Monday, 15 January 2018

REVIEW: Banana Tree, Soho

Review of Banana Tree Indochinese restaurant in Soho by London, Hertfordshire, Tring, St Albans food blogger essbeevee
Review of Banana Tree Indochinese restaurant in Soho by London, Hertfordshire, Tring, St Albans food blogger essbeevee
Review of Banana Tree Indochinese restaurant in Soho by London, Hertfordshire, Tring, St Albans food blogger essbeevee

Isn't it weird that everything that happened more than a couple of weeks ago feels like forever? That little tick over from 2017 to 2018 makes such a difference in my brain, I don't know about you. It works the other way, too - for instance, my wedding in May feels so much closer now that we're in January than when we were in December (like, extremely close - eeep).

Initially I started this post saying that I'd taken these pictures ages and ages ago, but really, it was just a few weeks. The lovely people at Banana Tree invited me along to try out their menu in the Soho branch, and I jumped at the chance. There aren't any of their restaurants very near where I live, so I hadn't been for absolutely years and was interested to see what it was like.

Review of Banana Tree Indochinese restaurant in Soho by London, Hertfordshire, Tring, St Albans food blogger essbeevee ALT=

Banana Tree describes themselves as 'the home of Indochinese food', and serves Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian and Singaporean dishes along with Oriental cocktails. We went on a Friday night and it was super busy, but we had amazing service (I really hope that other food bloggers and reviewers remember to tip their waiters and waitresses, by the way - they work bloody hard). It has quite a party atmosphere with long tables, and was full of groups of friends and colleagues and various celebrations.

We started with a couple of cocktails as it was happy hour, then moved on to starters. We chose a couple to share - the fresh Indo wraps with meatballs, which were lettuce wraps, Thai spiced meatballs, Viet pickle, herbs and an amazing Nuoc Cham dipping sauce. I really like lettuce wraps, and these were no different - spicy and flavourful with a nice hit of freshness from the lettuce. A bit messy to eat, but that's half the fun.

Review of Banana Tree Indochinese restaurant in Soho by London, Hertfordshire, Tring, St Albans food blogger essbeevee
Review of Banana Tree Indochinese restaurant in Soho by London, Hertfordshire, Tring, St Albans food blogger essbeevee

My favourite of the starters though was the street style crispy dough, which was a bowl of light, chewy dough served with satay sauce. That sauce, man. Oh my gosh. It was like satay sauce with the volume turned way up, with the perfect amount of sweetness and spiciness and honestly, I'm still thinking about it. When we ran out of dough to dip, I just used a spoon - that's how good it was. And yes, I am disgusting.

For our mains, Matt chose the tamarind crispy fish, which was fried fish fillets lightly dusted and finished with tamarind, lime leaf, garlic, chilli and sweet basil sauce with crushed nuts. As is well documented, I am not a fan of fish, so I didn't try any, but he said it was very fresh and the accompanying sauce was really good. However, ultimately he said the fish was good but not great, and it was a bit dry and heavy.

Review of Banana Tree Indochinese restaurant in Soho by London, Hertfordshire, Tring, St Albans food blogger essbeevee
Review of Banana Tree Indochinese restaurant in Soho by London, Hertfordshire, Tring, St Albans food blogger essbeevee

Maybe he just had food envy, because my main was amazeballs. I was so tempted to order the Rendang curry because I knew it would be delicious, but decided to choose something I hadn't tried before (and also partly what would look prettier in the pictures). I chose very well. The pork was chargrilled in dark soy, palm sugar, chilli, garlic and ground spices and it was sooo good. It was dry, but in a good way - dry in the sense that it wasn't covered in a sauce, but still tender and packed with layers of flavour, but not overly hot.

We were so full by this point, but our lovely waitress persuaded us to share one of their hero desserts, the melting chocolate Indo-fondant, which was served warm with an oozing chocolatey centre, and was served with fruity ice creams (the coconut was amazing). We did struggle to finish it, but it was a lot of fun trying.

We had a really nice night at the Banana Tree. It's definitely somewhere to go for a big night out with a few drinks, rather than a romantic meal for two, and the atmosphere on a Friday night was absolutely buzzing and I'd definitely go back there with a group of pals.

Banana Tree has branches all over the UK and we visited the Soho branch at 103 Wardour St, Soho, London W1F 0UG. The restaurant kindly paid for our meal in exchange for this honest review.

Review of Banana Tree Indochinese restaurant in Soho by London, Hertfordshire, Tring, St Albans food blogger essbeevee
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1 comment

  1. I've wanted to try Banana Tree for a while, all of the food looks delicious!

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