Review: Bayleaf India Bistro

Ever since my go-to Indian place, Sher E Punjab, closed a few months ago, I’ve been searching for a replacement. When I’ve asked friends and people I respect for recommendations, one of the names that came up over and over again was Bayleaf India Bistro, which is located in the former Ted’s Montana Grill space up at Polaris. A few months ago I went and had lunch buffet with Lisa, and enjoyed it very much. So much so, that I vowed to return with my husband in tow for dinner.

Outside of Bayleaf Indian Bistro

The decor and atmosphere is surprisingly elegant given its strip-mall location, and the food can best be described as gourmet Indian or Indian with a twist on the traditional. At least on the evening we went, they seemed to cater to a predominately Indian clientele, which is always a good sign in an ethnic restaurant. After being seated, we were presented with a basket of pappadum (a crisp flatbread) and two sauces – one tamarind and date based, the other a conglomeration of fresh herbs and yogurt.

Pappadum from Bayleaf India Bistro

I’ve been craving samose like crazy all winter, and thoroughly enjoyed their version of them (3 samosa for $3.95). The filling was nicely spicy, and although they are a deep fried item, they weren’t overly greasy as many samosa usually are. They were served with a sweet chili sauce on the side.

Samose from Bayleaf India Bistro

We also opted for an appetizer of Vegetable Pakoras ($3.95), which were vegetables such as spinach leaves and onions dipped into a chickpea batter and deep fried, and served with the same sweet chili sauce that came with the samose. These were also solid, at least as good as any other we’ve had.

Vegetable Pakora from Bayleaf India Bistro

For my entree, I decided to go with one of their signature dishes, something a little different from traditional Indian dishes, called Khuroos-E-Tursh ($15.95), which is a chicken breast stuffed with spinach, mushrooms, onions and cheese and topped with a creamy cashew curry sauce, redolent with cardamom. It came with sides of saffron rice and veggies, which suited the dish perfectly.

Stuffed Chicken with Cashew Sauce from Bayleaf India Bistro

My husband opted for the Mixed Grill ($15.95), an assortment of tandoori cooked meats, each with their own marinade and heat level. It was nicely paired with the saffron rice and a brown curry sauce, and seemed to be a great value.

Mixed Grill from Bayleaf India Bistro

For dessert, I chose the Kheer ($3.95), a rice pudding prepared in the traditional method. Although quite delicious, the cardamom got a bit overwhelming after a few bites.

Kheer from Bayleaf India Bistro

My husband went with the better choice, a Bayleaf specialty and a twist on a traditional dessert – Chocolate Gulab Jamun ($4.95) fried cottage cheese balls in a chocolate syrup. It was nice and rich without being too overwhelming.

Chocolate Gulab Jamun from Bayleaf India Bistro

Service was a little uneven – we seemed to have two different waiters, one of who was excellent and very attentive, the other who seemed indifferent and ignored us for the most part. The bright spot of the evening was speaking to the owner (or manager, not sure) who was very friendly, engaging, and gave us a lot of information on the specific dishes.

Bayleaf also offers a lunch buffet 7 days a week, which I think to be one of the best in Columbus. Although, for us, frequent trips to Bayleaf aren’t very practical because of distance, it’s definitely somewhere we’d go again if in the area.

If you’d like to go: Bayleaf India Bistro, 1025 Polaris Parkway, Columbus, OH 43240, 614.825.1053

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16 thoughts on “Review: Bayleaf India Bistro

  1. Jean

    I've never been a big fan of Indian food however, this looks like a place I need to try! Pictures are awesome:-)

  2. Grace Hester

    I work on Polaris Parkway and often meet up with my husband or colleagues for the lunch buffet. I love their Kheer because of its intense cardamon flavor! But I can imagine how it can be overwhelming for those who like a more subtle touch of the spice.

    Thanks for sharing. Love your blog.

  3. Jared

    I like this place. I worry about the business they do because of the limited parking arrangement couple with the high turnover of restaurants in the plaza. But the food is delicious. I like Cuisine of India, which is very close to here as well. It's a little lower key than Bayleaf, but both places are winners for dinner.

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  5. Batarang

    I’ve only been to Bayleaf once to partake of their buffet and it was quite tasty. Cuisine of India is also excellent, but its best on Sundays. Out of the two I prefer Cuisine of India, but IMO you could rank them 1a and 1b as far as Indian buffets are concerned. I like some of the other Indian buffets around town (Amul on Sawmill, New India on Bethel), but these two at Polaris are a notch above because of the fresh-tasting ingredients.

  6. Heather

    Tried Bayleaf for the first time ourselves the other week. The server pointed us toward the methi gosht : "Tender pieces of lamb cooked in an onion based sauce & fenugreek leaves with a heavy
    garlic flavour". It was amazing. Also recommend the cashew roll appetizer. New India is also a fave and their saag paneer is in a class of its own.

  7. Derek

    I recently had some visitors in town from India, and the owner of the hotel where they were staying took them to eat at Bayleaf. They told me that it is must be the best Indian food in the United States and that it was better than a lot of the offerings in Delhi.

    I definitely need to check this place out.

  8. Elizabeth Lessner

    ooooh, yummm. that chicken dish sounds really yummy. can't wait to try it. thanks.

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  11. Modata

    I'm an Indian myself , living in Columbus, and I don't really care much for the rest of the Indian places around in the city because they're not authentic but Bayleaf is a different story. I've been there maybe 3 times now and the food has always been delicious, authentic and spiced just right. I dfeinitely recommend it!

  12. whoopigark

    We love this place!! Food is delicious and consistient. We dine here about 3 times a month. Service can be dicey at times. The hot and sour, and tomato basil soups are off the hook. Never had a bad meal, a must try if you like good Indian cusine.


  13. joshua

    You know I live by Indian Oven and have been to bayleaf twice, no comparison. Indian Oven hands down.

  14. Patrick

    Having moved from Chicago 2 years ago we were disappointed at the quality of the Indian cuisine here in Columbus – until we went to Bayleaf. Very good, fresh, and a good substitution for the Chicago area Indian restaurants we used to frequent. Now, does anyone know of another here, perhaps the re-opening of Sher-E-Punjab? (Got a coupon in the mail the other day)

  15. John G.

    I love this place. I live in Mt. Vernon, OH and they just opened their second location here in Mt. Vernon. I do not have to drive to Columbus now. So happy…
    Must see new location guys. Its so elegant n cozy.
    222 S Main St Mt. Vernon

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