The Garden Banana Leaf Rice Penang
The Garden Banana Leaf Rice is one of those hidden, by word of mouth places in Penang.
There are a few of these gems scattered in George Town and other eateries just a drive away.
Community places are some of the best places to eat; knowing Penangites who love to eat and share – soon many others will know how to get there.
Remember, not all the local favorites are in the Indian restaurants in George Town.
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The Garden Banana Leaf Rice Location
The eatery is in an open-sided shed near the roundabout at Heng Ee High School.
Its entrance is from Free School Road, just next to the famous Banana Fritters Stall.
Partially hidden by the lush trees and herb bushes, the entrance is obscured.
Just drive slowly; you will see a tarred area with cars parked underneath some trees.
The eatery occupies a ramshackle, tin-roofed kitchen, a dining area that is partially covered, and a few tables underneath the trees.
The Garden Banana Leaf Rice – Importance of Healthy Digestion
The Garden’s chef uses many leaves, herbs, bark, and roots traditionally considered a nutritional powerhouse of vitamins and minerals.
Chef Ratna places great importance on the use of Indian herbs in her cooking.
Some of the simplest yet most profound aspects of Ayurvedic nutrition not only provide health benefits, but the herbs make your food smell and taste delicious.
Aside from the digestive support, these magic herbs aid digestion, detoxification, plus a host of other health benefits to your internal organs.
Some of the common spices in South Indian cuisine include whole seeds roasted in a dry skillet before use.
You can add ground Cumin powder to curries, soups, and stews. Cumin is good for promoting intestinal calm and comfort and helping to flush natural toxins from the system.
Coriander leaves, stalks, roots, and whole coriander seeds can be used similarly to whole cumin seeds.
The ground Coriander powder combines well with other Indian spices for cooking.
In Ayurveda, coriander helps support a healthy appetite, maintain the kidneys’ proper function, and purify the blood.
Whole Fennel seeds are in cooking, and ground fennel works well in sauces and soups.
Fennel seeds also work to freshen the breath!
Turmeric is lovely in curry mixes for lentils, rice, and potatoes, and it makes your food a gorgeous golden-yellow color.
A sweet spice, Cardamom not only supports comfortable digestion but combines well cinnamon and fennel in baked goods, coffee, or desserts.
What is The Garden Banana Leaf Rice?
The Gardens serve a thali set for their Banana Leaf Rice lunch which I like.
It takes the guesswork out of what to order.
Well, the only selection you make is either for the flavored rice of the day or Parboiled Rice.
On the day I went, the thali set consisted of Mint rice or Parboiled Rice.
Sometimes, I don’t listen properly.
By rote, I ordered the Parboiled Rice – only to have a big regret written on my face when I saw what the people at the next table are eating.
You get three Vegetarian Sides
• bitter gourd fried,
• spinach with dahl
• Sun-Dried Chilies fried in oil
• Murungai Keerai Rasam soup
Description of the Thali Meal at The Garden Banana Leaf Rice
The rest of the sides depends on the freshest and best in the wet markets on that day.
Murungai Keerai Rasam (Moringa leaves)
Murungai Keerai Rasam is a healthy South Indian Rasam made with spices and garlic that aid digestion.
Murungai Keerai or Drumstick leaves, or Moringa leaves, are rich in iron, calcium, potassium, and protein and aids our body in several ways – eliminates free radicals, improves bone health, and cardiovascular health.
South Indian Sun-Dried Chilies fried in oil.
I couldn’t believe that I willingly gave up my delicious crisp fried chili every time I ate with a person I know.
All these years of I missed out on one of the best condiments for a Thali meal.
If you haven’t tried, you must.
The chilis are not spicy but fragrant, salty, crispy, and addictive.
Crispy Bitter Gourd Chips
Most of us avoid the Bitter Gourd because of its well – bitter taste!
Bitter Gourd is a healthy vegetable that acts as a hypoglycemic agent.
With its rich source of soluble fiber and low glycemic index, eating Bitter Gourd helps lower the blood sugar level.
The Bitter Gourd Chips are coated in a light batter with just the right amount of seasoning – Red chili powder, Masala Spices, and Turmeric powder.
The rice flours make this extra crispy and crunchy to the taste.
Red Coconut Chutney
While the red-colored Kerala-style coconut chutney is best for Idli, Dosa, and Uttapam, I find this very tasty to accomplish rice.
The red chilies add some heat and smoky flavor to the grated coconut chutney. The Red Coconut Chutney is excellent.
Smart Dory’s Review of the Thali Meal at The Garden Banana Leaf Rice
For vegetarians who love South Indian home-cooked cuisine, food at The Gardens is something they enjoy to the fullest.
You will meet Chinese and Indian vegetarians from all walks of life out for their lunch here.
Some of the regulars come by daily as the lunch thali set that changes every day.
My favorite day is Friday, and we get a little dessert – Payasam in a metal cup.
While some people like hot mugs of milky, spiced masala tea, my standard order is a hot Bru Coffee (with fresh cow’s milk).
Don’t just take my recommendation for Banana Leaf Rice.
You will see that the business is brisk, with an endless line of customers pouring in from noon onwards.
Since its first year of business, I have eaten at The Garden Banana Leaf and gladly return whenever I can go for one of the tastiest South Indian vegetarian lunches in Penang.
Better head there early before The Gardens Banana Leaf Rice makes it to national reputation – on Astro!
Be one of the few first to discover it!
So, remember to wash your hands, and then dig in your yummy lunch!
The Garden Banana Leaf
50, Jalan Free School (Free School Road)
11600 Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +6017-896 2331
Operating hours: 12 noon to 3.00 pm
Closed on Sundays.