Tom’s impressed with Banana Tree attitude

Banana Tree – and its highly popular “Indochine kitchen” – enthusiastically welcomed us for a #whampdinner recently, and I thought I’d take a moment to remember a thoroughly spirit-lifting evening as autumn took a beastly hold. Chatting, drinking, and enjoying the excellent prawn crackers, everyone perused the menu with interest; as regulars at the Tree will know, the food’s fun, feisty, and flavoursome.

I had a the Seafood Kari Santan Melayu, with (to use old-school gaming terminology) ‘power-ups’ – which means adding a selection of their neat little sides for modest extra cost: glass noodles, jasmine rice, little sweetcorn cakes and things… varied flavours and textures to complement the main dishes’ elements very nicely. The usual Banana Tree hallmarks were in evidence – lovely prawns, finely balanced nuances on the tongue, and appealing presentation.

Whilst Phil was a little nonplussed with his pork belly (the meal – not his physical condition), the food largely went down very well indeed, with happy diners clearing plates with gusto.

Elena enjoyed a “really good pad Thai, probably the best in the area”, whilst adding how much she enjoys Spicy Basil’s version in Kilburn. She also remarked that all the starters were great, too – such as Vietnamese Monkis Springrolls and the Kau Chi Dumplings. Also, a good point that vegetarians are well catered for.

It’s also worth nothing the service; Banana Tree is slick and confident, the staff looked after us with smiles, and clearly enjoyed the atmosphere, while management surveyed the tables with a look which said “no problem – we know what we’re doing here!” – and they do!

Despite her Tamarind Crispy Fish being a little overcooked, Rosie recalled it as having “delish flavours” and being “great value””, but that the menu hadn’t made it clear that it was battered.. (the clue was in the word “crispy”!). “I think everyone was battered by the end of the evening, Rosie!” I exclaimed with juvenile pleasure and a stupid grin.

“Haha! Wouldn’t be a true Whamp event if not!” came the reply.

You can’t say fairer than that!