Parades of kitchen staff seem to make their way out to serve dishes but otherwise it’s a bit anxious to wait if you’re really hungry.

The restaurant works around the dim lighting but that almost seems to tone down the loud chatter from customers. Space between tables isn’t exactly spacious either but for whatever reason it feels comfortable yet fairly private still. All the while, the billowing scent of your neighbour’s dishes tend to add to the ambiance.

Banana Leaf is best enjoyed with a large group of people.

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Best service in a long time
By seriousfoodieisserious of Victoria BC (7 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, March 28, 2011 - 2:35pm [Dine in]

If you're looking for something a little different this is a great place to try. The staff here obviously likes their jobs and the restaurant really values the business it gets. On two seperate occasions I and all the people in line were given free appetizers because of a thirty minute delay for seating. It's rare that any restaurant is willing to do this for a mere thirty minute wait. As far as the food goes, it doesn't really compare to some of the Malaysian restaurants I've been to in Sydney Australia, but it's still a different experience from the scads of Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Pho, and Korean restaurants that Vancouver seems to have on every streetcorner. Highly recommend.

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A Note
By xFoodForThought of Vancouver (9 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 6, 2011 - 2:39pm [Dine in]

Food: Very satisfying. My all-time favourite would be the Roti Canai to start for an appetizer.

Service: Great service, waiters/waitresses constantly refills water, asks how your meal is so far, and asks if there is anything else you'd like.

Area: I love the interior of Banana Leaf. The dim lights, the decorations, and background music that seeps throughout the entire restaurant.

Dislikes:
For a fabulous restaurant that can seat around 50-60 people at a time, there are only 6-8 parking spots at the back... But there are parking meters at the front of Banana Leaf...

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Doesn't look like much from the outside - but great food
By snagy of Vancouver (Fairview) (3 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, December 16, 2011 - 10:11am [Dine in]

Ate at the Banana Leaf last night with a friend. I just moved into the neighbourhood and walked past this restaurant frequently since. It was always filled with people yet didn't look like much from the outside with a very odd entrance shared with a hair salon. I tried it last night and can now understand why there are always so many people inside - the food is great. Never had Malaysian food before but thoroughly enjoyed it. We have the beef curry, mixed vegetables, spring rolls, and coconut rice. All delicious. Service was good and attentive. A request for more rice came promptly. For 2 people including a soft drink each, we paid $47 for the meal in total (not including tip). Reasonable prices and very good food.

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Great Start to DOV - Food was Incredible
By ericandkristine of Vancouver (29 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - 10:12pm [Dine in]

My fiancee and I went here to try out their Dine Out Vancouver Menu and we were not disappointed! For $28 a person we were able to try 9 courses. The food was as follows:

Appetizers
Papaya Salad - fresh, vibrant. It came with fried garlic pieces, crushed peanuts, pineapple, tomato, papaya, lettuce - it was sweet, spicy and tart. A perfect warm-up for your tastebuds.

Roti Canai (layered bread w/ curry dip) - light, and fluffy. It tasted almost like an Indian croissant (naan x croissant), it was flaky and slightly buttery. Delicious!

Chicken Satay x 2 - meat was tender, moist, and had just the right amount of spice. Very flavorful, and the peanut dipping sauce was very good as well (though could have used a tad bit more spice). My only complaint was that we only got one satay each (it was that good).

Spring Rolls (we substituted for spring rolls in place of the Mussels appie) - Your standard Thai style spring rolls, glass noodles with veggies. Very good, but not the best spring rolls we've had. The dipping sauce however was delicious. It was sweet and spicy like one would expect, but also vinegar-y and slightly salty.

Entrees
Rendang Beef - This dish was the star of the meal. Chunks of beef slowly cooked in coconut milk and spices until the meat is falling apart tender. Again, the only complaint is that we wanted more (it was plenty for 2 people, but again, it was that good).

Sambal Green Beans - Crunchy green beans with chunks of tomato and shrimp paste. My girlfriend really enjoyed this dish. Very strong flavour coming mostly from the shrimp paste. If you're unaccustomed to the taste of shrimp paste, this is probably not the dish for you. I liked it, but the overwhelmingly shrimp-y flavour got to me after a while (I like shrimp paste, but usually in small doses).

Scallops & Prawns in Gulai Sauce - Scallops and prawns with veggies in a thin curry like sauce. Very tasty, big prawns and lots of scallop.

Black Cod in Ginger Sauce - fluffy yet meaty, the skin was crispy and light -fried to perfection, it almost melted in your mouth, the sauce it came in was thick and sweet with a bite of ginger. This dish was very good, though it did still have a few bones in it.

Dessert
Pisang Goreng (deep fried banana w/ ice cream & peanuts) - delicious! just the right amount of light crispy batter, the cooked banana was very fluffy and light (not dense like banana can sometimes be) - just perfect with the creamy vanilla ice cream it came with.

Service: we had about 4 different people serve us. It wasn't distracting or annoying, just strange. They were all very nice and seemed to be genuinely happy/friendly throughout, except the lady who served us water (would it kill ya to crack a smile?)

