Banana Tree at The Hub, Central Milton Keynes
Tel : 01908 676993
Brooklyn House, 2-10 Holkham Walk, MK9 2FS
For those of us who like to dine out in Milton Keynes we are certainly spoilt. Not just in terms of quality, but with an array of choices literally on our doorstep. It’s surely not possible to try every restaurant you hear about? Yet, if you visit Banana Tree in the Hub, your first thought might be “Why on earth have I not eaten here before?” So if you’ve not paid them a visit; we strongly recommend you add this establishment to your ‘must try’ list.
You can almost feel the freshness of the Orient as you enter Banana Tree. Whether it be the hammocks to your right, where guests looked supremely comfortable, or the open kitchen that first catches your eye, this restaurant is unique in more ways than one. With chunky tables, dark furnishing, high ceilings, and ambient lighting, you’ll find the surroundings trendy and comfortable. Banana Tree offers quite an intimate dining experience, yet at the same time, it is a restaurant with a bustling atmosphere.
Heaven for vegetarians and vegans alike
As well as some of the outstanding meat dishes we sampled below, it should be noted that Banana Tree offer an extensive choice of vegetarian and vegan dishes. Indeed, it is rather rare for a restaurant to have their own vegetarian and vegan menu.
No second opinion required
I decided to start my dining experience with Steamed Chicken Dumplings in Fresh Herb Sauce. For a relatively simple sounding dish, this was very clever. With each mouthful you get an incredible variety of flavours oozing with freshness. My guest and I might normally share some of our food to share our thoughts. However, I didn’t need a second opinion here – this was excellent. I chose to add some of Banana Tree’s homemade Chilli Jam. This packs a punch but leaves a lovely warmth at the back of your throat without overpowering the food.
My guest tried the Mekong Prawns; Crispy butterfly prawns served with chilli salsa, crushed nuts laced with herbs. This was extremely well received with my guest remarking that “I could live on this!” The quality and depth of flavour was immense, with the incredibly fresh-tasting herbs making this dish another triumph.
It is fair to say that I am not a massive fan of soups or broths. But the Banana Tree Laksa is hugely popular and I wanted to find out why. This dish is rice noodles, topped with house special spiced coconut broth with aubergine, tofu and bean sprouts. Garnished with coriander and crispy shallots.
A riot of textures
I can safely say my perception of soups has now changed. This dish offered a riot of textures and I loved the harmony of flavours throughout. The coconut broth was moreish, and the soft tofu was perfect for dipping. The crispy shallots were sublime and gave this dish some crunch. There was far more food here than I expected and I admit I struggled to finish it. Excellent!
My guest opted for the Char Grilled Duck with Hoisin and Cashew Nuts and opted for Egg Fried Rice as a side. The duck was cooked to perfection – and once again, the combination of flavours and textures were out of this world. Even the “brilliant” egg fried rice decided not to be out-done; and had to be added to the list of ever-growing superlatives for the food on offer.
An irresistible dessert
Now we might have been a little full by now, but when you read the following, you’ll understand why we simply had to find room for Banana Tree ‘Frotiteroles.’ Crispy nuggets of piping hot banana fritters topped with scrumptious chocolate & caramel sauce, served with melted vanilla ice cream. How could we resist? This is an amazing way to finish a meal. Yet again, here was more food presented beautifully. I loved the fact that the bananas were soft, but not mushy, and this is another dish that will leave you keen to return for more. Yummy!