Banana Leaf Cafe, Selly Oak

You’d have to try pretty hard to find a worse location for a restaurant than the back of the Costcutter grocery store in Selly Oak. However, on the occasionally true equation that restaurant shabbiness sometimes equals superlative food, I was excited to try the Banana Leaf Cafe. This had previously been recommended to me by a colleague as a Malaysian street food style cafe, run by Birmingham University students. We went in August, only to find that they were closed for the summer holiday. We returned a few weeks ago only to find that rather than a Malaysian restaurant, it was now a Sri Lankan restaurant run by a hugely friendly family. Served buffet-style, they had a phenomenally hot mutton curry, rice, fish-filled patties, a selection of dals and vegetable curries and several sambals. So excited was I by my huge plate of deliciousness I failed to take any specific notes on what exactly I was eating. However all the food was of home-cooked quality, and staggeringly good. Keen that we were enjoying ourselves they brought over a pancake which was cooked like a dosa, but wasn’t lentil-based. And to finish off, some chocolate cake. Strange, very lovely, extremely cheap. I am posting this in haste because I suspect you need to get down here and keep these guys open, so completely unlikely is their location. Open 7 days a week, I think just for lunch. I will confirm after our next visit

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Banana Leaf Cafe, back of Costcutter supermarket (up from and on same side of Seoul Plaza, down from Aldi), Bristol Road, Birmingham

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One thought on “Banana Leaf Cafe, Selly Oak”

  1. Hi Nick,
    Thanks for your review and glad you like our food; Sri Banana Leaf Cafe has been running on and off for 3 years now in the back of Costcutter; Our business in entirely dictated by the University Term and the long, dry summer months see us doing Outdoor Food Festivals to subsidise our income, thats why we were closed this August; Each new School year we have the opportunity to try a different menu and this term we are focusing of Sri Lankan foods and those foods that cross-over with Malaysian foods, such as Dosas, Roti Canai, Nasi Kandar etc. We look forward to serving more customers soon 🙂

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