THE Banana Pancake Trail (BPT) started as a food stall in Sugbo Mercado in 2015. Today, and amid these uncertain times, BPT has opened its own brick-and-mortar restaurant on Escario St., Cebu City.
The brand has always been known for its pad thai, which also earned it a Best of Cebu award, but little do people know that the other items on its menu are just as worth a try. In fact, there are secret menu items available only for dine-in. Be transported to the streets of Southeast Asia by ordering the following:
Cà Phê Trung
This Vietnamese drink is traditionally prepared with egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk and coffee. BPT’s version uses world-renowned highland beans from Vietnam, dripped through a phin filter, and then topped with a combination of condensed milk and sterilized egg yolk that’s been whipped for that sweet, custardy foam.
Burmese Fried Tofu Salad
This Myanmar-style salad has crispy fried tofu on a bed of lettuce, topped with onions, tomatoes, fried shallots and crushed peanuts. The turmeric-lime dressing is something that the owners learned to make in a backyard kitchen in Bagan in 2018.
Nasi Lemak with Danggit
Considered as the national dish of Malaysia, nasi lemak can be paired with ikan bilis (dried anchovies) or little fried fish for breakfast or lunch, or with something more substantial like ayam goreng (fried chicken) or beef rendang for lunch or dinner. BPT’s has Cebu’s danggit with the usual nasi lemak components: coconut rice, fried egg, sambal, peanuts and cucumber.
Ask one of the waitstaff for this Spicy Thai Shrimp Salad, an off-the-menu item, and expect to tuck into half a pound of juicy shrimps dressed with lime juice, cilantro, fish sauce, Thai dried chilies and crushed peanuts.
This Indian-influenced flatbread can be found in various parts of Southeast Asia including Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, so it’s no surprise that it’s also served a BPT, albeit on a secret menu. Its roti is buttery, chewy with just the right crunch to it, and served with a mildly spicy curry sauce.
Hainanese Two Ways
You can have either the Hainanese Crispy Pork (deep-fried pork belly and fragrant rice) or the Classic Hainanese Chicken Rice (poached chicken and fragrant rice), both served with the three signature dipping sauces: ginger, chili and light and dark soy.
Bun Thit Nuong
A popular Vietnamese cold noodle dish, the Bun Thit Nuong is topped with a generous helping of pickled and fresh vegetables, herbs, grilled meat and/or spring rolls. BPT’s has your choice of grilled lemongrass pork or chicken, and another bestseller, its crispy Cha Giò (Vietnamese spring rolls). The portion size is good for sharing but no one will judge you if you don’t.