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Banana Leaf is the fourth Malaysian restaurant in Sunset Park’s Chinatown, and in many ways the best. The menu overlaps about 90 percent with the other three establishments, and particularly excels at whole fish, which is unusual for a Southeast Asian joint. (Pick the deep-fried sea bass in belachan sauce.) Still, the standard, less expensive fare remains the heart of the menu, from perfect roti canai (with three variations, one featuring crushed peanuts in the pancake); to a nicely sour, but not quite soupy enough asam laksa; to the vegetarian summer rolls called poh piah. In general, avoid the Thai and Chinese items on the menu in favor of the hardcore Malaysian stuff.
For the jaded foodie, Malaysian fare has myriad charms. Ever tasted screwpine? Although it sounds like a pervert having his way with a shapely evergreen, the name refers to a shrub native to Southeast Asia, also known as pandanus. Ripped down... More »
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