Most recently I have been traversing the length and breadth of London in search of the most delectable Indian cuisine and the latest stop on my journey was Bayleaf Restaurant. Bayleaf situated in Whetstone, North London is a wonderful find and did not disappoint.
Bayleaf already came highly recommended, evidenced by its nomination in the British Curry Awards and as such I was already looking forward to sampling their new menu. Bayleaf provides a sumptuous space in which to explore every last one of your indulgences and it proved to be a taste sensation; an interaction of North Indian traditional dishes with a modern twist.
A visit to Bayleaf is certainly a feast for all the senses. The decor is warm and inviting, modern yet classic all whilst emphasising an intimate environment. This all adds greater ambience to the diner’s experience and you sense you are about to be let into one of North London’s best kept secrets. Keep reading and you will discover that the secret is about to be shared!
Always one who likes to start my voyage of discovery of Indian cuisine with a papadom. These were crunchy, light and eaten without pause as we enjoyed the six different types of homemade chutneys – highlights being the coconut chutney and corriander and fresh mint. The service is attentive, informed and encourages you to try the variety of dishes presented by the menu. Starters aplenty were ordered and I was ready to eat.
The standout dish for sheer interplay of taste and presentation was the Samander Ki Bhojan described as a dish to impress and yes how it did! Succulent lightly spiced chargrilled king prawns were accompanied by delicately pan-fried king scallops cooked to perfection with a lightly dressed micro salad. The dish arrived at the table with quite simply an unparalleled wow factor in presentation terms. Order this if you are celebrating a special occasion, actually just order this if you feel like a treat. Any treat, any day of the week, just order it. Lajawaab lamb showcased the traditional clay oven with aplomb; the lamb was charred whilst remaining succulent, juicy and tender.
I was entirely lead by recommendations when selecting the main dishes to try and I was not disappointed. Kerala style red snapper and kappa was my favourite. Grilled fillet of snapper served on a bed of spicy cassava with mango and coconut milk-based sauce. Flavourful and delicate, it did not overpower the fish. It was sensational. Darbari Chicken Masala and Lamb Sholay Gost completed our selection. The chicken has a fiery after kick on the palate and the lamb was melt in the mouth. All served with complimentary pilau rice. Remember not to overlook the vegetarian dishes, the Raviya is delicious – baby aubergine stuffed with paneer and mashed potato. Naans are a must also.
The awards and accolades for Bayleaf Restaurant are clearly deserved and the launch of their new a la carte menu reflects how dedicated Bayleaf are to maintaining and surpassing these standards. Their menu is varied and complex with a host of less familiar dishes to encourage a greater appreciation of North Indian cuisine. The quality of the food, flavours and presentation mean that Bayleaf is one not to miss.
1282 – 1284 High Road