Banana Tree – Battersea, London (Eat Out To Help Out)HALAL STATUS Fully Halal food menu • Alcohol served
Having reviewed the Westbourne Road branch back in 2018, we went south of the river this time to try Banana Tree in Battersea.
This particular review is slightly different to all the ones we’ve diligently conducted in the past in that it takes into consideration the unique circumstances we currently face.
As such, this evaluation isn’t just based on Food, Price, and Ambience, but will also now include Covid-19 protocols put in place by the establishment as part of our fourth category: Service.
With our visit coinciding with the government’s ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme, this particular venue was a third full when we arrived in the late afternoon.
On entry, not only were we greeted by a sign reminding us to “please continue to follow social distancing guidelines” and an electric hand sanitiser, but also a front of house staff member without a face covering who requested that we give our details over for track and trace.
Of course, while we respect the government’s guidelines and its decision not to enforce face coverings as mandatory in restaurants, not only did we find other staff members indoors sporting face covers as extremely reassuring and helping to reinforce our otherwise fragile confidence, but the discrepency also betrayed a lack of consistency.
Banana Tree have this generous 2-for-1 offer on all mocktails. This means that with 50% off you get two for just £1.48 each!
While this Elderflower Spritz had a good zestiness one would expect of elderflower, it did smack of good quality carton juice.
As for the Wild Strawberry Sparkler, then this was another full-of-flavour fizzy drink you’d probably be satisfied with if had from a can. On this occasion though, we enjoyed the bits of passion fruit coming through every so often.
After all the discounts, no one ought to complain with each drink costing just £1.48. But, are these standard mocktails worth the regular £5.95 price tag? We’re not so sure!
However, Banana Tree’s is a large one, which makes navigating through both the main and lunch menus a confusing affair on a standard mobile.
In any case, disposable menus are available on request, which includes a drinks and kids menu.
This plate of Vegetarian Spring Rolls came with a card that suggested wrapping the rolls with the Batavia lettuce and its filling of Viet pickle.
To be honest, we preferred the freshly fried crispiness of the spring rolls for what they were, made all the better by a deliciously watery nuoc cham sauce, that was tangy and brought the entire dish to life.RECOMMENDED
An attractive plate of long, golden, bread-crumbed strips of calamari, which were beautifully crispy on the outside, and garnished in a spring onion-based paste.
But it was that thick, dreamy, dark sauce, with a tangy-cum-fishy taste, that requires dunking those strips in good ‘n’ proper.
We had this Singapore Laksa before (or as we identified it back then as The Banana Tree Laksa), and it was just as good, nay remarkable, as we remember it.
And similar to before, the sambal chilli sauce you see is not served by default, but requires to be requested. And request you should, because this is a delightfully powerful sauce that will lift this laksa towards the stratosphere (have a drink handy though in case it hits the back of the throat).
With the red chillis then becoming nothing more than garnish, the rest of this generous bowl is just laksa gold, with the large segments of tofu wonderfully saturated, the prawns springy and chewy, and the broth deep and heady.
WOK TOSSED NOODLESRECOMMENDED
Another knockout dish really, unusually coming with two proteins – prawns and chicken – with the latter being spectacularly moist and succulent.
Whatever they’ve done to enhance this, keep it going, because it was far better than the last time we had at the Westbourne Road branch.
While this wasn’t the greatest chocolate fondant you’ll ever have, this Warm Chocolate Indo-Fondant did do the job, especially when served with a smooth scoop of passion fruit ice cream naughtily drizzled in fresh seeds and topped with a sprig of mint. While the inside was soft without being runny, it was tasty enough and not overly sweet.
- YES/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- DISABLED FACILITIES
- UBER EATS
Having said that though, what we did have and witnessed on both fronts was very encouraging. Not only was the Covid setup good enough to gain and maintain our confidence, but the food was generally of a high standard, making this a more memorable visit than the last.
One thing worth noting, however, is the 10% optional service charge. While we appreciate the extreme circumstances that restaurants in particular, and the hospitality industry in general, currently face, we were actually charged £8.59 for a £37.30 meal, which doesn't amount to 10%, but 23% (admittedly, we missed this detail)! We'll give them the benefit of the doubt here and attribute this to careless error.
For those driving down, you might also like to note that parking can be found on side roads with a maximum 2-hour stay.
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