The Banana Leaf Ltd

Authentic South Indian Cuisine At Affordable Prices

 

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Festival Menu

             

You can now order online at www.banana-leaf.justeat.co.uk

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Banana Leaf proudly introduces the new Tapas Menu in South Indian Dishes.

                              Tapas Menu

Tapas is another name for a wide variety of appetizers, dishes or snacks.

South Indian Tapas for the

First time in Glasgow

Please choose any of 8 dishes of your choice from the following menu

 

                     Dosa                                                                                     Chicken Chettinadu

(Crepe of ground rice & lentils prepared on a                                                                          (Curry made of special ground chettinadu spices with    Griddle)                                                                                                                                               Chicken & a touch of pepper)

 

               Medu Vadai                                                                                  Veg Biriyani

(A popular South Indian dish made with lentil base)                                                   (Chefs speciality dish Authentically cooked and served with     

                               raita)

 

            Chicken Pakora                                                                         Chicken Coconut Fry

(Marinated small tender breast pieces of chicken)                                                                     (Mix vegetables cooked with Coconut milk )                   Chettinadu spices)

 

            Kozhi Varuval                                                                                  Lamb Biriyani

(Chicken marinated in spices known as ‘Chicken 65’)                                                 (Chefs speciality dish Authenticallycooked and served with Raita)

 

           Kadalai Gassi                                                                                        Samosa

(Chick peas cooked in Mangalorean special spices)                                                             (Deep fried triangular pasties stuffed with medium spiced                                                                                                                                                      Vegetables, served with salad and sauce)

 

           Urulai Varuval                                                                                          Idly

(Cubes of potato roasted in special Tamilnadu spices)                                                                       (Steamed cake made with lentiled batter)

 

         Mix Veg Korma                                                                                Fish Kozhambu

         (Mix vegetables cooked with                                                                                     (Tamilnadu special Curry made of Fish, tamarind juice

Coconut milk and Chettinadu spices)                                                                                                             & special spices)

 

        Kara Kozhambu                                                                              Lamb Chettinadu

     (Tamilnadu special curry made of                                                                                        (Curry made of special ground chettinadu spices with

        tamarind juice & special Juice)                                                                                                         Lamb & a touch of pepper)

 

             Veg Pakora                                                                            Gulab Jamun/Rasagulla/Jelebi

               (Mix Vegetable Pakora)                                                                                                                   (An Indian Dessert)

 

 

 

Rice, Chappathi & One drink of your choice is complimentary.

An ideal way to taste our unique award winning cuisine

 

Try our authentic South Indian food now at South Side of Glasgow

Contact Manager on 0141 4239692 for reservations.

                                         Opening Times

                         Mon – Fri – 1200 to 2300hrs

                         Sat & Sun – 1000 to 2300hrs

Enjoy Lunch Buffet

@ Albert Drive

Mon - Fri for just £3.99

 

Our Appreciations

How low can you go?

Review by Ron McKenna

Published on 19/10/2009 © Sunday Herald

Actually, they probably should have called this place The Curry Leaf. That’s what I can smell anyway. The pungent, delicious aroma of fresh curry leaves fills the air as the steaming bowl is brought to the table through the front door. Yeah, through the front door. Odd, that, but I’ll return to it later.

If you ask me, curry leaves are like truffles: the more you have them, the more you like them. They lie among juices, sauce and chicken – butchered using the landmine technique, all bones and bits but still full of flavour – and the signs of roughly ground fennel, cumin and fenugreek, the whole lot set on fire with a generous helping of chilli.

It’s a rough curry this, no powders or pastes, no big tubs of gloopy coloured dyes, none of the stuff that is now sadly the hallmark of the Glasgow curry. It’s completely missing the kiss-me-quick, one-pot-serves-all sauces from the 1970s that so many curry houses still serve while wondering dopily why nobody praises their food any more.

On the side? Two of the fresh dosas The Banana Leaf has become famous for, not the 3ft-wide, paper-thin versions they spread out on the hot plate next door, while you wait, but smallish round ones, creamy, still hot and moist like bread from the oven.

Fresh spices, curry leaves, just-made dosas – have I wandered into curry heaven? Yeah, but not without its problems.

It must be at least two years since I first reviewed The Banana Leaf. Then it was an unknown takeaway with a few seats hidden well off the beaten track almost around the back of the Kelvin Hall. Now, it’s fairly well-known and there’s a restaurant attached, but it’s not like any restaurant I’ve been to before. Think of eating inside a large, plain, yellow packing crate.

There’s not even a door directly to the kitchen, which I deduce is why my food came through the front door, carried by a waiter who hung about for a moment or two then disappeared from whence he came. There’s a hatch at the back certainly. But that’s for pointlessly sticking your head through a number of times and hoping for service. Shouting for service, actually – that’s what I did. However, nobody heard me over the noise of the mixer grinding away with some dough.

“We’re just a take-away,” the man who eventually served me – after I went through to the take-away – said about 17 times as we went through the menu of still unfamiliar south Indian dishes – sambals, idlis, biryanis, masala dosas, king dosas, stuffed dosas, chicken coconut fry, avinal, kara khozambhu – before settling on that chettinadu and a starter of some vadai, ground lentils formed into cakes and served in a dish of fresh spices and mustard oil.

It’s delicious food – simple, but complicated flavours and packing a real punch.

