The menu includes: Mango kerabu, Malaysian roti canai, Satay chicken skewers, Cumin mussels, Assam curry scallops, Chili garlic butter lobster tails, Caramelized ginger sablefish, Rendang beef, Sambal okra with green bean and eggplants, coconut rice and Pisang goreng with vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Our first course is the Mango Kerabu – it’s a salad with julienne mango, cucumber, carrot, jicama, fish sauce and a sweet and sour dressing. It’s then sprinkled with crushed peanut, sesame seeds and shallots. Our dish is a small one but it was nice to get the meal started on a crunchy, slightly sweet and salty note. Not sure if I’d order this on it’s own, but not bad as the first part of our meal.
The next dish to arrive is the Cumin mussels. The broth is made of ginger, shallot, garlic, cumin, butter, tomato, onion, coconut milk and Chinese wine. The portion for two people is a good size. The broth really flavoured this dish with mostly the coconut flavour standing out. The mussels are nicely cooked and not too chewy.
Our appetizers arrived next – roti canai and satay chicken skewers. Again, the portion is good for two people. Their roti is crispy but doughy still and not too greasy. It was still quite hot and was flavourful when paired with the peanut sauce. The chicken satays were good, they weren’t too chewy and had a good amount of flavour to them. They’re a bit on the skinny side, but still quite enjoyable.
Three dishes came together: chili garlic butter lobster tail, caramelized ginger sablefish and the sambal okra and green beans (along with our coconut rice).
The chili garlic butter lobster tail was probably my favourite dish of the night – the black peppercorn gave it a nice punch while the butter and salty elements (fish sauce, spice salt). The lobster had a nice snap to it.
My second favourite dish of the night was definitely the Sablefish (Black Cod) caramelized ginger. It starts off breaded and is drizzled in a sweet sauce with caramelized ginger, garlic, shallot and Chinese wine. The cod was still quite tender on the inside but the crispy exterior gave it a good crunch to compliment that sweet and tangy flavour of the sauce.
Next up is the sambal okra, eggplant and green beans. This dish has a lot of flavour and a good variety of texture. There is also shrimp in this dish.
The last two dishes are the Assam curry scallops and the Rendang beef (of which I didn’t get a picture of, oddly enough).
The Assam curried scallops is a great dish packed with many vegetables. There were a couple scallops in the dish, overall a good portion. But at this point, I was so full, I really couldn’t eat much more.
The Rendang beef – which I forgot to take a photo of was a good portion as well and quite flavourful. The beef was a bit on the dry side but still tender enough to flake apart.
Finally, one of my favourite parts of the meal – dessert. Pisang Goreng – deep fried bananas served with vanilla ice cream. It’s drizzled in a caramel sauce and peanuts to give it an extra crunch.
The deep fried bananas had a good batter to them without being overly done and the warmth of the banana in contrast with the slightly sweet and cold ice cream is the perfect pairing.
If you’re looking to get a good feel for the menu, I’d definitely recommend trying out the Tasting Menus – there are a couple price points. This one caught my eye because it had a lot of variety to it compared to the others.
The restaurant was quite busy for the Friday night and we were a pretty large group. The service was quick for our big table and the food came out relatively fast.
For more info and their menu, check out their website here: https://www.bananaleaf-vancouver.com/kitsilano-menu