Banana Tree

For my mum's birthday this year, we ventured to London. We had an awesome food filled sightseeing day. That ended at Banana Tree in Soho. I went to the eatery earlier this year, when they held an event to launch their vegan menu. Back then I even said I had my eye on a few of their dishes and now I was able to try them out.

We tried out the mocktails first, I went for the Virgin Lychee Mojito and my mum went for the Watermelon Cooler. They were delish, we both fell in love. Not sparkling, lots of flavour and not too sweet.

On to the food! We chose two starters each, the first being the one above, the Singapore Laksa Soup (£5.95). They have a number of dishes on the menu that are marked as their signature dishes and this is one of them. Soup can be boring but this definitely wasn't. An abundance of flavour that was addictive with the right amount of spice and cubes of tofu, beansprouts and more. Something I would happily have again. As well as labelling the signature dishes, they also have done the same for the vegan ones. Making life easy for everyone and so good not to feel like the odd one out.

One of the starters my mum chose was this dish of Sweetcorn Fritter Balls (£3.85), that came with chilli dipping sauce. A little on the expensive side but normal for London prices. Super tasty though, crispy and soft and lovely. I'm a sucker for fried food and this catered to that. I've had similar, so this didn't excite me as much as the others but still lovely.

So, I bloody well love aubergine and Banana Tree had a lot of aubergine options. I took full advantage! Above is one of the starters that contains my favourite veg, Grilled Aubergine Half with Aromatic Caramel Sauce (£5.95). Ok, it sounds a little basic but damn it was made well. The sauce was everything! Especially as it came on top of a chargrilled to perfection aub. Gorge!

On to the mains and the Tamarind Spicy Aubergine (£8.95). This was the dish that I wanted to try when I saw it on the menu back in January. Gosh, it was worth waiting for. Meaty chunks of aubergine with tofu, peppers, carrots in a spicy sauce that reminded me of my mum's meat dopiaza. The tamarind adding a tangy sweet and sour flavour. With the sticky jasmine rice, it was everything I wanted and more. This is the dish I would go back for.

Overall, this was a beautiful meal. It was a little different to the dishes in Birmingham and the service was ace. Especially from Jermaine, friendly attentive and so knowledgeable. I mentioned that we were there for my mum's birthday and 10 mins later they came out with a chocolate lava dessert, that my mum loved and devoured, and sang her Happy Birthday. He also knows his spice, so struck up a friendship with my mum on this basis and even brought her out a chilli sauce of pure chilli. You know the kind that you only need a teeny amount of. Pure fire! We said to each other that we would take home the leftovers but there was none leftover! An amazing end to a great day in London.

Many thanks to the team at Banana Tree for this complimentary meal and great service

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