Contact Information: (02) 687-6808 / 687-6818
Website: Banana Leaf Philippines
The 8th of January, hubby and I decided to buy him a very late Christmas gift. We went to a store in Guadalupe, Makati City and bought the newest addition to his collection and afterwards went to The Podium in Ortigas Center, Pasig City.
Our destination in The Podium, a restaurant that serves Malaysian, Singaporean, Indian, Vietnamese, Indonesian and of course Thai food.
We arrived a little before 7PM and we were welcomed by well trained staff and led to a table near the bar.
They have great choices on the menu, but since we are still fixated on Thai cooking, we decided to look for Thai Food on their menu.
What we had:
This small basket of prawn crackers is given for free to the customers. I guess so that you don't get impatient while waiting for the food to be served on your table.
It may not be as crunchy as how we wanted it to be, but then again, at least there was something on the table which helped stave off our hunger.
What can I say? It was a cold salad, served with a special sauce which from what I could tell was made from mango syrup with a hint of something that I can't really put my finger on.
It was heavenly! The semi-ripe, sweet-sour taste of the mango blended perfectly with the roasted chicken. The vinegrette/sauce was made from something that was not too sweet and not too sour ingredients either. The best part, it was mildly spicy.
Thefried rice is very different from what I am used to. I associate Thai fried rice with shrimp paste, mangoes and eggs, but this one from Banana Leaf reminded me of Yang Chao and Thai Bagoong Rice all rolled into one.
We could have eaten this even without any viands, but of course that would be a little tacky, wouln't it? (lol)
The pork was slightly crusted on the outside, but beautifully tender and juicy inside. The dip was made from shrimp paste and it was mildly spicy and it wasn't salty.
I had my favorite dish, chicken curry. This one was tasted, uhm, yummy. That's quite an understatement, it was delicious! Although different from what I ate from Mango Tree Bistro, I would say that there were similarities as well. The Banana Leaf version of the dish was a little more saucy and slightly sweet because of the herbs.
The only thing that I looked for that day was some extra cayenne pepper. Have I mentioned that I LOVE spicy food? (lol) But overall, the style and presentation although different, the taste had the same quality that I was looking for in curry based dishes.
For drinks, we both ordered the Thai Ice Tea. This is where my preference clearly showed. I tried the Thai ice tea of Jatujak, Mango Tree Bistro and recently Banana Leaf, and with all conviction I would recommend the Thai Ice Tea of Mango Tree Bistro. What I didn't like about Banana Leaf's version of the drink, it was way too milky. I was not able to taste the tea because my palate was overwhelmed with the flavor of milk and the blandness.
From my experience I could say, that if you want to try the Thai ice tea of Banana Leaf, it would be on your own risk.
Unfortunately because of the serving size of the dishes, we were unable to try any of their desserts. We resorted to eating our salad again after the main course as there was an ample portion of it left on our plate.
To put everything in a nut shell:
The place is cozy and please, don't be surprised when no one puts any plates on your table because the plates that you would be using are literally just banana leaves placed on top of the paper placemats.
The service is fast and very efficient.
The ambiance, well at least the Podium branch is quiet and set up for meals for either two people or a whole family.
Food quality is good. It was well prepared and the presentation was not spectacular, but you couldn't help but to start digging in, once you get a whiff of the food.
Drinks, again try the Thai ice tea at your own risk.
Value for money, we only paid Php1031.00 (roughly $20.00) for everything that was placed on our table.
Would we visit the place again? Definitely, but we might try their other branches located at different areas around the Metro.
Update: 07 July 2017: Sorry for the missing photos. My images used to be hosted in Photobucket and Now I can't download them to transfer them to another site so I can show them again here.