Bayswater, Clapham Junction, Angel, Hampstead, Maida Vale and now Wardour Street. As of today, William Chow’s Banana Tree group is spreading its wings or should we say leaves into the West End with his sixth and flagship London site. It’s been over twenty years in the making but Chow’s passion, Indochinese food, lies at the heart of this labour of love.
Malaysian by birth, Chow has travelled extensively around the region over the last two decades refining his menu and sourcing recipes and the ingredients which help create the layers of flavour in every dish. His interpretation of the cuisine drawn from various countries from Thailand and Vietnam to Malaysia and Indonesia is linked by a common use of core herbs and spices such as lemongrass, Thai basil, galangal, fresh mint and coriander.
Soho’s diverse menu will include a selection of regional specialities, from the fresh flavours of the Mekong region to the refined cuisine of the Peranakan people. Diners can choose from tried and tested old favourites like Phad Thai Noodles and Ying Yang Laksa Soup, to less well-known regional specialities such as Grilled Pork Bakkwa, Malaysian Beef Rendang or Tamarind Crispy Fish with Papaya Salad.
A former architect, Chow left his erstwhile profession to pursue his love of food and cooking. However, he still keeps his hand in as he designs the restaurants himself and has personally overseen the look and feel of the new branch. It’s based on the concept of ‘market-style, back home’ eating and promises to bring a cutting-edge design to the area with a mixture of different seating options including bespoke benches, chairs and stools.
Says the man himself: “the multicultural melange that is Soho provides a perfect platform for the start of a new culinary journey and I look forward to sharing Banana Tree, which I hope people will come to regard as the home of Indochina food, to the heart of the town.”
103 Wardour Street, W1, 020 8459 2135