Chef Bobby Chinn once told me in an interview that he loves eating Indian or Thai food when he’s drunk or has a hangover. When he misses his adopted home, he eats Vietnamese.
It’s among the particular Asian flavors he looks for to suit a particular mood.
For me, Southeast Asian food is the cuisine I look for when I want to break the monotony of Filipino-American-Mexican-Italian cusine. And I’m a sucker for good curry.
For that, I like going to any one of the 6 branches of The Banana Leaf, which serves a variety of Indian, Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese and Singaporean food.
Here are my favorites:
Phad thai Banana Leaf style – P188
A delicious stir-fried mix of rice noodles, hard tofu, bean sprouts, mushrooms, carrots, peanut sauce and dreams.
Steamed Hong Kong fish fillet with garlic – P208
They use such fresh and delicate fish, with barely any seasoning save for garlic and onion leeks, and yet it tastes so divine.
Stir-fried Malaysian noble leaves with garlic – P188
Healthy and tangy, like eating oyster-sauce flavored grass.
Thai-style fried rice with shrimp paste – P188
One of the better bagoong rice dishes I’ve tasted. The shrimp paste is not too overpowering.
Roti Canai – P78 per order (plus P30 for curry sauce)
This is my favorite. It’s like eating the yummy crust of shepherd’s pie. You can choose your sauces like curry or condensed milk.