Banana Leaf’s website explains more about Malaysian Cuisine:
Malaysian fare isn’t about a singular distinctive taste, but about diversity, with a blend of culinary inspiration from India, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Eurasia, and Malaysia’s indigenous population. It combines the best of South East Asia, from India’s roti canai, Singapore’s laksa, to China’s Hainanese chicken rice, creating a menu that is a delight to try.
Visitors have many good things to say about Banana Leaf. Rasputin45 writes on the restaurant review site Dinehere.ca:
Banana Leaf is good for almost any occasion. It’s probably our most reliable favorite, a great place to take out of town guests and go for a regular night out with your family as well. At roughly 12 – 20 dollars an entree, it’s a fantastic value as well, especially in the Kits zone of overpriced fare. Our favorites? roti canai, the rendang beef, the lamb dish, sambal green beans, Tofu in Assam sauce, and sayur Lemak.
Pictured below are some dishes I enjoyed when I visited their Kitsilano location earlier this year. A great appetizer or side dish is the Roti Canai, an Indian-influenced puffy bread served with a wonderful rich curry sauce. Also shown is a Malaysian vegetable curry dish (Sayur Lemak) as well as the Nasi Goreng: fried rice with beef, shrimp, egg, tomato, onion and green beans.
I’m looking forward to visiting Banana Leaf again sometime soon.
Roti Canai bread from Banana Leaf Malaysian restaurant in Kitsilano Vancouver BC Canada.
Sayur Lemak Malaysian Vegetable Curry from Banana Leaf restaurant in Kits Vancouver BC Canada.
Nasi Goreng from Banana Leaf Malaysian restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada - Malaysian fried rice with beef, shrimp, egg, tomato, onion and green beans.
Restaurant interior at Banana Leaf Malaysian Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada.
Andale’s has been serving up quality Mexican and Spanish cuisine in the Kitsilano neighborhood of Vancouver for as long as I can remember. Fifteen years ago (when I was still a kid), I used to make trips here with my grandmother, a big fan of flamenco dancing. At that time Andale’s had regular live music and flamenco dance.
The flamenco shows took place after my bedtime in those days, but recently I attended a flamenco performance at the Vancouver Fringe Festival (an annual festival of independent theatre in Vancouver). I can understand how my grandmother was enthralled by the rhythm, motion, virtuosity, and inherent danger of the physically demanding dance. Check out this beautiful flamenco video by Polish guitarist Przemyslaw Haluszczak (musician’s bio):
While Andale’s may not be putting on flamenco shows these days, the restaurant is still the same as I remember it – decor complete with white stucco walls, sombreros hung cheerfully amongst pinatas and neon signs for Dos Equis, and colorful handmade blankets fashioned as tablecloths.
The menu has stayed relatively constant over the years with items such as the taco salad (enormous!), enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and fajitas. Vegetarian options are available, and there are plenty of non-vegetarian items as well.
Pictured below is the Seafood Quesadilla ($14.95), a large flour tortilla filled with chili, cheese, and assorted seafood, then grilled and served with ranchero sauce, sour cream, beans, and salad. It was a satisfying and generous meal.
If you head over to Food Vancouver, you can print out a coupon for Andale’s that will give you a half price entree (“buy one item, get 2nd one at half price”).
Seafood Quesadilla ($14.95) from Andale's Mexican and Spanish restaurant in Kitsilano, Vancouver BC Canada.
Last weekend I visited Sai-Z Japanese Restaurant in Kitsilano (web site, map, 3116 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-732-7249).
I was sad to read on their website that they are closing on July 12th 2009. Hope this is only temporary and they will be back soon! Here’s your chance to experience this great restaurant before they close.
[A] hot appetizer we had was this noodle wrapped and deep-fried shrimp served with a spicy mayo dip. The contrast between the crispy exterior and the plump, juicy shrimp inside was superb […] Each [sushi] piece was densely packed, making it feel more filling than it already was […] The fish was good, each fresh and succulent, and not too big that it would take more then one mouthful.
All the dishes were beautifully presented and were a creative notch above the typical Japanese restaurant you’ll find around town.
I enjoyed the Sashimi Salad ($7.50, pictured below), a delightful arrangement of green salad topped with a variety of raw seafood.
For an appetizer I ate the Ebi Chili Mayo ($5.50, also pictured below), which is a generous serving of deep fried prawns covered in mayonnaise and sprinkled with Japanese masago (smelt roe) garnish. These were some of the best Ebi Mayo prawns I have had around town – it’s a shame the restaurant is closing soon or else I would definitely go back to have them again.
As for sushi, we ordered the Papaya Avocado Salmon Roll, which is reasonably priced at $5.50 (also pictured below) – and you can see from the photo that it was very pleasing to the eye.
The chef at Sai-z makes quite a daring and delicious decision to combine papaya, avocado, and salmon. The roll we ordered also had some lettuce in it, and I felt the lettuce made the sushi a bit too watery, but it was refreshing and tasty nevertheless.
My vegetarian friend ordered the Vegetarian Sushi Combo (also pictured below) which was great looking, yummy, and affordable (maybe around $6 to 8?).
A complimentary Salmon Skin appetizer from the chef at SaiZ Japanese Restaurant in Kitsilano, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Sashimi Salad from Sai-Z Japanese Restaurant ($7.50)
Vegetarian Sushi Combo from Sai-Z Japanese Tapas restaurant in Vancouver.
Ebi Chili Mayo prawns ($5.50) from Saiz Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver.
Papaya Avocado Salmon Roll sushi ($5.50) from Sai-z Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada.
Another shot of the Papaya Avocado Salmon Roll Sushi from Sai-Z Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada.
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