The only place I knew of in the South Bay and had recommended to my friend long ago was Vung Tau Restaurant - San Jose. She loves it and has pretty much eaten everything on the menu so she wanted to try a new place. Ila of I Nom Things recommended Banana Leaf Restaurant in Milpitas.
I think Malaysian cuisine can be hit or miss for some people. I remember liking it my first time at a Malaysian restaurant in Richmond that has since closed. Then it took me several tries after that before I became more familiar with the flavors and ingredients of the cuisine. It wasn't until my second or third visit to Yazmin Malaysian Restaurant - Alhambra that I began to enjoy it. With its melange of influences -- native Malay, Indonesian, Thai, and Chinese -- the dishes may seem familiar if you know the original version. With some dishes, I actually prefer the original version, and not the derivative.
We started off with roti prata, $2.95, a flaky Indian bread with curry dipping sauce. I always start off with this because no matter what else I get, roti prata has always been good.
Indian mee goreng, $8.95, spicy stir-fried noodles with squid, shrimp, chicken, tofu, eggs, ground peanuts, and bean sprouts. Love the sound of the ingredients, but way, way too salty.
Penang Asam Laksa (Malaysian Penang-style Tamarind Fish Soup), $8.95. My version is much better.
The flavors seemed a little bland. I like the tartness of the tamarind with the savoriness of the fish stock and the freshness of the pineapple and mint leaves to even things out. This version was pretty one-dimensional.
Hainanese chicken rice, $8.95. Also a little bland, but then again, you know I always say the version that my aunts and uncles make is much better.
We ended with pulut hitam, black sticky rice in coconut milk.
Overall, I thought Banana Leaf was just OK. My friend didn't much care for what we had at all. But the food was besides the point. We caught up and stayed until the restaurant closed. Then I checked up on lil' sis who was still napping in my back seat. Poor thing. My friend wanted to hang out some more since we don't get to see each other very often. So we went over to Borders until it closed down too. Then it was finally time to end the day.
Check Ila of I Nom Things to see the cumin lamb, pineapple fried rice and other dishes she ordered at Banana Leaf Restaurant.
All Northern California posts can be found with the tag, Series: NorCal, but I suggest reading this particular trip in this order:
Persian Dill Rice
Chai Thai Noodles - Oakland
Pho Ga Huong Que Cafe - Oakland
Fentons Creamery & Restaurant - Oakland
Chinatown - San Francisco
Eastern Bakery - San Francisco (Chinatown)
House of Nanking - San Francisco (Financial District)
Banana Leaf Restaurant - Milpitas
Jovino - San Francisco (Marina/Cow Hollow (Closed)
Miette Patisserie (Ferry Building) - San Francisco (Embarcadero)
Butterfly Restaurant (Pier 33) - San Francisco (Embarcadero)
Imperial Tea Court (Ferry Building) - San Francisco (Embarcadero)
Sura Korean Cuisine - Oakland
Centennial Light (World's Longest Lasting Light Bulb) - Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department Station 6 - Livermore
Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant - Coalinga
Chao Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Rice Porridge)
Chinese Scallion Cilantro Dipping Sauce
Banana Leaf Restaurant
182 Ranch Dr.
Milpitas, CA 95035
Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.
Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
1 year ago today, Blog My Blog 2.
2 years ago today, galangal, Jungle Red hibiscus, and Sugarloaf pineapple.