Adventure in Normal Life / Boston / Food / Good Eats

Banyan bar and refuge – South End {eating out Boston}

Located in the former Hamersleys space, the modern asian gastropub opened in July 2015.

We had seen the alluring garden lights one evening, and eventually made our way in to try this new spot on a cool late summer evening.

We ordered a bunch of small plates to share and enjoyed the overall experience. The menu has changed since we have gone, so here is the link to the current menu.

What we enjoyed follows below:

[Red braised pulled pork on house bun with green cabbage slaw and crispy shallots]

good sweet savory pork shredded flavor. Slaw added great dimension would like to have more of it on the bun. Bun itself soft and tasty. Felt like it was missing a little something, though. Maybe heat?

grilled corn, togarashi, toasted coconut, whipped coconutimg_7094-1  

[Lamb fat roast potatoes, pomegranate, ground lamb, garam masala, yogurt]

delectable, perfectly roasted potatoes, and the quick juicy bursts from the pomegranate were perfect to accompany the spiced lamb. This was our favorite from the evening. It’s like home-cooked lamb. 

[octopus  lettuce cup, grapefruit, sweet chili sauce, peanuts, pickled fennel]

this dish had a great mix of fresh crunch from the lettuce, grilled, texture, and sweet and spicy flavors. Lettuce was a little small for contents, a little hard to pick up with hands as expected for lettuce wrap 

Blend of flavors good , chili oil good hear, fennel and grapefruit work well together. Octopus grilled well, served at room temp. I would like the octopus  better if it were warm. 

we didn’t order the whole fried fish, but here it is! 

Look at those colors!

We enjoyed sitting at the bar, which was like a chef’s table! We saw all the food as they were prepared to order and learned a few kitchen service terms – like “stab it” and “go all in.”

 [duck bibimbap: cast iron duck confit crispy rice, corn relish, gochujang ketchup, poached egg] I loved the rice texture and daikon. The pickle was great. The duck was a bit saltier than our taste. The ketchup didn’t have that distinct of a flavor to pick up the gochujang.       
One of the hostesses who we spoke to on a summer stroll the day they opened described the fusion and innovative interpretation of chinese, japanese, and middle eastern dishes of Chefs Phillip Tang, Rebecca Roth Gullo + Seth Yaffe and that is evident in the seasonally-changing menu.

If you’re in Boston and give it a try, let us know what you think!

Eat well,


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