Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Restaurant Review: Bayleaf Brasserie, Crows Nest

Finally some good Indian food in Australia! Thanks to Ricky Chong from Food Morning for inviting me to check it out.

I've been known to give Indian food in Sydney a harsh time after having some very average curries. The worst was on my first visit to Australia back in 2005. I went for a curry at a different restaurant in Crows Nest and it was two things Indian food never should be, watery and bland.

I wasn't sure what to expect going to Bayleaf Brasserie, thankfully it surpassed expectations. The waiter explained to us that they've deliberately gone for a small menu of regional specialities so that they can cook everything fresh from raw ingredients.

We started with Sadabahar Tikki, beetroot and kumura patties with a semolina crust and tamarind chutney. The patties had a fabulous colour when you cut them open. The semolina provided a nice crunch and the patties went well with the sourness from the tamarind chutney. There was a little bit of chilli and cumin there too.

The Hyderabad Nizami Bakra goat curry was Saurav's favourite of the evening. The goat was very tender. The thick tomato sauce was rich and flavoured with cardamon. There was a little bit more chilli than the Sadabahar Tikki which had my tongue tingling, although I don't think Saurav thought it was spicy at all!

When I was in India I loved all the eggplant dishes that we ate so was keen to order the Baingan Caldeen. The roasted baby eggplants were served in a creamy coconut sauce. This was the mildest and creamiest dish of the night. Almost korma-esque?

Our second main course was Laal Maas a Rajasthani beef curry with roasted coriander. Just like the goat curry the beef was very tender. It was the spiciest dish of the evening, but again wasn't too hot for me (which means it was pretty mild in the overall scale of things). Flavours of ginger and garlic came though.

We ordered a parantha on the side. This was the only disappointment of the evening for me. After the fabulous bread I had hot out of the oven all over India, the parantha failed to excite in the same way.

On a quiet Tuesday night the plaza location was a little soulless with most of the eateries being quiet. Inexplicably they showed us to a small table when the restaurant was half empty and it would have done them no harm to give us something bigger.

Overall some really good, regional Indian food. There wasn't a generic korma, rogan josh or jalfrazi on the menu, which is a good thing in my book. Some of the flavours tasted just like those I had in India. The restaurant does regional Sunday buffets which would be interesting to check out; Hydrabad, Mumbai and Amritsar are coming up. On the strength of the food the cooking class would be fun to try too.

12-14 Crows Nest Plaza
111 Willoughby Rd
Crows Nest

Bayleaf Indian on Urbanspoon


  1. Hot Tips Richie you need to be known as.

  2. Good to hear you enjoyed your dinner as well. The Laal Maas looks great! :)

  3. Wow, a moulded goat curry, now that's a first for me. I think another trip over the bridge may be in orcer as I'm struggling to find a decent Indian since my local Curry on King closed last year

  4. My friend Saurav is taking his family back to try the goat dish he liked it so much!

    Lovely food, slightly odd almost food court style location.