Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Banana Leaf on Broadway

Recently we were in Vancouver for a weekend which meant we had a chance to try a number of restaurants.  One of the things that bugs me about Victoria is the lack of much diversity in our restaurants.   There are numerous cuisines I like that we either do not have on the lower island or the one example is not a very good one.  One cuisine I learned to love when I lived in London in the early '90s was Malaysian food and in Vancouver I had my first chance to try it again in 20 years by going to the Banana Leaf on Broadway.

What I really mean by Malaysian cuisine is the food eaten by the Malays and not the ethnic Chinese or other minorities in the country.  Many people will wonder how Malay cuisine differs from Thai or other south Asian countries, it is significantly different because Malay's are overwhelming Muslim Islamic dietary laws apply.  That said, the food is influenced by China, India, Thailand and elsewhere.   Malay food is worth trying if you have not had it before and in Vancouver anyone of the five locations of the Banana Leaf is a good place to start.

In London there was an upscale Malaysian restaurant in Soho close to my office.   Many any evening after work from Elan Computing ended up at Rasa Sayang and over two years I had a chance to try most of the menu items they offered. It is there that I learned to love Nasi Goreng and Satay.      

I ordered chicken satay with gado gado rice at the Banana Leaf and it was all that I hoped it to be.   The satay I had had the proper peanut sauce which was deep, rich, and nicely spicy.   In the west we really do not use the peanut often enough in savory foods.

Sheila and I shared an order of roti canai.   I know the Malay roti is supposed to be the same as the Indian, but when I have had it it has always been thinner and lighter.   Something subtly different has to be going on but I have no idea what it is.

I saw the Nasi Lemak on the menu but I could not order it as well though it should not be too hard to make at home because Nasi Lemak is rice cooked in coconut milk.

Sheila will have to be in Vancouver every six months as a course examiner and the hotel we will stay at is right beside the Banana Leaf which means we will be back.

  Banana Leaf on Urbanspoon
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