Asian Cuisine: BANANA LEAF in Robinsons' Place Ermita

May 11, 2013 - The Valiants (Section ZHI of HS Batch 2009) decided to have its mini-reunion in Banana Leaf of RP Ermita. Actually, it took us a handful of discussions before we finally decided to dine here in this restaurant.

Side note: Banana Leaf is included in the Asia Tatler Dining that gives a reasonable assurance on the food quality, service and settings.
Banana Leaf in Robinsons Place Ermita
Banana Leaf in Robinsons Place Ermita
The call time for this event was 6:00pm, and only 4 of us were able to comply with it. Luckily 9 more made it even though they were already past the call time, so all in all we achieved 13 out of 37 (or 35%) attendance. 

Since a lot of the tummies were already revolting, we decided to order an appetizer for the early birds! It was no other than the famous Roti Canai at P88+10%SC:
Roti Canai for Appetizer in Banana Leaf
Roti Canai for Appetizer in Banana Leaf
Basically, this was practically similar to a crepe that lightly filled up our hunger. Honestly, there was nothing special with this appetizer, unless you actually dip in into their special sauces. 

However, the sauces are purchased separately, and you have the following options: Curry Sauce (P30+10%SC) or Condensed Milk (P30+10%SC). Since I am not a big fan of curry, I was only able to enjoy the second one. 

After about 30-40 minutes, the others arrived, so we started ordering up to start a feast! In the next section of this blog, I will be presenting dishes that we ordered with some notes.

Seafood Chinese Kangkong P188+10%SC
Seafood Chinese Kangkong of Banana Leaf
Seafood Chinese Kangkong
I will not dwell much on this dish because it tasted typical, but I have an additional remark on this kangkong, "Where's the Seafood?"

Thai Fried Rice at P188+10%SC
Thai Fried Rice in Banana Leaf
Thai Fried Rice at its Best!
I never expected to have something enjoyable when it comes to rice dishes, but this one was an extreme exception! It featured a sweet and salty combination of flavors that really compelled me to load myself with it. It was so good that you may have this as a stand-alone dish.

Half Hainanese Chicken at P298+10%SC
Interesting Hainanese Chicken of Banana Leaf
Interesting Hainanese Chicken 
This Hainanese Chicken was something that I personally suggested thinking that this is Banana Leaf's supreme best-seller. I wouldn't say that it was a downer, but I was expecting for something more. The chicken itself was a bit bland and would need the aid of the sauces for it to taste. On the bright side, once you dip the chicken with these various sauces, you will definitely find it enjoyable.

Mee Goreng at P188+10%SC
Mee Goreng of Banana Leaf
Mee Goreng of Banana Leaf
This one paled up in comparison with the Pad Thai, so I wasn't able to recall anything about this dish. It wasn't a lackluster, but it wasn't memorable enough for me to include notes about this dish.

Mango and Shrimp at P268+10%SC
Mango and Shrimp in Banana Leaf
Sweet and chili Mango and Shrimp in Banana Leaf
This one was something that I enjoyed as well. The freshness of the shrimps was distinct, and the combination of sweet (coming from the mangoes) and chili flavors were able to make this dish noteworthy.

Stewed Beef at P268+10%SC
Stewed Beef of Banana Leaf
Stewed Beef of Banana Leaf
This dish was another one of those that I easily forgot! What I can remember is that it tasted something like  "lutong bahay" (home-cooked). I'm not saying that it's a bad thing, but this caused me to be very much acquainted with the taste that substantially diminished the excitement.

Deep Fried Squid in Spicy Garlic at P268+10%SC
Deep Fried Squid/Calamares of Banana Leaf
Calamares or Deep Fried Squid!
Although I tasted calamares a million times already (since it's one of my favorite dishes), this calamares of Banana Leaf was distinctively fresh and crispy making it highly special.

Nasi Goreng at P188+10%SC
Nasi Goreng of Banana Leaf
Nasi Goreng topped with Egg
Honestly, I wasn't able to taste this one because it was located in the other side of the table, and since I was practically enjoying myself with the Thai Fried Rice, I didn't mind missing this Nasi Goreng.

Pad Thai at P188+10%SC
Amazing Pad Thai of Banana Leaf
The Amazing Pad Thai of Banana Leaf
Pad Thai was the 2nd highlight of the night! I don't know how to specifically describe the taste, but I'm sure that I found it highly pleasurable to have this Thai specialty! One thing that I can particularly remember is the presence of the semi-sweet taste, as well as the great combination of the veggies in this Asian pasta dish.

Chicken Satay at P138+10%SC for 4 pieces
Sensational Chicken Satay of Banana Leaf!
Sensational Chicken Satay of Banana Leaf!
Saving the best for last, this Chicken Satay shattered my impression on curries. As mentioned, I didn't develop any fondness in curry; this is why I was caught off-guard when I tasted this satay because it contained a hint of curry, but then I found it delightful and rather exciting! Although it was predominantly sweet and savory,what I enjoyed so much about this dish was the perfect subtle taste of the curry. In that sence, if the curry taste became too obvious, I believe I wouldn't have appreciated this satay. So, two-thumbs up for this magnificent dish!

Valiants Mini Reunio in Banana Leaf
Valiants Mini Reunio in Banana Leaf
Above is the photo of those who attended this Mini Reunion. I surely enjoyed catching up with you guys and gals! This is actually, the end of my blog post excluding the recommendations and rating overview below. I hope you found delight in reading this post!

Credits to my awesome friend Nathaniel Chan for the photos!


Personally Recommended:
Chicken Satay
Pad Thai
Thai Fried Rice
Recommended by Asia Tatler Dining:
Stir-Fried Clams in Singaporean Chilli Sauce
Hainanese Chicken
Tilapia fillet with Assam sambal sauce

Overall Experience: 
Note about the rating: These scores are based on this experience alone as well as the food that I had during this time. 

Banana Leaf Asian Cafe
Midtown Wing, Robinsons Place Manila
Adriatico St. Ermita, Manila
Tel No.: (02) 567-8188

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