We invited Jane Pontefract, local foodie and proud vegan down to Banana Tree to sample their vegan offerings! Here’s what she had to say…
I’ve been vegan for just over three years and along with a fellow vegan friend, we visited the Banana Tree restaurant at The Hub, Milton Keynes, to sample their new vegetarian and vegan menu.It was my first visit to a Banana Tree restaurant, and the perfect place for lunch in what turned out to be a pretty chilly, wet and windy Saturday. A dark, cosy environment with bright coloured hammocks and lovely wooden tables. It was quiet when we arrived, just after midday.
We had to ask for the vegan menu, which wasn’t placed on the tables, however, when the menus arrived, it was lovely to see such a selection of starters and mains rather than what often can be a maximum of two options within a wide range of meat / dairy meals.
We chose three starters to share between us. A vegan Kajang Satay, sticks of a chicken-style replacement, perfectly seasoned with the most scrumptious peanut sauce. Anything with peanuts and coconut for me is a win, win, and these came accompanied by sticky rice and a pickle and I almost regretted having to share! Next was Crispy Vegan Gyoza with Shitake mushrooms and a sweet chilli dip and were just delicious. The third chosen option, the Street Style Veggie Karipap, little puffs of curried veggies with another peanut sauce…yum! All three dishes were beautifully presented, full of colour, piping hot and extremely tasty.
Next came the main meals. My friend chose the Tamarind Spicy Aubergine, which was tangy and rich with aubergine and fried tofu. It was hot, sticky and perfect with our chosen sides of Steamed Broccoli and Jasmine Rice. I chose a vegan Coconut Kari, with coconut milk and a mixture of tofu, vegan bites and aubergine. The taste of the coconut milk and red curry paste was rich and the dish was beautifully presented, however, I found the textures a little bouncy and sponge like, and so wasn’t my favourite meal. I think the next time, I would opt for their Blackened Monk’s Noodles or the Bun Bo Salad which sounded delicious.
With pots of green tea, we spent almost five hours at the restaurant and refreshingly were never offered the bill or hurried on to vacate the table. I’d love to see more options for desserts, with most being suitable for vegetarians, but not vegan. Sorbets were the only option, so we decided against dessert and finished off lunch with a couple of cocktails instead!
All in all, we loved it!