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4/5

New Banana Leaf

720 Galle Road, Colombo 3


They do chicken biryani pretty darn good and now have crab and lamb on the menu.



The New Banana Leaf isn't all that "new" anymore, but their chicken biryani is still pretty darn good. It's got some local influence to it, but most of it works quite well.

The Food

Banana Leaf was a household name long before the new generation of Indian eateries like Chana's and Kandoori emerged. It's moved, but the signature masala chicken biriyani is much the same. The price has crept up to Rs. 450, but given the biriyani market these days, that's not so bad.



The meal includes a decent portion of rice with a egg, shoba (gravy), a cashew and pea curry, an onion baduma, a somewhat incongruous cucumber and pineapple salad and, of course, the legendary Banana Leaf masala chicken.


Just looking at the sides we could tell that this isn't the most authentic biryani, but most of it married quite well together with the exception of that cucumber and pineapple salad. The onion baduma, an obvious local influence, added a nice crunch and spice, which balanced well with the creamy and mild flavour of the cashew and pea curry.


They use a short grain basmati which was surprisingly light and fluffy. My friend found it a bit too grainy for his liking, but mixing it with the shoba did help the texture. Unless you're particularly picky about your rice it shouldn't be an issue.


All of that aside, what really sets the Banana Leaf biryani apart from the competition is their massive pieces of masala chicken. We got a sizeable one and the table next to ours got some huge chicken thighs. The chicken was cooked tender and seasoned well, with the flavour of the masala coming through without being too overpowering.


To finish off the meal we tried out their wattalappam (Rs. 130). It looked pretty underwhelming when they served it up but it was actually really good. Unlike other ones we've tried, this had a smooth texture and just the right sweetness so that you can taste the juggery well.

Ambience and Service


The ambience here is very basic with a slightly sickly dark green interior. From what we saw most of the customers come for take-out. It's fine to stop by and grab a quick lunch, but not so much for a group dinner.


The service is fast since the food is already pre-made, so all they need to do is serve it. The waiters are friendly and there's plenty of them, so yeah, you could say it's pretty efficient.

Conclusion

While the name may have changed, the Banana Leaf chicken biryani is still holding strong. The price has gone up, but with the big masala chicken pieces, it's still good value for money.


TIP

Try the canonical 'chicken biriyani' - not really a biriyani, but still excellent. All food is served on a banana leaf.
All Reviews

Good biriyani with crab and lamb options. They close early at night, so best stop by for lunch.

The New Banana Leaf isn't all that "new" anymore, but their chicken biryani is still pretty darn good. It's got some local influence to it, but most of it works quite well.

Banana Leaf is back. Those golden grains ensconced in thick, emerald palms, the hefty hunks of masala-smothered chicken, the crispy deep-fried boiled egg...this was one of my - and perhaps even Colombo's - favourite Sunday lunchtime repasts.

සිංහල සත්තයි! ඒ දසුන දක්කත් හරි නෙත් දැහැන් බිඳ කඳුලු ඉනුවා. කිව්වට විශ්වාස කරන්න යාළු පළවෙනි වතාවට දැක්කෙ බනානා ලීෆ් එකේ භෝජනාගාරයෙ එක මේසයක විතරක් කට්ටිය ඉන්නව. හප්පේ.. ඉස්සර, ඔ්කට ඇඟිල්ලක් ගහන්න බෑ. කොටින්ම, කට්ටියක් කාලා නැගිටිනකම් තව කට්ටියක් බලාගෙන ඉඳපු දවසුත් තිබ්බ.

සිංහල පංකාදු පහයි!. මට්න් නම් අන්න මට්න් ඈ… ඒ කරියට එයාලා කියන්නෙ පෙපර් මට්න් කියල. මම හිතන්නෙ ඒ නිසාම වෙන්න ඕන හොඳ සැර ගතියකුත් තියෙනව. පාන්, පරාටා කන්න කියාපු.

සිංහල ඒ වුනාට මෙතන එහෙම නෑ. බිරියානි බත් එක වෙනම බිත්තරේ වෙනම සලාද, ග්‍රීන් පීස් ව්‍යංජනය, උම්බලකඩ සම්බෝල වෙනම. රයිස් ඇන්ඩ් කරි එකත් එහෙමයි. බත් වෙනම එළවළු වෙනම හරිම පිළිවෙලයි. හිතේ හැටියට බෙදාගෙන කන්න පුළුවන්. අනික ව්‍යංජන ජාති බෙදා හදා ගන්නත් පුළුවන්.

සිංහල බනානා ලීෆ් ආපසු ඇවිල්ලා. මෙහි මසාලා ක්‍රමයට පිසින ලද චිකන් කුට්ටි, ගැඹුරු තෙලේ බදින ලද තැම්බූ බිත්තර ආදිය සමග බුරියානි ඉස්සර මගේ ප්‍රියතම ආහාරයක්. මගේ විතරක් නෙවෙයි, බොහෝ කොළඹ වැසියන්ගේ ප්‍රියතම ඉරිදා දිවා භෝජනය තමයි, එය.

Address

720 Galle Road, Colombo 3

Directions

It's before you get to Barefoot on Galle Road, just before the St. Kilda's Lane turnoff. Big green building.

Contacts

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