The Banana Leaf is categorically not redolent of the curry houses of the 1970s except in one regard: the prices. Starters? £2. Dosas? £3. You can have a main course for just over £3 or you can go completely mad and splash out £4 for a vegetarian curry and, if you’ve just won the Postcode Lottery and are feeling particularly flush, a whole £5.50 will get you my chicken chettinadu or just about any other meat dish. Good value? I think so.

Okay, the setting is tight and awkward, the tables small and the seating not particularly comfortable. I should imagine that when they are busy in the evening a waiter will be stationed in here, which will make it even more claustrophobic.

Is it worth it? Definitely. Well, definitely if you’re tired of the usual curry-house offerings and fancy a walk on the wild and unfamiliar side of life. I do.

  

           

Fandabi-dosa

Review by Joanna Blythman


Published: October 13, 2008 © The Sunday Herald

 

For a while, Indian food in Glasgow was in a time warp. The city's nominally "Indian" restaurateurs were saddled with all the baggage of the British curry house, with its "two-pot masala" system where pre-cooked meat is finished off at the last moment with curry pastes from the cash and carry. The older generation showed little interest in offering anything more genuine, other than rewriting menu descriptions to make them sound more upmarket. Furthermore, the old formula, pioneered mainly by first generation Bangladeshis and Pakistanis, was highly profitable.

No wonder second generation restaurateurs born here - and so de facto further removed from the more typical cooking of their mother country - were not predisposed to meddling with such a patently successful business model.

But of late, there has been a welcome increase in the Indian population in our cities, and Glasgow, in particular, has benefited in the form of students, doctors, academics and IT professionals.

At the same time, more Scots have visited India and seen how different food there is to the generic Indian brand here. More of us now understand that "Indian food" is about as useful a descriptor as "European food". So a market for more genuinely sub-continental cooking has opened up, and while previously our Indian restaurants have been fixated on meat, exploiting the natural affinity between meat-loving Scots and the carnivorous habits of the northern sub-continent, there has been an influx of people from southern Indian, where vegetables and rice predominate, not meat and breads.

The modest little Banana Leaf restaurant, just down from Yorkhill Hospital and handily convenient for the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, caters authentically for the south Indian diaspora and anyone else who wants to taste the real cooking of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The modest nature of the premises - a very basic takeaway with limited, functional seating - is truer to the eating-out experience in India than all those curry palaces that ape the Raj. All it lacks, apart perhaps from a technicolour image of Ganesh, the Hindu elephant god, is the customary washbasin out front for customers to use before eating. There's plastic cutlery, but this is food designed to be eaten with the fingers.

We got to the Banana Leaf at about 12.45pm on a Saturday and were the first customers. Ten minutes later, the place was claustrophobic, not so much because of the 20 or so other customers who appeared from nowhere, but because of all the dosas they were ordering.

Banana Leaf specialises in these crisp, slightly sour-tasting crepes made from fermented rice and lentil batter. They range from the generously proportioned to the gigantic: about three feet long. You can watch them being made in the kitchen. Our spinach dosa made a change from the more usual model, softer and more floppy but still with the same mellow fresh coconut and mustard seed chutney, a smooth dip of what tasted like spiced aubergine, and a sambar - that piquant, thin, soupy curry with the traditional vegetable known as "drumstick" in it. You can also order the thicker appam (made with a similar batter but here with coconut added), or an uttapam (India's answer to pizza), upma (stir-fried semolina, India's answer to couscous) or a puffy puri.

Spoilt for choice, we went for the masala vadai (India's answer to the falafel) which were utterly brilliant, all crumbly, floury split peas seasoned with fennel and cumin seeds and curry leaves, and the idli, which were too tough and chewy, possible casualties of the lunchtime rush.

We checked out the meat - the lamb Chettinadu in the Tamil Nadu style was fork-tender and fragrant - but a Keralan avial of chopped crunchy vegetables in a ginger-coconut-yogurt sauce stole the show. Our lime-flavoured rice "tempered", or fried in a hot oil with whole spices, was magnificent, good enough to make a meal in itself.

Banana Leaf is charitably cheap. Peppery rasam soup costs £1, a stuffed dosa £3.50 and there are set meals, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, for £6 and £7 respectively. Some of the less familiar dishes, such as the speciality biriyanis, are cooked just for special occasions, so you need to order them in advance. Otherwise you'll be getting honest, everyday south Indian home cooking. Just what every neighbourhood in Scotland could do with.

 

The List's Eating & Drinking Guide 2009

Easily mistaken for an ordinary take–away, the first hint that Banana Leaf is more than meets the eye is the largely Asian clientele. With its tiny interior, strip lighting, counters with high stools along either wall, it is only when you look at the menu that you realise that Banana Leaf is hiding its light under a bushel. The food is authentic South Indian cuisine, heavy on the vegetarian options and a world away from the curries familiar to Glasgow. Why settle for boring old pakora when you can sample idly and sambar (steamed rice cakes, wonderfully light and served with chutneys), or try the mild and fresh flavours of the deep fried chilli? The dosas are simply fantastic, 2ft-long lentil pancakes, filled with either lamb, chicken or vegetables, served on a tin tray with sides of coconut chutney, mild chilli sauce and a thin curry gravy, perfect for mopping up with the crisp, light pancake. Main courses are delicious and surprisingly cheap, such as kara kozhambu, which sees aubergines in a thick, warming sauce tinged with the smoky-sharpness of tamarind, all served with either sticky rice or chapattis. In terms of taste and budget, Banana Leaf is absolutely worth searching out.

  • High point: Huge, fabulous dosas
  • Low point: A couple more stools would be handy

 

 

                              

 

 

 

 

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