Banana Tree has previously been recommended to me by one of my colleagues who visited one of the branches in London. Last weekend one of my best friends, Ally, and I decided this was the top choice for our dinner out – a friday night plan to end the week on a high. I needed a nice chilled one after my super busy first week back and feeling a little numb to the World!
Banana Tree in Soho is on Wardour Street, nestled along the same street as many other restaurants – all looking positively enticing – however our hearts were set on the menu we had been drooling over all day! At the moment it’s actually situated under some scaffolding/building work, but still very easily noticeable when walking up the street by the big branded signs.
We arrived at about 6.40pm which seemed like a perfect time as we got seated straight away but it was still busy and bustling – It was happy hour until 7pm with two for one cocktails. By about 7.30pm the restaurant had filled up and people were having to queue for tables – obviously this is pretty normal in London, especially in the west end and on a weekend!
We were greeted by a very friendly woman who seated us at one of the normal level tables – They also have the taller sharing tables for people to sit at. After being seated one of the male waiters rushed over to see if we would like cocktails before happy hour ended – I thought this was fab! It was SO nice of them to check!
We actually stuck to soft drinks – Yes we drink healthy Raw juices on friday nights 🙂 – and ordered two of the tastiest sounding juices along with some water. Ally had the Fruit Mix Twist – apple, orange, passion fruit with crushed mint – and I had the Raw Mix – carrot, cucumber, tomato, orange, apple.
Ally enjoying her raw juice on friday night – So much better than waking up with a hangover too!
They were both delicious! They were freshly blended/squeezed, which you could really tell and they still had a few little bits in. Ally’s was a bit sweeter than mine and both went down so well!
Even though we had viewed the menu online we still had a quick browse to see if we had changed our mind – There are so many options to choose from that this sure is a possibility. I was absolutely set on having noodles until about 3pm!
Ally ordered thewhich she ordered with a combo up, giving her a house salad, sweet corn cakes, Indo Viet rackers & steamed jasmine rice. I ordered the Tamarind Spicy Aubergine, and did the same to combo up for a full meal. I would recommend doing this to your meal if you order a dish from the ‘Regional Specialities and Curries’ section, unless you are ordering sides or a selection of dishes, otherwise it would be a very small dish.
There was one thing we both thought was fab and really stood out when looking at the menu- From the dish Ally chose (the crispy chicken) 25p from each one sold goes to rehabilitating orphan orangutans in Borneo! How cute is that? And shows they do their part in giving back too!
Even though it was busy our mains still didn’t take long to arrive at our tables. I was extremely pleased about this as my tummy was rumbling and I had been saving myself all afternoon – no snacks – so that I could thoroughly enjoy my meal 🙂
The Tamarind Spicy Aubergine Combo
The sweetcorn cakes!
The Cripsy Chicken with Mango & Sweet Lime Sauce combo (Ally’s review): “As a big fan of mango, I was sure I was going to love this dish, and it didn’t disappoint! The flavours all complemented each other perfectly and the chicken was amazing, really crispy and not dry at all. The sweet corn cakes were also irresistible!”
The Tamarind Spicy Aubergine combo: This dish was delicious. Personally I’m quite impartial to a spicy dish and this only had a little kick but the flavours sure made up for it! The aubergine (a fave vegetable of mine) and peppers went extremely well with the spicy tamarind sauce, of which there was just enough – It wasn’t too runny either which I really liked. The side house salad was crispy and fresh and the dressing was well matched – flavoursome but not too over the top. But again, I have to agree with Ally on this one, one of my favourite parts was the sweet corn cakes – absolutely amazing!
After devouring our meals…apart from some of the rice and prawn cracker being left due to being so full the rest of our food was gone, it was just too good to leave…we sat for a little to let our food go down, finish our raw juices and chill before the cold walk home. The waitors cleared our table and popped back to top our tap water up. They were all really friendly and although people were waiting we didn’t feel rushed to leave for them to free our table up, which was nice. We paid our bill (Split down the middle it only came to £16 each including table service, which is fab for central london) and after a short while we did leave to let another group of people sit down to enjoy what Banana Tree had to offer.
I would highly recommend Banana Tree, they have so many choices that I’m sure there’d be something to please everyone. I’m sure even my boyfriend would find something he’d love – and he doesn’t eat vegetables really. The atmosphere and service is fantastic, the juices and food delicious, it really is a great place to go for a meal out and we will be returning!
Ally would definitely recommend Banana Tree too, she said “it feels like a treat but it is so healthy you don’t feel any of the guilt!” – so true!