Bengali restaurants are conspicuously hard to find in Chennai, in spite of the rollicking queues at Pujo food stalls. Bayleaf has stood firm for over two decades, with a restrained charm of the bhadralok. Soft amber lighting, vintage fittings and Rabindra Sangeet interspersed with Bappi da. The menu comes in pairs. The first one is North Indian and churns out quite competent if unexceptional 'Tangri Kabab' and 'Yellow Dal'. The second, Bengali, is where I scored a light 'Fish Kobiraji'. An airy coating, fried crisp, sheathing flaky Bhetki. Cut through the richness with dabs of 'Kasundi' mustard sauce. My 'Kosha Mangsho' could have been a tad more Kosha, the depth from caramelized onions reaching only halfway. However, the 'Daab Chingri' did not falter. 'Plump prawns' swimming in a gently sweet tender-coconut gravy. I fished them out with crisp Luchis.
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