Value: for $28/ per (DOV menu) and 9 courses, we were stuffed. Very good portions throughout without skimping on ingredients or quality.

Ambiance: Colourful! Tables were spaced well, there were Malaysian inspired artifacts throughout the multi-colored room, and the music was unobtrusive. Very nice, but not what one would consider fine dining.

Overall a great experience. I am so glad this place is participating in DOV, we were able to try so many things we wouldn't normally get, but we really enjoyed. Be sure to make a reservation though; we went on a Tuesday night at around 5:30pm and the place was already getting pretty full.

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A nice place for a flavourful meal
By pickyjerk of kitsilano vancouver (67 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, April 1, 2010 - 10:54pm [Dine in]

Went there with a large party and they were able to accommodate very comfortably on short notice.

I tasted a few of the dishes around the table:

Green bean dishes (two different ones that taste the same and are AMAZING)
Tiger prawns (pretty good but not mind blowing)
Rice noodles with seafood (great)
Roti appetizer (GREAT)
Calamari (really good one, we've all tried tons!)
salad (skip it)

Everyone around the table seemed really happy with their food.

They are also a bit stingy on the shrimp so do keep that in mind if you are hoping to order that as your main dish, esp if you are going to share.

Overall I really enjoyed the place and recommend it if you're looking for something different and lots of flavor (and salt)

If you are a Malaysian food snob, well, I am not sure if this will be up to snuff but its pretty good for the rest of us!

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Very Flavourful
By dinnerguests of vancouver (27 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, February 12, 2011 - 2:18pm [Dine in]

We surprised a family member with a birthday dinner here--we were a group of 9. Because this place is very busy, reservations are definitely recommended. The space is small, clean, and nicely decorated with art and dim lighting. As the night filled with diners, the room gets very noisy, making it hard to hear each other. The service was good overall; water was set at our table without us asking for it and our glasses were refilled once through out the evening. Our order was taken early with an unsmiling server who did not show her happy face much throughout the evening. Our dishes came after a table that came well after us; in addition, our dishes came so sporadically that we forgot what we ordered when the last dish came. We tried a variety of things, including the Thursday night crab special; it was sweet, fresh and tasty. The black cod was saucy and tender, but a bit too sweet. The Sole Filet Grilled in Banana Leaf was odd--the fish was battered in small pieces and looked deep fried and then ladened with a sweet sauce, not grilled as the description implied; the presentation was not attractive: pieces of fish on leaves and tin foil. The Kari Lamb and Curry Boneless Chicken had well rounded flavours that was delicious on our steamed rice. The Seafood and Chicken Fried Rice in Pineapple Boat was aromatic and fresh. The Hainanese Boneless Free Range Chicken (comes skin on) sits in a mild soya sauce; it was also fresh and tender. We ended the evening with Pisang Goreng: a delicious dessert of bananas and ice cream to share. Sweet and salty flavours were very apparent with this cuisine; we found ourselves needing water to stay hydrated. We will definitely return, but in moderation.

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Good, tight, reliable, interesting restaurant. Count on it.
By Lobo47 of Burnaby (18 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, April 25, 2010 - 9:04am [Dine in]

I have to give them credit, they have their act down solid. It feels good, smells good. The servers may be rushed, but they do take care of you. The food just starts to come out of the kitchen, and it's the flavours that bring me back. It was 3 weeks ago and I should have written this earlier. I just know the four of us left happy. Have been about six times over the last four years. Banana leaf is an experience and a reliable choice.

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Better than I remembered
By VJB of abbotsford (171 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 12:10pm [Dine in]

We ate here years ago and I was not that impressed. We were on Broadway on Sunday hoping to go for dinner at Rugby Beach Club but they're out of business. The car was parked and we'd plugged the meter already so we decided to find something close by.

We decided to give Banana Leaf another try and I'm glad we did. The food this time was very impressive. We had curry chicken that was nicely seasoned and very good. Mango prawns with basil were terrific. They had some sort of chile spice in the glaze and the prawns were perfectly cooked. Sambal green beans were also very good. We were very impressed with the food this time especially the prawns - must have that again.

Service was not that impressive. The server never checked to see how our meal was and never touched our wine bottle after dropping it off at the table.

Ambiance is okay. It's in keeping with the Malaysian cuisine.

We would definitely return. Our second experience is so much better than the first time we ate here.

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Not the place i remember
By Steedee of vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, July 1, 2012 - 8:15pm [Dine in]

Its been a long time since ive been to Banana Leaf and from what i recall it was pretty good back in the day. It was nice to see that they've expanded and and the setting was nice. We had the appetizer sampler, a laksa noodle, and the beef curry. I have to say i was really dissapointed with everything but the roti in the sampler. Portions are fine, but taste is another story. The laksa was so bland like it was watered down. And the beef curry wasnt anything special and tasted like something at the aberdeen center food court. The spring rolls were mushy, and probably better off buying frozen ones at Costco. Definately wont be going back.

