Banana Leaf is a Malaysian restaurant on Denman.
This is a poor cousin to the Broadway location. The vegetable spring rolls ($5) were fried in oil that tasted like it was a month old. Our main courses arrived as we were starting the appetizer, one five minutes before the other. Ever heard of timing? The sambal green beans with shrimp ($8) were on the dry side but tasty. Needed more sauce to go with the rice. The Nasi Goreng was average. The tables are cramped together but the atmosphere is OK for lunch , for a nice dinner I 'm not too sure.
I have read the reviews, thought I would like Banana Leaf and decided on lunch.
The service was friendly, attentive and answered questions, which was helpful. I just didn't love the food, after I ordered the spring roll, lamb & chicken satay. I found the spring roll crisp, hot and the sauce they gave me wasn't too my likingm too spicy. I got 2 each Chicken & Lamb, small pieces, not flavourable and found the lamb very dry. I did get full, more from disliking my meal, and I felt Banana Leaf couldn't win me over.
Glad I tried it, and its more for people tastebuds that like spicy.
Came here with some friends after having a great experience at their Broadway location. Their menu is smaller than the Broadway location, but we still got to try some great dishes, ordering the 7 course tasting menu.
All of the appetizers (spring roll, roti, satay) was yummy, as were the dipping sauces that went with them. I particularly liked the mango salad... flavors were perfect compliments to each other. Entree dishes were smaller than average (because it's a tasting menu, I suppose) and all of the ingredients used were really fresh, especially the veggies (still crunchy!) Curry was good, veggies were great. Only dish we weren't thrilled with was the Beef Randang. There wasn't much flavor to it and it was the only dish we didn't finish. We also had the deep fried banana w/ ice cream... can't go wrong there =)
Service was solid... water refilled several times, quality checks and plate changes.
The bill came up to be around $30 per person, which was fair but not cheap. However, ordering one or two dishes off the menu would cost significantly less so it just depends on what you feel like.
Also, they don't take reservations at this location so if you're going at peak times, be prepared to wait!
Tried the Banana Leaf twice so far - once for lunch and once for dinner. The room is cozy and comfortable but the place is small so tables are quite close to each other so don't go here if you want to have a private conversation.
The we tried the Roti Canai, Chicken Curry and Rendang Beef for lunch and it was pretty good. The flavors were very balanced and it was a good deal for lunch.
For dinner we tried a few new dishes and the Tiger Prawns platter was really great. Everything else was satisfactory.
Would probably not repeat at this location for dinner but will be back for lunch. I think we will try the other location since it is larger and has a more extensive menu.
I've lived in the West End for more than 3 years, and Banana Leaf on Denman used to be my favourite restaurant. There was a month when I went there 3 times a week! I took numerous friends and family members there on special occasions or for long lazy lunches and the food was always good with great service.
However, since their third location opened in Kits, I've noticed a significant difference both in food quality and service. They took some of my favourite dishes off the menu, tofu goreng off the lunch special for example. The food does not taste as good as it used to. Nowadays, the food is usually drenched in oil and too salty. The friendly Asian waiters who were always smiling all disappeared. Instead I got a Caucasian waitress who argued with me about how sweet I like my coffee. When I asked about the staff, I was informed that the more experienced staff were moved to the new location. I will still go back whenever I crave a spicy dish but definitely not as frequently.
i went to the other location in Kits for my first time, so this doesn't really compare
food seems a bit more skimpy portioned but still good.
Easily gets full since the place is so small, but felt comfortable with my date there.
Since its so close to the beach, really convenient.
We always get the dinner for two sampler so i cant say much on other items but the servers at either location are usually polite, but I like them here more
This was our third time to visit this location. So far so good! We are still exploring the menu and the food and service have been consistently good. The satay are excellent, melt in your mouth variety and the peanut sauce dip provided for them is very good. The mussels were also quite good, and I highly recommend the spring rolls too. A great value for quality food and service. A must try if you ask me.
Banana Leaf, Denman location was an awesome idea! There's just not enough good food that's distinct down there. The only thing that sucks about this location is that it is pretty small so you'll have to wait to get a table during the busy times.
Note that you cannot get the Haianese rice at this location which is sad :(
We have eaten here a few times. Only once did it not meet our expectations (poor service). But the last few times, we have enjoyed ourselves. The prices are reasonable and the food, for the most part, has good taste. We usually share a few small dishes and it fills us up. The only thing, sometimes, the food is a bit to oily. But other than that, we think it's pretty solid.
I went to the banana leaf on denman wif my friends to celebrate my birthday....Overall it was pretty good. We ordered the satay chicken/lamb, roti canai, malaysian laksa, and the curry chicken. THe satay was very yummy. I hate eating lamb but the satay lamb was not bad at all. It doesn't have that lamb flavour which i hate....hahahhahaa. The rest of the food was pretty good. It was my first time to try the malaysian style, curry soup base laksa. I do prefer the singapore style better, but this version wasn't bad. I would recommend to go early wifout reservation cuz that place is TINY!!!!!!!! after 6:30 this place is starting to get crowded....
