Authentic Sri Lankan food in a rainforest, overlooking a waterfall (sort of).
Apollo Banana Leaf, Tooting Review
In a no man’s land between Colliers Wood and Tooting Broadway Tube stations, this family run Sri Lankan restaurant is somewhat of a find (even though every local already knows about it).
My friend James, who lives in Wimbledon has been banging on about Apollo Banana Leaf for years and I’m glad I finally got round to checking it out.
Antonia and I rarely eat out around these parts but we were off to see mighty Kill It Kid at Tooting Tram & Social so we took the opportunity to pay (the brilliantly named) Apollo Banana Leaf a much overdue visit.
We weren’t expecting much and the decor perfectly matched our expectations. The walls are covered in what looks like Windows 98 desktop backgrounds, ranging from mountain landscapes to rainforest waterfalls. Powerful stuff.
It’s BYO with no corkage charge, which is always a bonus so I brought a few beers from my latest Beer52 box. Service was very informal but friendly and helpful, with a jug of water and a couple of beer glasses brought over to our table straight away.
James said this place was cheap and he wasn’t joking, with a couple of starters coming in under £1! We had some lightly spiced, crispy Cauliflower Pakoda (£4.25) and a Masala Dosa (£3.95), which is a massive, crispy pancake filled with spiced potato masala. There’s also a meat version for £5.50.
The menu is pretty large and has a lot of interesting sounding dishes including a whole mutton section as well as some seafood dishes. We asked the owner for a couple of curry recommendations and ended up with a Lamb Rogan and a Chilli Chicken at £6.50 each as well as some lovely Coconut Rice. The chicken dish was pretty average but the lamb was lovely. The sauce was well balanced and full of flavour with a subtle heat.
The food at Apollo Banana Leaf was surprisingly good overall. I’m sure there are some very average dishes but I’m also sure there are some absolutely gems. I like how laid back it is and the fact it’s BYO means that the price per head is almost ridiculous. Great for groups and those times you just want a good feed on a budget.