In the Mood: Bayleaf

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Spice up your Night

If you think the Kama Sutra is hot stuff, you should try out the Chicken 65. No, it's not a tricky nighttime position, but rather a fiery appetizer dish from the incomparable Bayleaf India Bistro.

Occupying a single large room out in the Polaris area, Bayleaf's colorful, stylish and sleek modern look announces it's not like most other Indian restaurants. That doesn't mean you can't get all your classic favorites (Bayleaf does a fantastic job with those), it just means here you can score a spicy style of delicacies you can't find elsewhere.

Bayleaf's big menu is broken up into come-on subtitles like "Saucy Suggestions," "Old Flames" and "Trendy Starters" (the starters include lots of unusually delicious Indo-Chinese dishes). It's under the latter category where you'll find the wild and uninhibited Chicken 65.

Its name is a bit of a mystery (the number of ingredients? The year it became famous in Mumbai?) but its arousing effect is a sure thing: this stuff is smokin' hot.

Luridly red, glistening, bite-sized pieces of easy-to-love fried chicken are enrobed in a hard-to-tame, complex sauce exploding with garlic, ginger, chilis and the aroma of curry leaves.

As you and your date bond in the heat and excitement of Chicken 65, try to hold back and not gobble up your portion too fast - you'll want to finish this blazing snack at exactly the same time. In the shared afterglow, reach for a cold beer or two (Bayleaf is a money-saving BYOB!), take a deep breath or two, and then head home for round two.

Bayleaf India Bistro

1025 Polaris Pkway., Polaris