I'll be honest. Banana Tree was not the plan for Friday night. Pizza Pilgrims was. However, I was starving and there was an hour's wait with the Pilgrims (shame, because I was really looking forward to that pizza!), and so I put my name down on the wait list and then wandered down Dean Street to explore other options. Lines everywhere. Then down Wardour Street...more lines. Finally when I could bear this uncertainty of not knowing whether dinner was going to happen at all that night, no more, I saw a large sign for Banana Tree on the other side of the road, and decided to go stand in the queue, however long it may be. Turned out the place was packed, but there were only three other people in line before me, who got seated very rapidly, and in 5 minutes I found myself inside too! At the far end, in a corner, but hurrah! I was going to eat dinner after all.
My friend works in Cambridge, so doesn't get into central London before 7:30 in the evening. She was running late that evening, so when she finally arrived, it was past 8, and I was ravenous!
We decided to share some steamed chicken dumplings to begin. Took our time picking our mains. A select range of chargrilled meats, curries, stir fries, and noodles from across South East Asia to choose from. We decided on the chicken rendang and a prawn, chilli, ginger and basil stir fry with oriental vegetables. And some jasmine rice on the side.
The verdict: the rendang curry was delicious, the stir fry average, and the dumplings very tasty. I liked that the dumplings came soaked in the vinegar, garlic and herb sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds, instead of with the sauce on the side. More flavour when you bit into them.
The meal was very reasonable too. £25 not including drinks!