Banana Leaf on Denman is a great little eatery that seemed to get packed pretty quick at around dinner time. It could have been the good weather but more likely, it was because this place had really great food, and exceptionally good customer service.
I managed to get parking right out front. There's pay parking in effect pretty much everywhere downtown, but for some strange reason, there's no meter in effect in front of this place.
We got the 8 course tasting menu for 2 ($28 per person), even though there were 4 of us. The first to come was the papaya and pineapple salad, which I didn't get a picture of. It was pretty light, but a good starter that got our appetites going. Next came a dish with a variety of items including deep fried squid, roti, chicken satay, and spring rolls and three dipping sauces.
The Rendang beef was pretty good, but I prefer my beef brisket a bit less lean. As far as curry beef is concerned, but all-time favourite for curry beef is still Mui Garden.
We added a Nasi Goreng which was absolutely incredible. Someone told me it was just ketchup fried rice, but it's way more than just that. Anyway, no words do it justice, you'll just have to try it.
The Curry Chicken was a bit lean for me as well. Not a big fan of chicken breast in any type of curry, simply because it's more often than not, all dried out in the middle. Chicken thigh would probably have been a better cut, but health-conscious west coasters would frown on that. This dish came with okra, which I'm no fan of, but overall, the taste of the curry in this dish was sensational.
Alaskan Black Cod in caramalized ginger and garlic sauce. If you're a fan of black cod, this dish will make you happy. Usually, I prefer my black cod with miso, or a simple soy sauce, cooking wine, and sugar mix, but the complex sauce that this dish came with worked out really good. The sauce on it's own was a bit overwhelming, but it went very well with the fish.
Green Beens stir fried with shrimp. A relatively simple dish, a little spicy, but good.
Abundance of seafood in gulai sauce. It came with scallops, clams, mussells and okra. The shellfish were very tender, the okra was nasty (my persoanal opinion....other's liked it) and the curry sauce was defintely influenced by the seafood in it. I ended up spooning up whatever sauce had remained.
Deep fried banana with ice cream. Our server - Winnie, really went the extra mile with us. She somehow overheard that it was someone's birthday and gave him a complimentary drink. She changed our plates at least twice throughout our meal, and wiped down the table before desert was served. The food at Banana Leaf - Denman was incredibly good, and our server completed the rest of the experience. She made sure the food came in a steady succession, and took the time and care to add a few touches here and there for the birthday boy. I would most definitely go back to this location, and would recommend it to anyone.