A look inside Bay Leaf, modern Indian cuisine in the heart of Five Points South

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Welcome to Bay Leaf. Photo via Hannah Chambley for Bham Now

Bay Leaf Modern Indian Cuisine & Bar is open in the heart of Five Points South. Formerly serving authentic Indian food, Bay Leaf is now serving flavorful Indian favorites with a modern flair. Keep reading for a photo tour of their Five Points Lane location and for a look at their mouth-watering menu.

Introducing the new Bay Leaf, the reimagined restaurant bringing modern Indian cuisine to Five Points South

The inside is stunning—with dreamy lights and warm hues, the atmosphere is casual with an upscale feel. Photo via Hannah Chambley for Bham Now

You might recognize the Bay Leaf name. With two locations in Birmingham, Bay Leaf has been a Birmingham favorite for years. The original opened on Highway 280 in 2014, and Bay Leaf’s second location opened in Five Points South in August 2019.

Now, under new ownership, the restaurant has been reimagined. What was Bayleaf Authentic Indian Cuisine is now Bay Leaf Modern Indian Cuisine & Bar, and it’s serving up delicious Indian delicacies with a modern twist.

Guided by Executive Chef Pritam Zarapkar—also known as Chef Z—Bay Leaf’s menu draws inspiration from each corner of the Indian subcontinent, from the northern plains to the southern coast, offering a diverse experience for guests.

With an ingredient-driven focus, both Bay Leaf locations are committed to serving dishes that are simple and flavorful, in a casual yet upscale setting.

A Photo Tour of Bay Leaf’s Five points South Location

The exterior has been repainted and boasts a new neon sign. Photo via Hannah Chambley for Bham Now

Situated right next door to McFly’s, Bay Leaf brings a flavorful flair to the Five Points Lane development.

Once you step inside, warm colors, soft lighting and colorful murals welcome you in. The floor plan is open and spacious, set to accommodate social distancing guidelines.

They offer signature cocktails, such as a Chai-tini and Paan Old Fashioned, carefully curated wines, and non-alcoholic Indian beverages. Photo via Hannah Chambley for Bham Now

The bar is bright and expansive. With mirrors reflecting the bottles on the shelves, it seems double in size.

This alleyway leads you to a shared outdoor seating area with the other Five Points Lane tenants. Bay Leaf’s tables are yellow and silver with a contactless menu on top.

Meet Bay Leaf’s Chef Z and see what’s on the menu

We’ve got our eye on the dessert menu. Photo via Hannah Chambley for Bham Now

Executive Chef Pritam Zarapkar (Chef Z) brings 15+ years of experience to the Bay Leaf kitchen. A transplant to Birmingham from the D.C. area, Chef Z graduated in Culinary Sciences from the Business and Hotel Management School in Luzerne, Switzerland. He has launched over 12 restaurants across Europe and the U.S. and is an expert in Indian, French, and American cuisines—impressive.

After meeting the current owners of Bay Leaf two years ago, Chef Z visited Birmingham and quickly realized how much Birmingham residents embrace the culinary scene.

“Having lived internationally and in large cities in the U.S., such as Atlanta and D.C., I was skeptical about moving here. But when I came and witnessed the love of food, I knew the potential was here to expand my culinary offerings and give a new taste to the Magic City’s restaurant landscape.”

Chef Z
The industrial walls juxtaposed with the soft cushion seating is the perfect mix of cool and warm. Photo via Hannah Chambley for Bham Now

With Bay Leaf, he wanted to create something unique and new—a mix of traditional Indian fare and his own creations. They still offer traditional Indian favorites like tikka masalas and biriyanis but have added unique items like their juicy desi burger, tangy kababs, tamarind-glazed short ribs and more. Get a look at their full menu here.

“The new menu at Bay Leaf embraces modern Indian cuisine… What I love about Birmingham is people are adventurous with regards to food. If there is a new idea or something different, they love to try it.”

Chef Z

Dine-In or Delivery: Bay Leaf is open and ready to serve you

Tikka masala takeout, anyone? Photo via Hannah Chambley for Bham Now

Whether you’re looking for a new lunch spot or needing a new takeout option, Bay Leaf is a must-try. Their Five Points South location is open for lunch daily from 11AM to 2:30PM. They are open for dinner Sunday through Thursday. from 5 to 9:30PM and Friday through Saturday from 5 to 10PM.

You can dine in, or order online for takeout or delivery. For patrons dining in, Bay Leaf has implemented new safety measures to ensure the health and safety of staff and guests. Some of those guidelines include:

  • Social distancing in the dining room
  • No-touch ordering at the table, by QR code scanning
  • Disposable paper menus for people desiring a hard copy of the menu
  • Table-top hand sanitizer + hand sanitizer stations around the restaurant
Reserve your table online to guarantee your seat. Photo via Hannah Chambley for Bham Now

All team members will wear PPE and be checked for fever and other symptoms daily. Reservations are strongly encouraged and can be placed online via Open Table. Read their full COVID-19 safety plan online.

Want to keep up with Bay Leaf on social? Follow them on Instagram and Facebook for mouth-watering food photos and more updates.

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  • Most likely Instagrammin’ the Birmingham skyline, behind the camera shooting photos or writing stories (with too many puns) for Bham Now.