Banana Leaf Restaurant
816 Bethel Rd, Columbus, OH 43214
TollFree: (888) 313-5916
The Banana Leaf
Parking: Lot, Private
Bike Parking: Yes
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Cuisines: Asian, Caterers, Family Style, Indian, Healthy, Vegetarian, Middle Eastern, Vegan
Takes Reservations: Yes
Outdoor Seating: No
Price Range : Average
Pets Allowed: Yes
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03/07/2010Provided by Citysearch -
I have been to quite a few Indian restuarants. Little different from other veg restuarants, as they have 5 varieties of chat as part of buffet. Chat lacks salt & spice, which makes it more tasteful. Lassi is Ok. Coming to buffet, idli/dosa were good, Puri was good too but tasted different from any other restuarant, did not know why? Coconut chutney was made from dry coconut powder as other Udipi style, is not to my taste. Sambar, avial, gobi curry had good taste, little same as Udipi. Overall I will rate the restuarant as 6.5 out 10. it is above average.
02/22/2010Provided by Citysearch -
It was great. It was small and had bright color walls and everything. It looked clean even. It's a small family owned business so that's probably why it can't be totally trusted. I was especially happy because the menu had ingredients of dishes on it and I'm deathly allergic to peanuts. I got something that said there were no peanuts and when I got it I chewed into some whole ones. So my bf go a waiter and asked if it was peanuts to be sure and she just said ""you don't like peanuts?"" not understanding us...then I spent some hours in the hospital.
06/02/2009Provided by Citysearch -
I was first introduced to Indian cuisine by this restaurant under a different name: Annapurna. Carryovers include: the Chowpatty chaat stall, wide range of unique dishes, and the lassis.
What to expect:
The buffet is filled with a wide variety of food. Lunch and dinner contain different menu items and it greatly varies. Some features include the BEST Malai Kofta, a curried pasta stew and many new ""unseen"" veggie dishes.
While many restaurants focus on a number of mainstream dishes, Banana Leaf pulls our an unconventional recipe book and delivers an amazing experience. The keynote feature--albeit high in fat--is the Chowpatty Chaat stall. Rice Krispies, yogurt and spice? You got it! Somosa? This is far from the standard as it comes smothered in Chana Masala. My personal favorite is the ragda pattis--complete with yellow peas, sev noodles (yum) and a mildly spicy patty. Dosas, vadas, and idli offer a fresh approach to bread. No worries--parata is still available and served on the table!
Vegetarians will find the meals balanced with a number of ways to get ample protein. Idli, one of the breads typically consumed with sambhar (a lentil tomato spice soup), is actually fermented beans. Yogurt and rice offers a light treat. Meat eaters can easily get stuffed and not fear hunger later.
Dessert varies with the most common being Payasam--a sweet milk dish with vermicilli, saffron and ""chai"" spice. Other features, the halwa, rasmalai, and galub jamon are phenomenal treats.
Lastly, beverages include mango, rose and khus (citrus) lassi. More adventurous types should look into the thandai (not included in the buffet) which has fresh spices, nuts and saffron tossed in--you can drink and eat this delicacy.
Staff is rapidly growly and all are eager to introduce you to the vast array of food you will see.
Cost for the buffet is extremely low compared to the sheer amount of food you get. Be sure to save room all day before going.
For folks who are sensitive to spice ordering from the menu may be recommended as most buffet items are at least a 2/10 for spicy with some close to a 5 range. Some dressing items easily push this to a 7+.
04/03/2009Provided by Citysearch -
We have tried the lunch and dinner buffet, the latter together with friends. They feature a large variety of traditional Indian food, all vegetarian. They do have vegan options.
The dining room is clean, the service staff is friendly and courteous.
The food is fresh and the cook knows how to play the octaves of spices in the Indian cuisine up and down. This place can easily keep up with fancy up-scale Indian restaurants (at Polaris e.g.) when it comes to taste and service.
The buffet includes lassi and appetizers, both served at your table, and unlimited takes from around 15-20 different dishes.
The best thing is: they do not have the American mentality of 'eat it and beat it', they let you have a relaxed after-dinner and will generously supply you with coffee and tea.
01/07/2009Provided by Citysearch -
I am not a big fan of vegetarian dishes, so I was rather reluctant to try this place. Had it not been for a coupon, I wouldn't have gone in. We decided to go with the buffet, which includes all the lassi (Indian yogurt drinks), the food, dessert and something called the chowpatty bar/cart (?). I love indian food, but I have never experienced the chowpatty bar/cart before. It's essentially various types and combination of mixture of bunch of crunch stuff with some soft textured food items. They come in small snack size with various type of sauce. The owner and chef made about four different types of chowpatties for us to each try. Each was very different in taste, texture, flavor, temperature and spiciness. You will find that you like one type better than the others, but they all have common, the complexity of layered flavor, texture and harmony of flavor. Chowpatty bar/cart is definitely worth the experience. There is a poster of various types of chowpatties they can make at the bar/cart. Try as many as you want until you find your favorite.
The buffet food was so so as all buffet food can be expected. Some were decent, some were not so decent. There was only one type of dessert at the buffet, it looked like a dense pancake wedge and while it was sweet, it had some indian spice that I did not care too much for.
The service was great and the owner was very helpful and eager to please. I would recommend this place for their chowpatty bar. Their lassies were pretty decent too. I didn't care for their buffet food, but you may have better luck if you order individual dishes... who knows?
