Posted by: Leap of Faith | April 15, 2010

Don’t judge a Banana by its name…

… is definitely what we all learned last night!

Before I proceed though, I need to ask you a question. If you saw a place called Bona Banana Restaurant and Coffee Shop, would you try it? 

We certainly would not!  Unless… some insane friend of yours tries it out first and gives a superb recommendation afterwards! 😆

Embarassingly, that is exactly how we came about deciding on where to eat last night during our regular Wednesday night meet up with the “desert gang” (our banker friends) –  and boy, did we all end up regretting not trying this place out sooner!  

Located at the Corniche of Al Khobar, this “international-themed” dining place is not to be missed.  Although locally owned, its simple yet clean and spacious interiors could easily rival that of its other more-known and visited neighbors (i.e. TGIF, Chili’s, Applebees and Pizza Hut). In fact, this place may even have the edge since it gives you a great view of the Arabian Gulf and, possibly, the neighboring kingdom of Bahrain if you are lucky enough to come on a clear, sandstorm-free day. 😉

The food options were good since it had a reasonable selection of soups, salads, pasta, burgers, sizzling plates, Arabic appetizers and other grilled favorites.  Also, the prices were comparable, if not slightly cheaper, than its other competitors.  In fact, if you decide to have an early dinner, you may even avail of the reasonably priced buffet promotion for weekdays, which we unfortunately missed! Grrr. 😦

Anyway, here are some of the photographs we took last night.  Hope these convince you that you should never sign off a restaurant by its name – unless, of course, you want to make the same mistake we did! 

By the way, these photographs are best viewed if you listen to Barry Manilow’s Bona Banana Copacobana playing in the background – just a suggestion!

A small ethnic-themed table top cabinet greets you as you enter.  Notice how one of the waiters must have left his small pad to open the door for us.

Luigi eagerly awaits his order…

… a slightly burnt but delicious Chicken Cordon Bleu!

Other food choices for the night  include… this grilled hammour fillet with a side of steamed vegetables and biryani rice.

Creamy Carbonara with that oh-so-good garlicky taste.

A mashed potato volcano topped with bacon bits, cheese and chives and yummy gravy just waiting to ooze out!

If these are not enough to whet your appetite, why not try these sizzling specialties instead?

… a plate full of your favorite seafood (shrimps, squid and hammour) with young corn and mushrooms…

… or how about this grilled Monterey Jack chicken with mushroom and bacon bits – oh soooo yummy!  

The sizzling plates sure did make my son, Rafael, initially squirm a little bit…

… but then he quickly got over it and started to be amazed by the smoke.

Can you guess what Marga was thinking of? 

Dessert, what else?!

Of course, we adults wanted something for us too so we ordered these to perk up our night…

… a tall glass of nutella espresso…

… a cup full of foamy coconut espresso with whipped cream…

… and a steaming cup of cappuccino latte!

Obviously, we all had a great time – as our satisfed smiles clearly show! 😀

So, next time someone asks you again whether you would eat in a restaurant named “Bona Banana”…. the definite answer?  A resounding YES!

PS In case you’re wondering, this is NOT a paid post – we just love to eat (as evidenced by our , ahem, “figures” – hahaha!).

PPS Since I wrote this post in April, my family and I have eaten here many times already.  One of my favorite dishes is the grilled Lamb Chops with Biryani rice – must try – matched with a cool Banana Summer drink to quench your thirst!

Thanks to Glenn (Branch Manager) and his crew for always making our dining experience a memorable one.  










  1. So true – the bane of Bona Banana is its name! 😆 Just goes to show that the proof of the pudding (or, in this case, the resto) is always in the eating – hahaha! A repeat visit is definitely in order… 😉

    • Yup, definitely not our last time to eat in this place. Looking forward to the repeat visit soon.

  2. When the time my family saw you folks during the Easter Mass, we had our lunch here and got off somewhere. Yes indeed, reading all this again makes me want to munch in again. Thanks for the share.


    • Glad to know this post brought back good memories. Baka mag kita tayo sa Bona next time.

  3. btw, i tried your tip of queing and playing barry manilows Copacabana while viewing the photos..COOL!..hehe

    • Ha ha ha! Di ba it makes a big difference hearing that song in the background.

  4. I have to order that carbonara next time…

    Would have wanted to have an ice cream but I was really stuffed … Hahaha

    • Ton, we all ate so much. I was even surprised we still had room for coffee. Enjoyed our meal – we should schedule a repeat soon and make sure to leave room for the ice cream!

  5. btw, my shirt was really a coincidence…

    Lets go back next week!

    • Really now! I was so sure you planned on wearing that Banana Republic shirt to match the place. Huwag ng mahiya.

  6. Lagi namin yan nadadaanan pero di pinapansin…hehehe. Ma try nga bago kami lumipad.

    • Hi Ann! Kahit kami rin – lagi naming hindi pinapansin yung resto na yan kasi ang weird ng pangalan. Masarap yung food niya at maraming Pinoy na kumakain. Subukan niyo habang nandito pa si Tin.

      Naku, malapit na nga kayong mag vacation. Hope to see you guys soon. Don’t worry, everything will be okay.

  7. Honestly, we almost tried it once. Pero ayaw nung kasama ko dahil he thought it’s costly (kahit pa nga sinabi kong ako ang magbabayad).

    After reading your post, we promised we’ll visit it soon. (And I won’t forget to mention that I found it in your blog. Kapag nagbigay sila ng discount card, ililibre mo kami nina Kenjie. Hehe).

    • Nebz, how exciting. It deserves a try. We used to snub this place a lot too but not anymore now. Coffee shop is okay too.

      Hope you enjoy it!

  8. Wow! Everything looks so yummy!

    • Thanks! The food really tasted good. By the way, how’s your new home?

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