Posted by Welcome to the BJ FooDies spin-off blog at 12:03 AM

Cuisine: Thai

Yum Factor: 4/5

Fu to the Wu (service): 3/5

FengShui: 3.5/5

Moolah: $$ - Not Cheap, Not Expensive

Repeat-Worthy: Yes

Over by Sanlitun NanJie, Banana Leaf rocks through the night, as a band of Asian guys and girls sing pop songs at the request of its patrons, or occasionally without it. Bright and colorful, vibrant with musical entertainment, the B-leaf is a fesat for the eyes, the (not-so-musically-oriented) ears, and - surprising to some - the stomach. Frequently overlooked and underated as a result of its perhaps over-enthusiasm, which many do not appreciate, this restaurant will surprise its patrons with the quality, consistency and gastronomic delight of its fare.

The menu here is vast and diverse, providing a mix of East-Asian cuisine. It must be noted that dishes served here are not of the utmost authenticity; however, the taste of the food is undeniable and the quality of the ingredients impeccable. While it is easy to be distracted by the bright lights and loud bustle, it is a different story once the food arrives. The morning glory is truly glorious, their curries are worthy of special mention, and as for their fresh, hearty seafood: a revolution ensued for these foodies. The steamed mandarin fish in spicy lemon dressing is substantial in size, flabbergasting in freshness, and simply perfect in preparation. It is the absolute must of every B-Leaf meal, and has become the very symbol of good dining at reasonable prices. Ever since that first mesmerizing taste, we have come to name the star dish of each restaurant its "Mandarin Fish". It is to this extent that this fish is remarkable, to this degree that it is delectable. And what's more, I don't think they know it. The money spent at this eatery is not that much considering the quality of food that it buys.

Something has to be said for the superior management of this establishment. Feeding large swarms of diners on a daily basis, Banana Leaf still manges to provide fine service and consistent excellence at an entirely reasonable price. It somehow manages to do so without cutting corners or shaving costs. And yet still, the quality control applied to its fare is upstanding and somewhat rare in the city of Beijing. Fuwu is mostly friendly and dependable, but on occasion can be rather slow, overshelmed by the hordes of hungry hippos. This could possibly use improvement, but is too small a factor to affect the irreplaceable dining experience had at the Leaf.

Foodie Addict: Mr.Crabclaws

4 Gongti Beilu | 工体北路4号
Behind Comfort Inn Suites