Monday, 13 September 2010

Tube Strike Tuesday at The Banana Tree Canteen

Was I the only person in London gutted not to be able to go to work on that fateful Tuesday? The sense of disappointment I had upon waking up and seeing that the entire Piccadilly line was suspended. I really cannot say how I felt. STOP. My boss isn’t going to read this. So was I like everyone else who could not goto work that day. Very bloody happy. I am fully beginf tis strike, as long as it continues to give me days off.
Both of us were pretty happy to go back to sleep and snooze for another couple of hours. It makes all the difference to wake up around 11 o’clock mid week. A magical feeling.
Islington is always busy, except when there are no tubes. I never realised how many people come to Angel for work, mainly because I live the other end and only come down this way at certain times. Plus as I work in west London, I am rarely here during the week.
A day off, the sun was out, and I was hungry. I was in no particular mood for anything special, but felt like somewhere new. Somewhere we’d never eaten at before.
As we were wandering down an empty Upper Street nothing we saw grabbed us. Then as if a sign from up above, the Banana Tree Canteen came into mind. Well not really, I could just see it in the distance.
We had pondered about eating at The Banana Tree for quite a while now. Well it is on the route of the number 19, so I’ve passed it on countless occasions, but never ever got round to eating there. Maybe there was a reason for that. Even as we were crossing the road, I was thinking about going to Song Que for some Pho. Now that was a sign.

The Banana Tree reminds me a lot of a chain called Wok in Bogotá, Colombia. It promises so much with its large menu, but really delivers a watered down version of what it promises as good Asian food.
The menu is to large for a single kitchen to make, so a lot of stuff is either made off site either by themselves or by a catering company, and there are a lot of them around these days.
I ordered a Malaysian lamb curry, which was nicely cooked and quite tender, but pretty flavourless, and no heat at all, as you would expect from a Malay curry. The portion of rice was a good size and came with a small salad that was actually the nicest thing on my plate. Do love peanuts.

Lina’s Mee Goreng with a slab of char gilled pork was an interesting plate of food. The pork had been smothered in a honey dressing that I thought meant it had been charred to death, but it was quite moist. It was just plopped on the side of the plate and there was no room for anything else, so a simple salad was on top of the noodles. Not a good way.

Somehow I wish we had gone to Song Que. The Banana Tree serves the local office lunchtime crowd very well, and those folks that congregate around this end of Upper Street at night.
After this visit, I now know why we never went in there, damn those striking tube drivers. Well not really, I am looking forward to the next one. But that time I will goto Song Que instead.

Banana Tree Canteen on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Mr Noodles said...

These Pan-Asian places are the pits and I think karma got you. I mean you didn't think you could score a day off without any consequences? In this case, you had to put up with piss-poor watered down Asian food.

PS: You may end up at Song Que next tube strike but karma will get you another way. It always does...