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Banana leaf, Milpitas

Shruthi of Yummy 4 Tummy and yours truly had arranged a blogger’s meet at Banana leaf restaurant. I had been to this place a lot of time and I love their food. So, when Shruthi suggested this place, I was more than glad about the choice. I love Malay food. I love “Pelita Nasi Kandar” in Chennai, India and they serve absolutely mouth watering authentic Malay dishes. During my vacation in Malaysia, I visited their restaurant in Kuala Lumpur too. Since then I have been regularly dining in Malay restaurants.Sneha of Art of Cooking,Parminder of Preethi’s kitchen , Chandini of Little food junction were the talented bloggers who joined us. Emails were exchanged, new friendships blossomed and the date was fixed. We met on 19th March 2011. I had wanted to write a review about Banana leaf restaurant since then but something or the other kept me busy. In the last one month, I dined there more than couple of times. Without any further delays, I want to share my honest views about this place. With our frequent visits you must have figured out on how good the place is. Yes, no doubt needed. It’s one of the nice restaurant to hang out with friends or cousins or family or a date. If you are in the Bay area, do check this place for sure.
Banana leaf restaurant serves authentic Malaysian food. The food here has influences from Thai, Indian and Chinese cuisine.The restaurant is always busy and packed full. There could be a long waiting time if you show up at the door. They do take reservations for 3 or more diners. When I go with my husband we would wait for 15-30 minutes to get table seating. You can get served immediately if you are OK to sit in the bar area. Even with the busy schedule and on the heel service, the staffs are really friendly and  attentive. Impressive!
As we enter the space, there is a tiny open kitchen and bar on the left side. Being a true food lover, I am always curious to find out how those simple ingredients get turned into scrumptious meals. For people like me, this open kitchen is fun to stand and watch the steamy air, sweaty chefs, hot woks and the magic behind the dishes. There is one guy who does entertain pretty well with his skills to prepare crispy fluffy roti prata. As we stood next to that counter with cameras in hand, the manager raced towards us, wiggling her hands “Ladies, only photos, no videos please”. Here is the glimpse of the roti making:

After our meet, hugs and greets, we started with fresh vegetarian spring rolls stuffed with vermicelli, bean sprouts,cabbage and chicken satay, both served with peanut sauce. The rolls had the perfect crunch, tasted so fresh and stuffing was so delicious with the sauce. The chicken satay was yet another signature dish of this restaurant and the dipping sauce was really addictive. We kept both the little bowl for the entire meal, even after several attempts by the server to remove it the other courses arrived.

Roti prata is a must try dish here and no diner will stop with just one. It is a crispy multi-layer Malay-Indian style pancake served with bean curry sauce. At $2.95, it is affordable and the paper thin prata is so light like feather, airy and just too good.  They are served with curry sauce which is perfectly seasoned and lightly spicy.

 

After long talks and laughter, we started ordering the entrees. We started with Buddha’s basket – its a deep fried basket made of taro and is stuffed with fresh veggies and cashew nuts. They tasted different and we felt a muddy texture in every mouth. It wasn’t a great hit among us.

The following dish was Indian Mee Goreng, fried noddles cooked with bean sprouts, tofu and peanuts and some ethnic spices. Being a full moon day, I ate vegetarian dishes but you get the same noodles with shrimp, chicken, eggs and squids. They were perfectly cooked, lightly sweet and loved the crunchy peanuts on top. The dish was so hot, right from the fire.

Then came the Pineapple fried rice with shrimp and Indian nasi goreng with chicken. The fried rice was served on a real pineapple plate. Nothing so special about it, just looks appealing to the eyes. The flavors of both dishes were so rich and fresh from the wok.

After enjoying such flavorful dishes, we were quite hesitant to order desserts. But the super cool and talkative manager was sweet enough to give us complimentary dessert (fried banana with vanilla ice cream, drizzled with chocolate sauce). Also he kept making rounds to the tables to make sure the water was re-filled and the wait time was minimal. The fried banana tasted like pazhampori/ nendra pazham fry. Most of the dishes had influences from Indian and Thai cuisine. I guess it may be because of Indians/Thais who had migrated to Malaysia for sugarcane plantation in early 1900s.

The pricing weren’t bad at all. Along with the tips, the bill came to $100 for 5 people (ofcourse we had couple more roti prata and satays)

The parking is sufficient right in front of the restaurant and if you are OK to walk a little, there is a huge open space around. On the whole Banana leaf has lovely ambiance, quick service, great food and friendly staffs.

Being a person who gives preference to authentic flavors, I was convinced a long time back that this is THE place to be for delicious Malay meals. I can assure you that Banana leaf restaurant, Milpitas will not disappoint you. I would highly recommend this place and would love to give 4.5 on 5.

Banana Leaf Restuarant
182, Ranch Dr.
Milpitas
CA – 95035
408-719-9811
http://www.bananaleaf-usa.com/
Photo courtesy: Shruthi of yummy4tummy.

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Recipe By

Vijitha

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  1. Banana Leaf is one of the more well known Malaysian restaurants in the South Bay. Glad you had a good time. Interesting that you can take pics but not video. You did pretty well with the guy throwing the roti canai – he's got pretty good skillz.

  2. Ur new template looks beautiful VJ…wonderful dishes,simply makes me hungry..

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