Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Monday, Nov 03, 2003

About Us
Contact Us
Metro Plus Delhi Published on Mondays & Thursdays

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Quest | Folio |

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Thiruvananthapuram    Visakhapatnam   

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend

Banana Leaf puts shops in the shade

Banana Leaf restaurant offers a wide variety of South Indian food at affordable prices, says SUMITRA SENAPATY.


AT THE Metropolitan Mall, Gurgaon, it isn't really about the food. It's about having fun, and to judge by the crowds, the Mall succeeds. Did someone say authentic South Indian vegetarian cuisine? If that's the kind of detail that arouses your attention, then I don't need to tell you about Banana Leaf. You already know this brand new South Indian joint. You're already there, standing and moving with the escalator, another body in the sea.

Don't give up your place in line for the restaurant. The Mall may be a fun place to shop yourself silly, but it's a better idea to eat at Banana Leaf. Inside Banana Leaf, the owners have tried to give it as much a `Southie' flavour as possible. Walls decorated with green leaf and bright orange marigold flower garlands and carved deities in alcoves give it a warm welcoming feeling. Antique wooden pillars, a cascading waterfall and Vedic chants complete the picture, though a glance back at the Mall reveals bright neon lights, escalator and all the other shopping paraphernalia. Ignore this, and you have an air-conditioned restaurant, with clean ambiance, where you can chat and laugh to your heart's content, because food service is quick and affordable.

Like many South Indian outlets in the South, Banana Leaf offers a Milk and Juice Bar with a choice of fresh fruit juices. Take your pick - there is black grape, orange, fresh lime, anar and more, also the chikko, mango, apple and banana milk shakes. Apart from the usual idly-dosa-vada-uttappam fare, you can binge on Malabar parathas from Kerala, the spicy tamarind rice from Andhra and bisi bela bhath (blend of spiced rice and lentils with generous helping of ghee) from Karnataka. During the opening night, the restaurant was full, with waiters (brought in from Bangalore) working very quickly, ensuring that everyone was looked after. Keeping in mind the quick succession of new entrants to the business of making people eat out, the staff has to ensure return visits of customers. While pouring over the bright green menu card, you come to the conclusion that the food range is extensive; besides, Banana Leaf has not spared any type of guest category. There is the Executive Thali for Rs.125, Special Limited Thali for Rs.75, Special Snacks Thali for Rs.75, Mini Lunch for Rs.50 and even a Kid's Special for Rs.50.

The owner stops by at our table to remind us that all food is strictly vegetarian, no egg is used to soften the parathas, and pure desi ghee is used as the cooking medium. In addition to the traditional coconut chutney accompaniment, there are a variety of three chutneys - red ginger and chilli, green coriander and curry leaf, and garlic, tomato and jaggery.

While at Banana Leaf, you'll discover that a theatre-like flair comes along with some of the finer preparations on offer. And for a truly eclectic rendition of a heavenly sugar rush, one should savour the Gadbad ice cream sundae - a tall glass, with scoops of six different ice creams filled to the brim, interspersed with chopped fruits, nuts and fruit based sauces. The finale is a genuine South India paan.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Thiruvananthapuram    Visakhapatnam   

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Quest | Folio |


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |

Comments to : thehindu@vsnl.com   Copyright 2003, The Hindu
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu