Banana Leaf Rice in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Banana leaf rice is a traditional method of serving rice dishes in South Indian cuisine. In banana leaf meals, white rice is served on a banana leaf with an assortment of vegetables, pickles, papadum and other regional condiments (usually sour, salty and/or spicy). The banana leaf acts as a disposable plate and it in itself is not consumed. The choice of banana leaves is mainly due to the broad leaves as well as to the ubiquity of the plant in South India. Typically, only vegetarian gravy (e.g. sambar) will be served on the rice as it is meant to be a traditional vegetarian dish. However, sometimes boiled eggs, curry and/or fried meat or seafood are served as well. Traditionally there will be two servings of rice, with the first being served with gravy, side dishes and condiments whilst the second serving will be just rice with curd as a palate cleanser.

Banana leaf meals are eaten by hand. Banana leaf meal etiquette also dictates that, after the meal, the guest must always fold the banana leaf inwards as a sign of gratitude to the host, even when the host is the proprietor of an eatery. However, when meals are served at funeral wakes, the leaf is folded outwards as a sign of condolence to the family of the deceased. Due to this, folding the leaf outwards is considered rude in any other circumstance. (source: wiki)

I myself is a big fan of curry. I have tasted several Indian restaurant in Kota Kinabalu area which serve banana leaf rice. So far my favorite are Curry8Curry located near Wawasan Plaza, just opposite Menara MAA due to it's delicious curry and reasonable price. 

Curry8Curry Restaurant

Banana leaf rice served with side dishes and papadum at Curry8Curry restaurant

Banana Leaf Rice

Banana Leaf Rice

A choice of sauce as topping on the rice, usually is chicken curry, fish curry and dhal

Banana Leaf Rice

Side dishes, depend on each restaurant, their side dish might be different. 


Banana Leaf Rice


Jothy's Fish Head Curry

I also went to taste banana leaf at Jothy's, just about 5 minutes walk from Wawasan 
Plaza. One of the Indian restaurant recommended by friend. 

Banana Leaf Rice

Banana Leaf Rice

Banana Leaf Rice

Banana Leaf Rice

Usually you can ask for a refill for the rice and side dishes no extra charge.

Banana Leaf Rice


K.Sanba's Curry Specials

K.Sanba's located at Alam Mesra. All taste good except their chicken curry not up to my expectation. 

Banana Leaf Rice

Banana Leaf Rice

This is Papadum, a crispy snack served along with the rice.


Banana Leaf Rice


Sri Latha Curry House

There's another must try Indian restaurant located at Jalan Berjaya near Padang Merdeka KK. Sri Latha Curry House, they said served the best Indian food in KK. So we tried their banana leaf rice set as well. Thumps up for their chicken curry and fresh side dishes. Just that their price is a bit expensive. 






Banana Leaf Rice

It come with this sourly soup 

Banana Leaf Rice

We order a set of set deep fried fish egg. 

Banana Leaf Rice





Bernard Tzing

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