Banana Tree – Clapham Junction

Last night I went to Banana Tree at Clapham Junction for the first time in a few years, to meet a couple of old friends. And was pleased to find it’s as great as it always was.

You can only book tables for parties of seven or more, so we arrived fairly early (7.30pm) as it was a Saturday night. We were seated straight away and the restaurant filled up quickly.

We started with a bottle of Italian Pinot Grigio Garganega Nova @ £16.95 while reading the Asian fusion menu (great mix of Thai, Vietnamese, Malay dishes).

For starters we shared chicken and shitake moneybags – crispy chicken and shitake mushroom stuffed parcels served with chilli sauce @ £4.90, and kau chi dumplings – handmade pork and prawn dumplings with aged vinegar + garlic sauce @ £4.60. Both were really tasty (even if the dumplings looked a bit deflated).


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Chicken shitake moneybags


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Kau chi dumplings

For main course, H and G both had chilli, ginger and basil stir fry with prawns – fresh and aromatic stir fry, with cloud ear and shitake mushrooms, peppers and spring onions in Siamese yellow bean sauce @ £8.40 and steamed Jasmine rice @ £2.50.


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Prawn stir fry and Pinot Grigio


I had seafood kari santan melayu – tiger prawns, tilapia fish fillets and fishcakes gently cooked in a traditional Malaysian blended red curry paste @ £8.90 (lots of deep, contrasting and complementary flavours – simply gorgeous).


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Seafood red curry


Our total bill for three people (for three bottles of pinot grigio, two starters, three mains, and sides of rice and noodles) came to about £100 which included a tip. At £34 each, this seemed very reasonably priced for such great food.


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Open plan kitchen + restaurant bench tables


Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: IndoChinese, Asian fusion
~ Address: 75-79 Battersea Rise, London
~ Postcode: SW11 1HN
~ Tel: 020 7228 2828
~ e: battersea@bananatree.co.uk (bookings only for parties of 7 or more)
~ Nearest station: Clapham Junction
~ Website + menus: Banana Tree website
~ Photos on flickr images of Banana Tree food
~ Location: Banana Tree Clapham Junction map


RELATED LINKS

More nearby dining:

~ Nancy Lam’s Enak Enak – *best* restaurant on Lavender Hill (Indonesian / SE Asian fusion)

~ Noiya – Indian restaurant on Lavender Hill


Banana Tree on Urbanspoon



		

	

Nancy Lam’s – another set of satisfied customers

So we went to Nancy Lam’s Enak Enak for dinner again last night…


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…Another set of satisfied and *very* happy customers!


~ More food photos on flickr: Nancy Lam’s food pics

Nancy Lam’s Enak Enak – best restaurant on Lavender Hill

FiveStars

*UPDATES*
Jun 2013
– scroll down to see latest photos of Nancy Lam’s mouth-watering dishes.

Nov 2011 – this post supersedes Lardbutty’s previous entry on Enak Enak + upgrades the restaurant rating from 4.5/ 5 to **top rank 5/ 5** alongside Suze In Mayfair.


Every time I’ve been to Enak Enak the food has been amazing. On our visit last night – an early birthday celebration for BK – we were shown to our table with the usual warm reception.

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Starters: mixed satay platter, tom yum soup + beancurd with peanut sauce

A sign of the times, the restaurant was only half full (this side of Lavender Hill is slightly off the beaten track after all) but serving staff were their usual hospitable, attentive selves.

And Nancy Lam doesn’t just put her name over the door. She was – as ever – milling around the restaurant, chatting with customers, ensuring everything was to satisfaction and generally giving it her personal touch.

For starters we (three of us) shared mixed satay (BBQ prawn, really tender spare-rib, chicken with peanut sauce and achar achar pickles) @ 12.95, chicken tom yum soup @ £5.75 and tahu goreng (crispy fried bean curd with beansprouts-disguised-as-cabbage-strips and peanut sauce @ £7.95. Beautiful.

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Beef rendang – rump steak stewed in exotic spices, finished with a touch of coconut

For mains, K had his usual: beef rendang @ £9.75 (he loves it so much that even though he *wants* to try other dishes on the menu, he just can’t quite bring himself to forfeit the rendang). BK had the same, and I managed to venture away from my favourite squid dishes on this occasion and had lamb curry @ £10.50, which I requested to be slightly hot. It had a lovely warm, spicy kick to it (not hot hot) and was beautifully tender.

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Lamb curry – so tender, with a gentle spicy kick

A main course averages at around £13 (including rice @ £2.75) which is inexpensive for such premium food and comfortable surroundings (even Marco Pierre White says it’s worth a visit). And bottles of wine start from around £20. All very reasonable.

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Pak choi – side vegetable dish @ £6.50

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Cashew nut fried mee – egg noodles with fresh veg + cashew nuts @ £8.50

Now, *I don’t like giving top scores* to any restaurant, as I believe there’s always room for improvement. But our experience at Nancy Lam’s last night was faultless. We couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome and comfortable if we’d been in our host’s own home. The whole experience was special.

Five out of five.

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 5 / 5 (if it were possible to give 5.5 marks out of 5, Nancy Lam’s would get it)
~ Food photos on flickr Nancy Lam’s food pics
~ Type: Indonesian/ SE Asian fusion
~ Address: 56 Lavender Hill, London
~ Postcode: SW11 5RQ
~ Nearest stations: Clapham Common (tube) or Queenstown Rd, Clapham Junction (mainline)
~ Website: Enak Enak restaurant website
~ Menu (as of Nov 2011, subject to change): Enak Enak dinner menu
~ Location: Enak Enak restaurant map


More of the menu:
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Mixed satay starter: BBQ prawns, chicken satay, spare ribs, achar achar


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Beef satay starter


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Udang Lemak – prawns in sambal sauce + coconut cream


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Virgin squid in lemongrass + coconut with cashew nut fried mee etc


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Nancy Lam's Enak Enak on Urbanspoon

Even more
~ Nancy Lam on This Morning TV making Beef Rendang

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BK’s b’day – being looked after

Nancy Lam’s Enak Enak

*UPDATE*
See the latest Lardbutty review of Enak Enak


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Nancy Lam’s Enak Enak – Lardbutty restaurant of the week

Not only is the food superb but Nancy Lam is – invariably – wandering around the restaurant saying hello to all guests and ensuring everyone’s happy. It’s a very comfortable environment especially given it’s a celebrity chef’s restaurant (read about Nancy Lam here).

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Hellos with Nancy

I’ve visited a few times – I’m not progressing through the menu very well though, as the squid is so good I’ve only alternated between the main squid dishes to date. On my last visit, last night, I was hugely impressed that – while most venues hike up their prices for New Years Eve – there was no price increase at Nancy Lam’s Enak Enak (and Nancy was front of house, as usual). One of our party had the beef rendang Indonesian curry (rump steak stewed with exotic spices and a touch of coconut cream) which was seriously tender and unlike any beef curry I’ve ever tasted before.

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4.5 / 5
~ Type: Indonesian/ SE Asian fusion
~ Sample menu: Enak Enak sample menus
~ Address: 56 Lavender Hill, London
~ Postcode: SW11
~ Nearest stations: Clapham Common(tube) or Queenstown Rd (mainline)
~ Websites: Enak Enak restaurant website and Nancy Lam’s personal website (with recipes)

~ Location: Enak Enak restaurant map

Nancy Lam's Enak Enak on Urbanspoon