Good Eatin’: A Trip To Banana Tree

List Item: Try 500 of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die

When I celebrate my first pay check I treat my partner to a Chinese buffet. When he got good work news I managed to swing a trip to Banana Tree; an Indonesian restaurant near where both of us work.

The purpose of this visit was to celebrate and have a nice time. The fact that I was able to tick off a large number of food list items just made this amazing dinner even better (and believe me this is the best meal I have had out in a long time)

Food Item: Lychee

When we went there it was their happy “hour” so the offer was to get two of the same drinks for the price of one. Now, since a lot of the fruit I have been eating lately are tropical and taste a “bit like” lychee I figured I would have a Virgin Lychee Mojito. Very sweet and it comes with two whole lychee bobbing up and down in the glass like peeled eyeballs. It took me ages to finally fish them out.

Food Item: Coriander Leaf

For the starters (that we shared) we had an order of crispy dough with satay sauce (the satay sauce itself was just nosh) but pictured here is my pick which was the Kau Chi dumplings.  I am a sucker for East Asian dumplings and these were covered with a good layer of spring onions and coriander. These pork and prawn dumplings in vinegar disappeared quickly.

Food Item: Tilapia, Tamarind, Beansprouts, Jasmine Rice,  Fen Si Noodles

Now here is where I am cheeky. This is my partner’s meal. We ordered everything before I thought of the blog, it was only when we got the drink I suddenly twigged that I could have probably got a large number of food items here. We both ordered our meal with the “Banana Tree Special Combo” which meant portions of jasmine rice, sweetcorn cakes, crackers and glass noodle (what most Brits know Fen Si noodles as) salad.

Where I had the chicken with mango and sweet lime (which I would easily have again) my partner went for the tilapia with a tamarind sauce. We swapped about half of our mains over since they were both delicious. The sweet and tart tamarind is always welcome in an East Asian dish but I have never had it with fish before, and it worked really well. This white fish was lean, with a slightly meaty texture (I really need to re-evaluate my stance on fish as I am liking more than I would have first thought).

The whole meal was delicious and filling. I mean, I am someone who retches when I smell sweetcorn being cooked and yet I thought the sweetcorn cakes were really nice. We were nicely satisfied… until they waved the dessert menu under our noses that is.

Food Item: Purple Rice

On the menu it was listed as  a Balinese rice pudding made with black rice and topped with coconut ice cream. It looked more purple so I looked it up and found that the rice  in this pudding is a variety of purple rice. I never actually expected to get purple rice so quickly since it felt incredibly out of the ordinary.

To eat this I kept spooning my hot rice pudding over the ice cream until it melted and mixed in. It made it the colour of Ribena and tasted rich and sweet.

Needless to say, I went here a few weeks before writing this… and yesterday I went here with a colleague from work for lunch. I think I have new favourite restaurant.

Progress: 75/500

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