Braised Lamb Shank in Cumin and Star Anise
Vancouver is regularly ranked in the top liveable city list (for awhile, they were #1) – the temperate environment, beautiful scenery, and general aura of the city is just amazing. Just as awesome is the city’s quality and diversity of great food.
Amazing Malaysian Cuisine
One of those places is most certainly Banana Leaf Malaysian Cuisine. As of this post, they have four restaurants in the Vancouver area – I personally have went to both the one on Denman and the one in Kits – both are amazingly good.
As noted in the movie “The Corruptor” (not the best movie even with the great actors Chow Yun-Fat and Mark Wahlberg)
You wanna be Chinese, you gotta eat the nasty stuff”
Fortunately, this is certainly NOT the case for Banana Leaf – aromatic, bold, delictable, and flavourful (not salty – and yes, I did spell flavour the Canadian way) are the words that come to mind.
While there are many great dishes – my personal call outs are:
Braised Lamb Shank in Cumin & Star Anise: Just as the menu describes it, the lamb shank is so tender it literally falls off the bone. Amazingly good with just the right amount of spices to bring out the flavour of the lamb instead of over powering it. The lamb shank is cooked just right to ensure that the meat is amazingly tender (over cook lamb, and you’ve got yourself one awesome piece of rubber). If you order nothing else, this IS the dish you order. Period.
Pineapple Fried Rice with Seafood & Chicken: I almost never, ever, ever, ever, ever, …, ever order fried rice from an Asian restaurant…ever. Often its too much soy sauce, too much MSG, adding ketchup (seriously WTF, fried rice made with ketchup!!!), …. etc. This is seriously not the case. Served in a scooped out pineapple – the fried rice is lightly sweet with solid heapings of seafood and chicken. Quite filling – in a good way!
And the final call out of course goes to dessert. I certainly have what one would call a “sweet tooth”. And the Pisang Goreng is my current dessert choice du jour. Crispy fried banana, vanilla ice cream, crushed peanuts, and gula melaka (which I found out from Wikipedia is palm sugar) – what’s not to love!
So the next time you’re in Vancouver and you’re up for some good Malaysian cuisine – or just good food in general – check it out. I leave you with the wisdom of George Bernard Shaw:
There is no love sincerer than the love of food.