Banana Leaf

  • Neighborhood:
  • 1009 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA
  • Phone: 215-592-8288
  • Website
  • Cuisine:
  • Price: $$
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes

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Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, and Malaysian Restaurants and Food in Philadelphia

Latest About Banana Leaf

Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, and Malaysian Restaurants and Food in Philadelphia

Penang and Fish-head curry from Banana Leaf | Photos by Neal Santos and Michael Persico

Penang and Fish-head curry from Banana Leaf | Photos by Neal Santos and Michael Persico

In Philly, Southeast Asian flavors are the gift that keeps on giving. In Point Breeze, South Philly and Chinatown, along Washington Avenue and even out in the ’burbs, there are enclaves whose composition and abstract representation of geopolitical borders are constantly shifting and changing. This means Thai and Laotian food on traditionally Vietnamese-heavy blocks, and awe-inspiring Malaysian food in Chinatown. It also means a deepening and broadening of available flavors, so if you’re looking to explore the subtle differences between Malaysian and Indonesian food, Vietnamese that goes beyond a bowl of pho, or Thai more complicated (and delicious) than a simple plate of pad Thai, there are many options.

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Revisit: Banana Leaf in Chinatown

My mother used to tell me that the best way to judge a cookbook is the least judgmental. In her opinion, all it took was a single recipe worth cooking to prove its value.

Her point didn’t actually have anything to do with food. She was mainly trying to convince a haughty teenage brat that just because someone might not have much to say about political philosophy or the Fibonacci series or the gnostic Christians, that didn’t mean they weren’t worth talking to at all. (Yep, I was that guy and this actually needed to be spelled out for me. Now, of course, I am a delight.)

But still, there’s one Philadelphia restaurant that I’ve always looked at in this same way. The first time I went to Banana Leaf, it was for roti canai, and from that day forward it became the only thing I went for. Why mess with a good thing—especially one I’d been jonesing for for so long—by veering off into the rest of the menu?

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Street Team Eats at Banana Leaf

Foobooz-Street-Team-full-f8b8zA craving for Malaysian food found the Foobooz Street Team at Banana Leaf, an old favorite at 1009 Arch Street. This time the Street Team sampled the Sizzling Beef with Black Pepper, and it did not disappoint.

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