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Apollo Banana Leaf

Restaurants, Brasseries Tooting
4 out of 5 stars
(24user reviews)
Apollo Banana Leaf
© Britta Jaschinski

Time Out says

A humble BYOB venue providing Tooting with an invigorating blast of Sri Lankan chilli heat.

As if in recognition of the trek from the nearest tube station, Apollo Banana Leaf greets diners with a vision of paradise: soaring mountains and a sparkling waterfall, printed in vivid technicolour over the walls. If that assault on the senses isn’t enough, the high-backed dining chairs are upholstered in crushed red velvet, while disco lights twinkle around the door. But devotees don’t come here for design tips, they come for the food – an authentic rendering of South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine – and for great value. Though prices have increased, they remain fantastically keen: especially when you factor-in the BYO policy. Spice levels are at authentic Jaffna (north Sri Lankan) levels: a single chilli icon on the menu is to be taken seriously, two plus is for the brave. ‘Short eats’ (street-food snacks) included our soft sambar vadai (a savoury doughnut made with chickpea flour, here steeped in a thin lentil gravy) and a croquette-like mutton roll (with its rich, clove-spiked meat middle). There are also starters, such as crunchy morsels of golden chicken pakoda (not unlike ‘popcorn chicken’). The rich, warmly spiced crab masala – claws and all – is worth getting messy for; chewy, buttery chapati makes the perfect foil.




Address: 190 Tooting High Street
SW17 0SF
Transport: Tube: Tooting Broadway tube
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Users say (24)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:14
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:6
  • 1 star:1
2 people listening

I ordered a takeaway tonight, one chicken and one fish curry along with accompaniments. I collected the food around half an hour after ordering. When I got it home to my disgust, BOTH the chicken and fish curries were not cooked properly as in slightly soft and slimy.

When I called them up to tell them, the man on the phone, started to tell me about how many customers he's had today. I'm sorry, but you gave me raw/uncooked food, what are you going to do about it?

He gave me the money back straight away and without any fuss, probably sensing that he would end up in a Time Out review and possibly as a preventative measure...... Oh well, needs must!! I will NEVER order anything from there again!

Food was okay but the service was rude. Don't think that you can finish your glass of wine after your meal because they want you out the door as soon as possible. Even when it's not busy. My colleagues and I were handed the bill before even asking, straight after they took away our plates. We hadn't even finished our wine before the waiter approached us to demand payment, and berated us for being there for one hour.

Malabar parotas to die for. Fish and mutton preparations are great. Can't go wrong. Don't go for the dosas. Instead be adventurous.

The food here is beautiful, you'll definitely leave satisfied and that you've tried something new! It's my go to for a tasty feed in Tooting and it's BYOB. While most dishes are on the spicy side there are also some tamer ones which are equally as delicious. Try the Masala Dosa to share for starters and get some Stringhopper rice with your mains. It's quite a busy restaurant but the servers are extremely friendly which definitely added to my experience. It's cash only so make sure to bring some and avoid a walk back up to Broadway post meal! Definitely not to be missed in Tooting!

The best curry, for the best price. Have sampled a number of other places, but nothing beats Apollo.

Rare gem in the midst rubble! Humble local restaurant offering delicious Sri Lankan specialties with BYOB - a sadly dying trend.

Food as good as what I've eaten in SrI Lanka; srevive with a smile and BYOB. Great food, at non wallet bursting prices.

I have been going to Apollo Banana Leaf for 10 years, they do excellent food with good service and extremely good value for money. I was introduced to the restaurant by my Sri Lankan friends who love the food there and go to Apollo Banana Leaf  on a regular basis. I always see Sri Lankan people there because the food is to their standard.

Yes it's fair to say set your expectations about the décor, but it's BYO and it's cheap.

Staff Writer

I wasn't a huge fan of Apollo Banana Leaf for a number of reasons.

1. I didn't think the food was great. Having been to Sri Lanka this year, I was expecting something similar to what we experienced there - fresh ingredients and different flavours. I had the Pepper Chicken and it seemed to be creamy warm mayonnaise with a tub of white pepper mixed in.

2. They dropped a full plate of curry down my back and didn't acknowledge or apologise for doing so.

3. It's too small and too hot in there, they definitely could do with some opening windows!

One thing in its' favour is that it's cheap but i'm definitely not inclined to go back.

One of the best curries I've ever eaten.  Really enjoyed it, there are some sensational flavors.  It's a cafe vibe more than a restaurant one, set your expectations accordingly. 

Would not go back. It took us 3 phone calls to book as they clearly didn't want our custom and were in a rush to hang up. Upon arrival we were shocked by the garish flashing Christmas lights and general décor. However, we were still hopeful that the restaurant would redeem itself with its food. Although not terrible, it was distinctly average. On the plus side, reasonably priced and BYOB.

After visiting here a few times now I am yet to be impressed and was served one of the worst curries of my was like warm mayonnaise! There are better in the are so go explore

Went last night with some mates and the food was sensational.The devilled mutton is one of the nicest things I've ever eaten and my vindaloo was full of flavour. Service is very slow though so don't go if in a hurry! Would definitely recommend and will be going back soon.

A strange and brilliant place for a first date! Neither of us had a clue what to order but the lady serving us was really helpful and made lots of good recommendations. We didn't feel rushed at all and they were pretty relaxed about us losing track of time and still sitting there chatting away after they had closed. The prices are amazingly cheap too so its a winner all round!

Recently returned from Sri Lahka, we were looking for the same fresh, light, skilfully spiced dishes we had seen demonstrated to us and eaten on our trip. This was not it. The curries were more Anglo indian in style, heavier, similar sauce across different proteins. Coconut milk was tinned not made from scratch. No detectable rumpa (particular Sri Lankan curry ingredient). To be fair, these were not bad curries, and were great value for money. But they were not the authentic taste of Sri Lanka we were looking for. If you want a cheap curry, come here. £19.65 for two excluding BYO. If you want a genuine Sri Lankan curry, go elsewhere - still looking....

Best Sri Lankan food in the area and there's a lot of choice !!.... Good prices and it's bring your own Beer !!

As always great food, value and more often than not a doggy bag for lunch the next day. Could you ask for more...what BYOB and no corkage... oh go on then. Fabby ! Thank you Apollo Banana Leaf.

Been twice. Unfortunately, dissapointed on both counts. Last visit I had Masala Dosa which is usually a very safe bet in Tooting's South Indian restaurants. However ABL's version was soggy and tasted cheesy? The sambar and coconut chutney was the worst I've ever had. Very disappointing. On a positive note the service is good and the channa masala from my first visit was also good.

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