Phone: 044 28114557, 044 28114558
Address: 14, 6th Street, Gopalapuram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Time: 12noon – 3pm, 7pm – 11pm
Meals for two: Rs. 800
Cuisines: Mughlai, North Indian, Seafood
Facilities: Home Delivery, No Alcohol Available, Indoor Seating, Table booking recommended, Wifi
Bayleaf, Gopalapuram, Chennai: Decor
Bayleaf has sensible, clean flooring and spartan furniture. Yet, it has an appeal all its own.
I like the white, long lampshades and the burnished leather all over: the menu, table mats, bill wallet… and all of it is neatly finished. Otherwise, there is wood and wrought iron and a colour scheme of blue, beige and brown. Bright yellow lighting finishes the look.
Bayleaf, Gopalapuram, Chennai: Food
I open the blue leather menu after having the amuse bouche of Paani Poori Shooters that come to each table, with different flavored ‘paani’; it’s quite different.
Going with the safe, I begin with the Galouti Kebab, which turns out to be beautifully soft, and the roti it comes along with crumbles in the mouth, adding another dimension to the kebab. I do not need the accompanying green chutney or tomato sauce to make the Galouti better.
Next to Hilsa, Kolkata loves its Bekti Fish. This one is coated with bread crumbs and coriander paste before being deep fried. If only the slices of fish were a little thicker, the Bekti would have been closer to perfection. Given a choice, I would recommend Kasundi over the Tartar Sauce. Brought in from Kolkata, Kasundi has the sharpness of mustard and is very welcome with the fish fry. I find the coriander paste in the bread crumbs an interesting addition.
When fasting, as no onions and garlic are permitted in food, Dhokar Dalna becomes a favorite in most Bengali households. Made mainly using mixed lentil dumplings, it is loaded with flavors from a gravy made of tomato, cashew-poppy paste and ginger. A hint of jaggery mutes the sourness of tomato. The ancestral Pushtaini Gosht is made from a recipe has been in the family for generations. Mutton, cooked for an hour-and-fortyfive minutes holds only the flavor of green chillies without their unbearable pungency. I eat it by itself, and with wholewheat roti, enjoying both.
If you are a seafood and tender coconut lover, do try the Daab Chingri. It arrives at the table in a coconut and has sweetness from the mix of tender coconut cream, cashew and tender coconut water. Mix it with the Gobindo Bhog rice, a dot of Jharna Ghee and enjoy its differentness.
Can any Bengali meal end without something sweet? Never. So, there’s thick, sweet, silky, milky, curdy Mishti Doi. It is made fresh every single day, and comes from the restaurateur’s home, I am told.
Plus & Minus:
This restaurant does not believe in serving precooked food. The first page of Bayleaf’s menu tells guests to allow 20 minutes for the food to be made, as every order is cooked fresh, and arrives piping hot at the table.