Is That a Banana Leaf in Your Pocket or Are You Just Happy to See Mee Siam?

Another check for the list of places we’ve been wanting to get to for a while now: Banana Leaf in Chinatown. Friday close to midnight, the place was packed with Malaysian club kids, Center City types, and immigrant families feasting on fragrant fish head curries, treated duck web, and chicken feet in the tropically decorated (bamboo, fake flora) space. Queasy? Fear not. The huge menu offers plenty of normal, delicious stuff. Tofu satay. Noodle bowls. Rendang. Crisp on the edges and chewy in the middle, the spool of roti canai was the perfect pull-apart finger food dunked into yellow chicken curry. The seafood tom yum crackled with chili heat, the orange firebroth rife with vermicelli, shrimp, calamari, scallops, baby corn, and snow peas. The tofu in the mee Siam (stir-fried vermicelli in chili peanut sauce) made us believers that the fauxtein could be as good as real meat. The edges of each cube were golden and caramelized, the interiors spongy and soft. Dy-no-mite. Mugatu never would have wanted to kill the Malaysian prime minister had he sampled the food at Banana Leaf. And could their bathroom be the coolest in town? The stainless steel vessel sinks are shapes like woks!

Photo: blogalicious

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