The Banana Tree Canteen is one of those micro-chains providing pan-asian cuisine in a communal dining space made popular (or acceptable) by Wagamamas. There’s a few of them around town though the first one I’ve eaten at is the one located at Bayswater, just slightly down from the famously cheap Khan’s.
Out of the starters, we tried the Chicken Satay and the Chinese pork ribs. I’d definitely order the satay again, with juicy and slightly spiced chunks of chicken with enough char to give it some interesting contrast. I’m glad the accompanying sauce also had just the right level of chilli. On the other hand, I wish I could forget the ribs. The combination between an awfully strong pork flavour indicative of old meat and simply fried didn’t do anything to add flavour and made only worse drenched in a sickly sweet sauce.
Fortunately the main dish made up much more for it with a grilled pork dish served with a side salad and a chilli dipping sauce. You might think all that clear stuff on the plate is the oil, and maybe some of it is, but the rest was a light glaze made of honey that definitely worked well with the natural sweetness of the pork.
Dessert was up next and my dining partner couldn’t resist the black rice with coconut ice cream (pictured above). I can’t resist ordering the classic pandan pancake and the waitress was good enough to swap the normal ice cream for coconut ice cream as well.
Our waitress provided some very friendly service throughout the night, but if it’s like any other micro-chain will be variable depending on who’s working and their level of service. Three course dinner for 2 including a couple of soft drinks and tip: £47.80.
Name: Banana Tree Canteen(in Bayswater)
Found at: 21-23 Westbourne Grove, London W2 4UA