Banana Tree, 103 Wardour Street, London. W1F 0UQ – nearest tube station is Piccadilly
When I finished my meal at Banana Tree, I wanted to shout from the rooftops for people to come and try it…
Banana Tree is one of a chain of 6 in London, but there are 9 in total in England. The founder and head chef, William Chow, opened his first cafe due to his love of Southeast Asian food. He is still actively involved in the menus and recently introduced more ‘non meat’ dishes into the restaurant and donates 25p to the charity Veganuary for every vegan dish purchased.
I was welcomed by a friendly member of staff and asked where I would like to sit in the industrial style dining area. It was a solo diner’s delight! The tables were not too close together and there were high bench areas with stools right by the window. A cheery and relaxing atmosphere was created due to the soft lighting and modern pop music playing.
Food & Drink
There are several menus available. Click on the link for the extensive, all day menu but, there are also menus for kids, express lunches which cost only £10.95 for 2 courses and a vegetarian and vegan menu.
Keen to try to eat less meat due to the current focus on the health benefits of a vegan diet, I decided to have a vegan meal.
My choice of main course and starter were on the Express Lunch Menu, so my total bill was £10.95 for 2 courses, offering great value for money in the centre of London. The express lunch menu is available Mon-Fri until 5pm but is not available on Bank Holidays.
Starters – £3.50-£7.45 on the all day menu
Vegan choices included Laksa Soup, a Sesame Cracker Basket and Spring Rolls.
I decided to have the Crispy Vegan Gyoza with sweet chilli dip. The dumplings were similar to pastry in texture and were filled with steaming hot, marinated shitake mushrooms, chives, carrots and spring onions. A sweet chilli dip was served on the side with a small salad garnish. The starter was delicious.
Mains £8.95-£15.45 on the all day menu
Main courses included several options such as Bun bo Salad with vegan satay sticks, Soupy Noodles and Thai Green Curry.
I chose the immensely flavourful, quite spicy Chilli, Kafir Lime and Cashew Nuts with Vegan Bites. The curry was crammed with crunchy green beans, chunks of red onions and beansprouts. This was complemented by the soft vegan bites, (seasoned, soya nuggets), not that dissimilar to chicken in texture. To the side was a portion of mixed salad and fragrant lemon rice.
Desserts from £5.25
Vegan dessert options were sorbets or banana frotiteroles,
A range of mocktails are available at £5.95, such as a virgin lychee mojito, made with lychee juice, freshly squeezed lime and fresh mint leaves. Alcoholic cocktails are priced at £10.95. There is also a good selection of raw juices, soft drinks, wines and beers.
The service here was polite and friendly and staff were attentive throughout the meal. Getting someone’s attention for my bill took a while and once it arrived, they were a little slow in taking payment.
Would I Return?
I would definitely return here. The food I ordered was outstanding, with good presentation. I was pleasantly surprised at how flavourful and ‘meat like’ the vegan bites were. The all day menu had so many tempting choices, with plenty I would like to try on future visits. I enjoyed the overall ambience of the restaurant and the seating areas were great for solo dining.
Suggested Further Reading: