Banana Leaf – A Taste of Sri Lankan Cuisine in the heart of Canberra

It was a drizzly evening in Canberra and our supervisor suggested to go to the Banana Leaf restaurant as he wanted to taste Sri Lankan food. Banana Leaf is a very famous restaurant among Sri Lankans who love authentic Sri Lankan food. We were so happy to hear that Banana Leaf had an outlet in Kingston, Canberra and was more than happy to join our supervisor along with one of our colleagues for dinner.

Inside the Banana Leaf Restaurant

We arrived at the restaurant around 6 PM in the middle of a drizzle. A cheerful waitress greeted us and led us to a cosy table. There sat an oversized bulb-like glass decor with a lighted candle inside it that illuminated our table.

Table Lighting

Mains

The kind waitress provided us with the menu and explained us the dishes on the menu. Anuradha and I decided to choose some famous Sri Lankan dishes so that our supervisor and colleague can experience Sri Lankan cuisine. So here are the main dishes we ordered.

  • Kottu rotti – A$ 28.90
  • Pittu – A$ 29.90
  • Lamprais – A$ 30.90
  • Goat meat red spiced curry – A$ 33.90
  • Crispy rotti (as sides) – A$ 7.00

Before moving on to desserts, I must explain a bit about some of these dishes as to what they include how they are made. Kottu rotti consists of Sri Lankan godamba rotti sautéed with onions, vegetables, eggs and meat. Pittu consists of rice flour, semolina, and fine coconut flakes mixed together and steamed in a cylindrical mould. Lumprais consists of rice, chicken curry, fish cutlet, pickled eggplant and potatoes. It is wrapped in a banana leaf and baked to add more rich flavours as the banana leaf aroma gets infused to the rice.

Desserts

Then we moved on for desserts. We ordered,

  • Watalappan – A$ 11.90
  • Wood apple mousse – A$ 11.90
  • Curd and treacle – A$ 11.90
  • Homemade date and cashew cake – A$ 11.90

The most interesting dessert that caught my eye was the curd and treacle. It was presented in a very fancy manner. Back in Sri Lanka we used to eat curd from small clay pots with treacle poured over. The curd served in a fancy glass was very pretty. Not to forget, the date and cashew cake served with vanilla ice cream tasted very nice and reminded me of the date cake we used to eat back in Sri Lanka.

Final Thoughts

While we enjoyed dinner, we talked a lot about Sri Lankan cuisine and traditions. Visiting the Banana Leaf restaurant brought back the joyful memories of my mother’s cooking which I miss a lot now. However, Anuradha and I were so pleased that we could visit this lovely restaurant and feel like home in the heart or Canberra.

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