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I was eagerly anticipating the opening of the new Banana Tree restaurant at The Hub in Milton Keynes. I'd checked out the menu before at their branch in Soho, so couldn't wait to try when they finally opened their doors.
Banana Tree serves up fantastic food and drinks from the Indochina region; Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian and Singaporean dishes. They have several locations, mostly around London but are creeping their way up via Watford to Milton Keynes... yay!!
The bar area is really cool, with big comfy chairs hanging from the ceiling, my boys loved having a swing in these while we waited for our table. There's a long seating area to the side of the bar too so a good place to meet friends before dinner.
We were seated quite quickly and given some prawn crackers to nibble on while we chose from the menu.
I wanted to try EVERYTHING!!
First up, these fresh Indo herb wraps; light and aromatic Nem Noung Coriander Meatballs, served with Batavia lettuce, fresh herbs and a delicious Nuoc Cham dipping sauce.
Sticky Thai wings; Marinated fried chicken wings tossed in house special tamarind, garlic, sweet basil and chilli sauce
Dried pulled beef with aromatic herbs and peanuts; served with prawn crackers.
Our waitress told us to chew slowly to really release the flavours. It had an amazing intense taste.
We also had the steamed chicken dumplings in a vinegar, garlic and fresh herb sauce, but my boys dived in before I had the chance to take a pic.
This was from the kids menu; crispy chicken with mango and sweet lime sauce, served with either steamed rice or noodles. It also included a dessert of either ice-cream with sauce and sprinkles or sorbet.
The Banana Tree Laksa; Rice noodles topped with house special spiced coconut broth, with aubergine, tofu and bean sprouts. There was a choice of coriander meatballs, chicken or king prawn.
I had the legendary beef Rendang; a famous speciality from the Minangkabau hill tribe of Indonesia. A deliciously rich and nutty slow cooked dry and fragrant curry with a toasted coconut based sauce. I chose a lovely fresh and spicy green papaya salad to go with.
The boys enjoyed their ice-cream and I sampled the spiced Malay 'pull' tea, which was like a chai and made with condensed milk. A lovely end to the meal.
I can't recommend the Banana Tree enough... we thoroughly enjoyed our meals and I can't wait to return again very soon.