My friends and I shared a couple plates and appys. We ordered the chicken and beef curry and expected a coconut curry, but we didn't taste any coconut. Quite tasty nonetheless. The roti kanai is very delicious. The papaya salad was very fresh with pieces of papaya and pineapple. My friend doesn't eat a lot of spicy foods but she was able to eat everything. The lighting in the restaurant is quite dim, but gives a very warm feel. Its quite a small restaurant, and we had to wait for about half an hour without reservations...not a complaint, just a suggestion for others if you are expecting to be seated right away...guess it speaks for the food.
Great bang for the buck!
I have been going to Banana Leaf for several years. I have gone for both sit-down meals and takeout. I have gone to all three locations of Banana Leaf but I think that the Denman location is the best. It is smaller but more intimate. I also find that it's less busy and less noisy, especially compared to the Kitsilano location.
I would recommend the following items:
- Satay - Chicken, Beef, Pork, Lamb (you can get an assortment(
- Roti Canai (this is a must, get a few orders, you'll love it!)
- Tofu Goreng (I love the sweet chili sauce that goes with the tofu)
- Alaskan Black Cod in Caramelized Ginger Sauce with "Kicap Manis" (the first time I had this, it was excellent; the second time, the fish was not as fresh as I had hoped)
- Nasi Goreng (this is an amazing fried rice dish)
Kuih Dadar -(being a coconut fan, this is an excellent coconut crepe)
On Saturday, I didn't have time to go way out to my usual joint in New West, so I decided to give Banana Leaf another try, specifically for its laksa. This time I made sure to get the vegetarian version (after coming back from Malaysia, I know that this is a big no-no for "authentic" nyonya laksa). However, I did this to avoid questionable seafood quality that I experienced last time. Anyway, the laksa turned out to be delicious and rich, even though it seemed to only contain noodles, sprouts and tofu (lots of tofu). I still thought it was worth the $7, and the Malaysian Kopi Ais was good (and kept me up for the rest of the day).
I was lunching on my own, but I didn't feel weird about it because my server, Andy, was attentive and friendly.
Because of its improved service and vegetarian options, I'll invite my friends next time, and come here again.
Food is always hot and comes out fast. My boyfriend is crazy about their Kung Pao Chicken, he claims it's the best he's ever had. Not too many choices for vegetarian, but a few (VERY TASTY) tofu and vegetable dishes.
A nice place to go with a couple people, order many different things, and enjoy sharing all the yummy dishes. The ambiance is really very nice and the servers are always so fantastic!
It's my second time here. most of the main dishes are between 11-15$. so the price category should be changed.
If you are not a fish eater- your choices are very limited- so you might consider a different restaurant. but still- our beef stew ( Rondang- something like this) was excellent. so was the vegetable dish, and the Roti with currey souce. everything was great. nice atmosphere in the place and service that checks up on you- but not bothering you too much!
A friend and I went to Banana Leaf on Thursday evening at around 6 pm. The place was packed, but fortunately, the only other groups waiting for tables were groups of 4 and 5, so we were seated at a corner table for two relatively quickly. While I do not mind eating in such small quarters, the tables were placed a bit too close together; I could overhead every single thing our neighbors to our left and right were discussing! Nevertheless, the food itself was not the best Southeast Asian food in Vancouver. We shared the beef renang and the ambal green beans with shrimp; the cubes of beef in the former were rock hard and the sauce seemed poured out of a ready-made packet mix, whereas the latter was marginally better. I also had the virgin mango colada, which, for $5, was a bit overpriced, and was too watered down. As for the service, our server did not refill our water glasses during our entire meal, and seemed surprised when I asked her to give me a glass when we were almost done...of course, they were busy, so I'm not going to throw a fit over it, but some attentiveness would've been appreciated. Would I go back? Probably not. Banana Leaf on Broadway had better food, better service - I would go to that branch instead.
Finally got a chance to visit the Denman location after being a regular at Broadway. Quite a different atmosphere, but just as enjoyable. The place is smaller, more intimate. The food is just as good. Great service from the servers, very friendly and very helpful. I'd definitely come back again.
I was lucky to be going out to dinner with a friend who had to visit all three Banana Leaf's over a period of a couple of weeks for a work project.
Oul last stop was the Denman location, which is conveniently close to where we live. I have to say the food is great, there is no question about that, but it wasn't eye-rolling incredible.
When we ate at the original broadway location (our second trip to a Banana Leaf) we were blown away by the food. The Sambal green beans knocked our socks off. It was the cheesecake scene in When Harry met Sally. At deman, the beans came out lukewarm and boring.
So, good enough, but the one on Broadway east of Oak is an order of magnitude better.
I have been a fan of the Banana Leaf for many years, both Broadway and Denman. It was disappointing to me when I ordered a dish I had been ordering for years and it arrived unlike any of the other times I had ordered it, bland and flavorless. When my partner spoke to the server about the problem, he sent the manager over to tell us that was how the dish was made and there is nothing he can do about it except take it off the bill. Are they taking lessons from Kam's?
Denman needs better restaurants and this is one of them. It's small and a little cramped, but the food is very good. It doesn't take too long to hit the table and the prices are fair for what you get. I like this as a local, last minute spot to hit, when pizza and greek just insn't for you.