June 2012


Rewind 22 years. I was living in Singapore and eating Chinese food pretty much every single day. For lunch at school near enough every day I had the same thing; Steamed Rice, Kai-Lan and Chilli Sauce. It was my favourite thing ever. Eating out at traditional Coffee Shops, my order would always be a huge plate of Kai-Lan. Kai-Lan (芥兰) is the greatest thing EVER, it is Chinese Broccoli which is normally stir-fried with ginger and garlic or steamed with oyster sauce.

My mom’s all time favourite was Hainanese Chicken Rice, a dish I always loved. When teaching at Japanese and local Singaporean Schools, she would have Chicken Rice for lunch near enough every day too. In fact, the last time we were in Singapore in around 2003, she ate Chinese Rice every day for 3 months. It’s THAT good.

When we left Singapore to move to Kuwait and then later back to University in the UK, it was so hard to find the Chinese food that I grew up on. Chinese food to me, isn’t the congealed fake red stuff that you get in so many takeaways here. It is the fresh traditional food that you see other Chinese people eating; the tell tale sign that a Chinese Restaurant is good.

I’ve been craving the food I grew up on for a very very long time & thanks to Alfred, a Singaporean based in Glasgow, I was introduced to Banana Leaf, a Malay Chinese Restaurant in Cambridge Street. He told me they had Chinese Rice & Kai-Lan. It was a no brainer. I had to go there! I was so excited, excited I was going to eat my childhood favourite food. It’s the simple things that excite me haha 😀

On Wednesday, I went to the Restaurant around 5:30pm with my mom. Pretty early to go out for dinner, but within 5 minutes of sitting down, the entire Restaurant was full and people were being turned away. Surely a sure fire sign of how good the place is? Especially since half of the Restaurant was full of Chinese (& Singaporeans, I can’t forget the accent!). I was even more excited flicking through the menu, there was a vast selection to choose from. All I could think about was Kai-Lan though so I knew instantly what I wanted.