Banana Tree, Soho, London
I’ve had the Tastecard a little while now, but never got around to using it. The restaurants featured on the program are largely chain-based. Or not very good ones. So this is my first experience with that in hand. Banana Tree is located in the heart of Soho making it an ideal spot to catch up with a friend from the office. The deal meant buy-one-get-one-free so we had a lot of food for not a lot. A good start.
Our order consisted of the chicken wings, money bags along with our mains of the beef rendang curry and the pad thai. The fried wings are very good. Messy, sticky and lots of sauce. They offer a recipe for their tantalising wings on their website. It all looks well and good and I get excited up to a point. Then I realise, and decide it’s too many ingredients and too much work. It is one of the most popular appetisers at Banana Tree, and easy to understand why.
The rendang was just above average, the meat tasted a bit dry and there wasn’t enough curry for my liking. The beef is quite chunky, and of good quality so its got that going for it. Banana Tree feels like yet another whitewashed Asian-inspired food restaurant in London. Others that come to mind: East Street and Dim T. Dishes across Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam all meld into one being rather than having each of its own elements celebrated. The first store opened a staggering twenty one years ago and now its eight stores it may have traded that authenticity with domination.
The venue at Banana Tree has a nice, vibrant atmosphere and this is only completed by the size of the crowd. It’s plenty busy and a popular haunt for some of the other corporate dwellers from the looks of it. I didn’t find the find innovative but it was tasty.