This is my favourite restaurant find so far in Croydon. I’m always recommending it to people and even though I don’t get to go there that often but whenever there is a chance I suggest it. Banana Leaf specialises in gorgeous south Indian food. It is a friendly, family run business open 7 days a week.
I went most recently, on Sunday evening, with my parents and my 2 and 1/2 year old daughter. We hadn’t booked and it was busy but they squeezed us in with no problem and despite there being a large party and many other tables filled they served us swiftly and attentively. We ordered some poppadums to start as I didn’t want to fill myself up too much before the main course, I’ve been here before and they do great starters so it is easy to get carried away. Their dosas are yummy and the Vadai equally so but on re-reading the menu I realise why they title the first courses: Starters/Light Meals as they are very filling, but well worth a go! For mains we ate Goan King Prawn Masala, a dark tomatoey spicy sauced curry with pieces of king prawn throughout. We also ordered a favourite of mine, Malabar Fish Curry, listed on the Chef Specials, this is a very rich and creamy spiced coconut dish made with King Fish. There was Ginger Chicken which as the menu quite accurately describes “the warmth grows on you”. As a side we ordered Paneer Palek, a simple paneer and spinach curry in a light coconut savoury sauce, mild and greedily lapped up by our 2 and 1/2 year old curry connoisseur. To mop up all the lovely sauces, for me, the beautifully fragrant and moreish lemon rice, and my parents and little lady some very delicious looking flaky parathas.
We didn’t stop there, one of the best things about this place is they do puddings, and good ones at that. Sadly our choice of Rasmalai was unavailable so my daughter and I had Carrot Halwa with vanilla ice cream, Megan nearly combusted at the sight of her sundae glass filled with her favourite vegetable in sweet form and the topping of ICE CREAM!!!! The halwa was a surge of sweet, sugary, cardamom infused grated carrot which was tangerine in colour and contrasted by the cold creamy ice cream. My parents ate Kulfi a mix of almond and pistachio served in little tubs, not the highlight but a satisfactory ending to a delicious meal.
Find their menu and further details here: http://www.a222.co.uk/bananaleaf/home.html