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Go to the Kits location!
By vwou of vancouver (24 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 3:33pm [Dine in]

If you want to go to Banana Leaf, do yourself a favor and go to the Kits location instead. Food, service, and decor are a few notches higher at Kits. This Broadway location cramped us into a small table and expected us to eat with our elbows tucked in. Food was oily and not very malaysian, more like Chinese. Gave us the bill at 9pm without us asking for it, guess counting money is their top priority? Worst of all, service seemed to have stopped after they have dropped off the bill, no water refills no nothing. The place is small and cramped. Waiters running around like headless chickens. They sure were working hard but not smart, but it is not probably just bad management. The manager was seen at the cash register all night...yes counting money and what not.....GO TO THE KITS LOCATION. Period.

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Personally, Too Expensive For Me
By A Fatty of North Burnaby, BC (75 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, April 25, 2010 - 10:20pm [Dine in]

The food was excellent, since I enjoy spicy food. The service was nothing exceptional. However, the entrees cost far too much for what they give you. Although the food was excellent, in retrospect, I paid too much. The dimmed environment is nice to have, makes it look a bit classier.

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awful experience
By Vee of kitsilano (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 9:13am [Dine in]

We were extremely disappointed in the food - we couldn't eat it. This was surprising given the good reviews. We had the spinach calamari, eggplanr and rice. The eggplant wasn't even cooked and couldn't be eaten. The calamari was over cooked and equally couldn't be eaten. Not to mention, where was the spinach?? The only think I liked was the chili sauce. We will not be going back.

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Good Food Good Price
By currant7 of Manila, Philippines (20 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 9:33pm [Dine in]

Love this place. I've been to most of the branches. The food is great and definitely something I miss when I'm away! I always make sure that I go when I go back.
Ambiance depends since other locations are really nice especially the downtown branch else it's all good and decent since I'm not there for the decor but for the food! Service is also good since they are all very helpful and patient with us while we vote on what we want. =P

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Tasty, quirkya nd good value
By harihari of Vancouver (11 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, October 8, 2009 - 4:49pm [Dine in]

After a long-ago visit which disappointed, my recent dinner he made me very happy indeed. We ordered rice, the spicy green beans and the kung-pao chicken. The rice, whatever; the beans-- excellent; the chicken-- to die for. Best kung-pao I've ever had and probably the best chicken I've ever had in an Aisian restaurant. The service is quick, the atmosphere is laid-back but not deadening and food is good value.

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Sat night visit
By cocoeater of vancouver (323 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, September 14, 2009 - 9:51am [Dine in]

Reservations were made on a Sat night and accomodated, table was ready. Ordered several items including the satays - nice and moist but can't tell the difference with some meats just like in asia, roti canai - nice a fluffy, noodles - nice and spicy, king prawns - a bit over cooked, beans okra eggplant in sambal sauce - very good best dish, beef rendang - beef seems a bit too lean and a bit tough. Service was good except when we had only 5 people. 1 more can later and had only a drink. They gave us the bill with a hand written correction to add the mandatory tip. I think that wasn't necessary and a bit tacky. Nice place.

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Tasty
By mia of Maple Ridge (21 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, May 2, 2009 - 7:40pm [Dine in]

We finally got around to trying Banada Leaf, we've been talking about it since a trip to Malaysia a few years ago.

Great menu, we decided to share 4 different items including some Satay's (GREAT dipping sauce), Mussels (not hot enough, but tasty) Calamari and Roti. The Roti are the most authentic we've had outside of Asia.

The service was very slow at times, but at least they smiled through it all. We found the prices quite resonable for the quality.

Would we return? Yes, if we found ourselves hungry in that area of the city.

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Best Malaysian Restaurant in the GVRD
By ganache of burnaby (23 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - 5:44pm [Dine in]

My friends and I came here for lunch yesterday. They have great lunch specials at really good prices. A lot of the entres were under $10.00. We ordered the Roti Canai, Lamb Curry & Sayur Lemak with rice, Sambal Green bean with rice and Gulai prawns with rice. Everything we ordered were delicious. All of us are orginally from Malaysia and we can definetly declare that Banana Leaf is definetely the BEST Malaysian restaurant in the GVRD. Service as usual is outstanding. The servers are very friendly and courteous. We would patronize this restaurant a lot more often if we lived a little closer.

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Avoid the laksa
By zurya of Kitsilano, Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, February 11, 2008 - 6:13pm [Dine in]

I've been to this restaurant twice, and left disappointed both times. While the service is fine, the same cannot be said about the food. The laksa is definitely something to avoid. They add certain spices that are not supposed to be in a bowl of laksa. The second time I visited, I brought a friend from Malaysia who had heard about Banana Leaf. When she tried the laksa (didn't listen to my warnings) her immediate reaction was "Ugh!". The nasi lemak wasn't that much better. The rice was hard and everything else was much too salty. It's possible that the other dishes on the menu are fine...just avoid the laksa and nasi lemak.

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