I’ve been to Banana a couple of times before and because it had been a while I thought I’d see what it was up to now as it’s always a buzzing atmosphere and I do love Thai food! So, off to Banana, right next to the corner of the Battersea Rise and Northcote Road junction. I don’t know of many other Thai places nearby so it seems it’s uniqueness in this respect means it has a constant chain of people waiting for a table. Well positioned opposite The Goat and next to a Nandos; different strokes for different folks and all.
We waited about 20 minutes for a table and this was 7:30 on a Tuesday evening, it’s obviously a popular place. We were seated at one of the communal tables. It really does have a great buzzy atmosphere and the aroma from the food is really enticing!
We ordered Crispy Pepper Spiced Chicken Rolls (Yam, Prawn and Chicken Stuffing) served with Plum sauce to start with. This looked a little unappetising as you can see, kind of like out of date, cooked from frozen chicken nuggets. The taste was really delicious though, it had a hint of sweetness which must have been the sweet potato. However, the consistency is how you would imagine when looking at it. Not so much the inside, but the shell was a little chewy, from the deep fry and had a ‘left out for a bit’ kind of taste. The Plum sauce…mmmmmmm…deelish. There’s probably a lot of sugar in there, but it’s SO worth it. I did think £5.70 was a little steep as they are only small.
We picked the most traditional of dishes – Chicken Pad Thai and Chicken Green Curry. The curry came with rice, salad, crackers and some sort of fried balls (!) as part of their special.
The Pad Thai looked great, it was a hefty portion and smelled really good. The noodles tasted like they could have been one of two things; al dente or slightly old. They were a little hard, not all soft and slippery like they should be. The taste was ok, it got better as you ploughed through – but a little bland.
The Green Curry – they got this right! It was really spot on. Spicy, but not too much and soft chunks of chicken with bamboo shoots, carrot, peas etc. Definitely the better of the two dishes. The accoutrements fluttering around the side were ok, nice but definitely not as good as the main feature! I was really happy with this dish as the others had been ok, but not amazing.
The service left a lot to be desired. They didn’t really pay any attention and after our starters were cleared and we had been waiting a while, the two guys next to us ordered. About two minutes after they ordered, their food came. We said to them that we thought it might be ours as it looked like our dishes, there was then a lot of confusion. Our waiter came over, said that indeed it was our food and then their waitress came over and said it was their food. If you look at it from either angle it’s pretty slack. If it was their food, then why the crud has their’s come out so quickly and ours hadn’t and if it wasn’t their food, why the crud are they getting the order wrong and then creating a weird fuss afterwards? (FYI, no apology for any of this, but we did end up getting the food and their’s came out shortly afterwards). They were very slow with clearing, taking orders, everything and we got the impression that our fellow diners felt the same way. Needless to say, I took the tip off at the end as it was automatically included and it most definitely was not deserved.
Banana Tree – Clapham Junction
75-79 Battersea Rise SW11 1HN
020 7228 2828