I have had a Tastecard for a couple of years now and I keep on forgetting to use it. Whilst, it gives you access to discounts at the run of the mill chains, it does also give you some independent surprises local to wherever you may be in London.
Following the back to work Monday blues, I grabbed my mate and we headed to Upper Street for some exciting food shopping (yes, I am being sarcastic). Following our hunt around Waitrose and Sainsbury’s, it was time to get some food in our bellies. Surprise! For once, I remembered I had may Tastecard and opened up the app for a search for local treats. We opted for Banana Tree, just down the road from Angel station.
This particular Banana Tree is noisy, not sure if it is the layout, acoustics or whatever, but it can be consuming. Good or bad thing, depends on your mood.
For starter I had half a grilled aromatic aubergine with caramel sauce, fresh herbs and crispy shallots. Wow, the sweet sauce blended well with this fruit. Ksymena opted for steamed chicken dumplings in fresh herb sauce which was not too tough. For mains, we went for the Grill Combo, I had the Chicken Jawa and Ksymena had the Blackened Chilli Pork. Both servings of meat were tasty and well-seasoned. For an extra cost, you could add aromatic spiced rice, spicy green papaya salad with crushed nuts and viet cracker. The Pork was marinated in aromatic dark soy, palm sugar and chilli, while the chicken was immersed in Javanese spices.
The portions were full-on and full of flavour. For drinks it was sparkling water and a glass of wine. We also had a cappuccino and double espresso.
With the Tastecard, we received 2-4-1 on food, so the final bill came to a very pleasant £35.10 (inc service charge). That is an average of £17 each, which is great value for what we had. Two things here to note, 1) Banana Tree is not the best in Asian cuisine, but is good as a local option if you live near one and 2) get yourself a Tastecard and USE IT. There are deals to be had, mostly Monday thru Thursday.
412 – 416 St John Street
Tel. 020 7278 7565