PETALING JAYA: Banana leaf rice and pork curries are two dishes that one wouldn’t normally associate with each other.
Yet, at MyBanana, there exists such a delicious concoction that brings together the best of both Chinese and Indian cuisine.
Located on a corner lot along Jalan SS 24/13, MyBanana is a well-ventilated and spacious curry house; the perfect place for friends to gather for drinks or for family dinners.
The main attraction of MyBanana is very obviously its banana leaf rice. Served authentically on a fresh leaf, the piping hot rice is drizzled with generous amounts of fish and chicken curry and comes with crunchy papadom and a variety of vegetables.
Pork lovers should tuck into the wild boar curry or its pork belly counterpart. The wild boar curry is spicy, flavourful and has a distinctive succulence.
The pork belly’s tender and fatty pieces are also entirely permeated by the rich and aromatic gravy.
The masala pork belly is delightfully chewy and must be savoured with the curry-soaked rice to enhance the already strong flavours. It is almost certain that after enjoying this savoury dish, you will still be left wanting more.
Another must-try on the menu is the Nam Yu-style pork, also known as fermented bean curd pork. Normally found in Chinese restaurants, it is indeed an incredibly unique experience to eat it alongside Indian servings.
Seafood lovers should also give the fried squid a try. Perfectly bite-sized, the chewy squid can be eaten as a snack or a main dish. It comes together with fried onions which delivers a satisfactory blend of sweetness and saltiness.
Cheese connoisseurs simply cannot miss out on the roti cheese bacon. Every inch of this crispy flatbread is stuffed with oozing, hot mozzarella cheese. Take your time and enjoy every bite because embedded in the cheese are salty bacon shreds.
For those craving something more western, MyBanana also has a pork burger on offer. The perfectly grilled pork patty, the runny fried egg and the stringy mozzarella cheese come together in a perfect balance as a juicy burger.
For those looking to crack a cold one, there are several alcoholic beverages available including Carlsberg, Royal Stout and San Miguel.
When asked how he came up with such unorthodox but delicious dishes, Logaprakash Phanabalan, also known as Chef Prakash, replied simply, “We wanted to serve something different.”
A culinary industry veteran with 22 years of service in several Western restaurants under his belt, Prakash had been considering opening his own restaurant for over eight years but initially lacked the confidence and resources to do so.
However, with the strong support of friends, reliable business partners and his knowledge of the culinary world, he finally made the leap and on Nov 15, 2018, MyBanana threw open its doors to the public.
While he correctly guessed there was indeed a market in the area for pork dishes, he had little inkling of the reception his restaurant would actually receive.
“I thought the restaurant was going to grow at a slow pace because people won’t accept the food,” he said. “But on the first day … You can go to my Facebook page, the very first post at 9am was, ‘Sorry, we’ve run out of food’. We had nothing left to sell.”
Besides the restaurant’s unique fare, the reasonable prices results in customers coming back for more, giving Chef Prakash a loyal customer base and a larger pool of friends.
With the success of his first restaurant, Prakash is optimistic that a second outlet will eventually be on the cards.
For now, Prakash’s creative juices will continue flowing as he continues his culinary experiments with pork and the colourful myriad of Indian cooking styles to add to his ever-expanding menu.
28 & 30, Jalan SS24/13,
47301 Petaling Jaya,
Business hours: 7.30am–11pm daily
Enquiries and bookings: Call Prakash (Owner) at 016-324 9861