01/03/2009Provided by Citysearch -
Went for a different lunch/dinner experience. The owner greeted us at the door, seated us and explained the menu. We actually allowed the owner to pick our menu items for us based on our inexperience with this type of food. All I can say is....each of us found something that we enjoyed. Don't hestitate to ask questions as the owner is more than pleased to explain anything. Highly recommended by my family!
09/21/2008Provided by Citysearch -
Couldn't agree more with jitterbugperfume (review below), it was a delightful dining experience! We love Indian food and were in the mood for vegetarian. We went to the unassuming restaurant located at the end of a strip mall, not quite sure what to expect. The two owners doted on us and proudly showed us the new dining room, located just next door, that is to open in a few weeks. While we were told there was a menu, we were encouraged to try the buffet, and we were not disappointed by the copious lassi and appetizers that followed. We were so full after the appetizers, that we did not have room for all of the buffet offerings, or dessert. The food was fresh, delicious and the entire experience was enjoyable. In addition, we were surprised at the amount of service and food that we received for so reasonable a price. We will certainly go back and recommend that you try it too!
07/04/2008Provided by Citysearch -
The lousy thing about having an anniversary on the 4th of July is that it can be hard to find someplace for that celebratory dinner. After encountering closed doors at our usual neighborhood favorites, we ran home for a quick Citysearch search and came up with Banana Leaf. We chose Banana Leaf because we love Indian food and because it is vegetarian, but we were surprised to encounter a total novel dining experience. The extremely gracious host explained all of the food to us, telling us it was based on Indian street food. Plate after plate of chaat appetizers came out, and we eagerly devoured them all, washing them down with mango and rose lassi, not realizing there was still a full dinner buffet to follow. The dinner buffet was also wonderful, with the freshness of the ingredients shining in every dish. We especially liked the eggplant curry, even over our usual favorite paneer. Though we didn't have enough room to try the desserts, we will certainly be back, gaggles of friends in tow, to enjoy this food again.
Update: We discovered in November that Banana Leaf has updated their dining room and added a full menu. So now you can not only sample their chaat and buffet with the same fantastic service, you can get all the dishes you're used to from other Indian place (fresher and better, of course). Still completely vegetarian, and their chana masala is the best I've ever had. This place is so far above and beyond the normal dining experiences we've had elsewhere that we just keep going back. I'd say that I hope they never change, but so far the changes have been great!
05/03/2008Provided by Citysearch -
I was in the mood for Indian food and this happened to be close, so we went. It's a tiny little restaurant in a strip mall (as far as I'm concerned this is the hallmark of good ethnic food!) with lovely posters of India on the walls. When we got there, we were expecting a standard buffet. Instead, we were served approximately 6 different appetizers at our table along with lassi. The owner came out and personally explained each dish in the buffet to us- what was in it, what traditionally goes together, etc. He also offered to bring us repeats of any of the appetizers and brought out additional bread and dosas from the kitchen. We were also pleased to find that everything is fresh (the guy tells you that about everything, but you can definitely taste it) and vegetarian. After dinner we had fresh chai tea (not what you get at Starbucks, the real stuff). The whole experience was really wonderful and comfortable, and it only cost $25 for the two of us. We left quite full and had a lot of fun in the process. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone!
01/26/2008Provided by Citysearch -
Banana Leaf has an amazing selection of great food with unique flavors. Their prices are very reasonable. There was great service with friendly and polite staff. Banana Leaf had a very eclectic palate of flavors. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience at the banana leaf and will be dining there regularly. We also enjoyed the informal family owned atmosphere. This is truly a hidden treasure.
01/12/2008Provided by Citysearch -
I finally had the chance to sample Banana Leaf and was happy with my lunch selection. There is a mix of food with sharp flavor and spices at a nice temerature, as well as creamy sweat to balance the flavors. My friend and I had a pleasant experience as we were taken care of by the staff. I know indan flavors, but southern vegetarian is very different. This is the place to expereience that taste.
10/13/2007Provided by Citysearch -
This is a hidden treasure as far as Indian food goes. Extraordinary service on the 3 times I have been there. So much food it is hard not to overeat. Variety is unbelieveble and freshness is always refreshing. Be sure to stop by. Exellent curries and chaat. They hold nothing back. Very informal and free atmosphere. Very highly recommended.
08/28/2007Provided by Citysearch -
Plz don't go further . The food was good previously around a month back but now now it really bad & i don't have words to express that bad food & i strongly belive the other day i went it had a roa*hes in the food. Some person said he is the owner & he promised me free food . As if he is giving me free food saying don't pay still i paid & went way & that person's behaviour was rude .
04/14/2007Provided by Citysearch -
Last night was our seventh visit in six weeks. The owner(s) are always more than helpful and generous with suggestions and their transcendental Southern and Western Indian cuisine. Some of you may remember these folks from the second iteration of Anna Purna at Cleveland and 161. Banana Leaf offers a very diverse menu, many sampler plates and buffet.
04/05/2007Provided by Citysearch -
Great Vegetarian Indian food and excellent value for money. Authentic Fresh food, smiliing service, friendly staff and very home like atmosphere. Not a romantic place but go on weekday evenings and you will be taken very good care of. The owners are always there - and they have THE BEST indian food in town!!