Feels like there’s a Banana Leaf on every corner now, and the name is quite well known at this point. The street-side biriyani joint of old is growing and has now opened up a branch in Dehiwala. This is a branch of the OG Banana Leaf in Kollupitiya (not to be confused with the New Banana Leaf).
If you have been to any Banana Leaf you know the spread they have, which is not a bad thing, since we like good consistency. You can find biriyani, kottu, rice & curry with accompanying dishes like mutton, chicken, crab, seafood and so on and fruit juices as well as milkshakes alongside a few desserts.
While the rice itself was aromatic on our Mutton Biriyani (Rs. 800) it didn’t have any proper biriyani flavour. While the portion size is enough for two, it tasted more like your white rice lavished with chicken stock, along with a few prunes here and there.
A boiled egg sat on top of the mound of rice, while the mutton curry was a tad letdown. It lacked the curry flavour that we were looking for, and was not spicy either, while the gravy itself was quite watery. Plus, the accompaniments (cashew nut curry, cucumber salad and green peas curry) on the side could be improved, especially in terms of portion size. Mixing things up made it taste okay, but considering the price, we weren’t elated.
We got a Devilled Prawn (Rs. 400) which came with about six humongous crustaceans but sadly lacking its seafood-y taste. The whole flavour profile was dominated by the sweet sauce with a hint of sourness along with the heat from the chilli flakes. We enjoyed munching on the prawns but weren’t a fan of the overall flavour here.
The rice itself was not too oily but seasoned nicely to sport a rich savoury flavour, a hint of sweetness and just enough spiciness in the mix. The carrot, leeks, and capsicum all added to the flavour alongside pineapple giving a slight tang. This was quite the winner in our books which we enjoyed very much.
Our choice of drinks was Strawberry Milkshake (Rs. 270) and Mango Juice (Rs. 200).
The mango juice was quite thick and was of good consistency. While the mango they had used wasn’t that rich in flavour, we appreciated how it wasn't doused in sugar.
The strawberry milkshake gave strong strawberry jam vibes and was milky while being thick enough. However, it was a bit too sweet for our liking. The coldness of the drink masked it to some extent, but in the end, it was just a sugary drink.
Service at Banana Leaf has always landed on the positive side for us, and here it hasn't changed. While eating on the banana leaf can get messy if you rip it, the whole thing adds to the experience. We got our tables ready the very moment we sat down and our food arrived a little late, but nothing much to complain though.
In comparison to the one in Kollupitiya, Banana Leaf in Dehiwala has a bit of room to improve on flavours. While we are not super happy with the value for money here, we can approve of this place if you're looking for a decent spot to grab some food in Dehiwala area.