November 2019

Our family is a big fan of Indian food and, here in Nottingham, we are very lucky to have such a fantastic choice of restaurants to choose from. Having visited quite a few over the years, we jumped at the chance to pop down to Gunthorpe to dine at The Bridge and Bayleaf, which is located on the banks of the River Trent, on the site of the Gunthorpe Toll Bridge.


This family-run restaurant which opened in 2010 offers a wide range of North Indian cuisine and they certainly have plenty of experience, having previously owned Anilas in Nottingham for many years. The restaurant itself is housed inside the 1875 toll cottage, which has been totally restored and now provides a modern and stylish setting, with a beautiful outlook onto the River Trent.

After a very friendly greeting by owner Akki and a quick drink in the lounge (as a card carrying CAMRA member, my husband specifically asked me to mention that the Bombay Bicycle IPA was very impressive) we were soon seated and served with some deliciously warm and crispy poppadoms and a selection of dips.

The menu is substantial and offers a choice of set menus and a la carte options. There is a lot of choice but the staff are on hand to offer help and advice if you feel a little overwhelmed. Going on the advice of Akki and another diner who said that they are better than those on offer at a well-known award-winning restaurant in Nottingham, we chose the Tandoor Lamb Chops marinated in North Indian spices, Garlic Chilli Mushrooms and Tandoori Salmon. All three choices were excellent: succulent, perfectly cooked and with just enough spice to give them a bit of a kick. The presentation is exceptional and there is certainly a feeling of fine dining but without any pretention.

For my main, I went with my tried and well-tested favourite of Paneer Rogan Josh, which arrived in substantial form with huge chunks of paneer in a beautiful sauce. Some paneer I have had in the past has been overcooked but this was just sublime. My son had Chicken Dhesi - a traditional homestyle curry with a medium sauce; Mike had a Lamb Balti and Evie (who is not a fan of spice) chose the Chicken Korma, which were served with various naan breads and a hefty portion of pilau rice. I'm not going to try to use flowery phrases here - I simply need to say that the food was absolutely excellent and some of the best I have had the pleasure to taste. It wasn't particulary suprising to hear that Head Chef, Durga Sapkota, has worked at a number of well-known restaurants in Nottinghamshire and around the world and has even been awarded the title of Curry Chef of the Year.

There wasn't much room left after such a feast but there are a range of desserts available, which include Indian ice cream and and chocolatey delights and the kids were keen to dig into a couple. Once again, beautifully presented and good in size, the chocolate fudge cake and oreo cookie bash did not disappoint - although beware the innocent looking grapes on the side - they are firey!

So ... overall thoughts.  We loved everything about the Bridge and Bayleaf.  The venue, the staff, the service and, most importantly, the food.  It's right up there with our top meal experiences  and I have absolutely no hesitation in giving it my recommendation.  With curries ranging between £13.50 (chicken tikka masala) and £16.95 (king prawn tawa) it's not the cheapest - but then again, they don't claim to be, as they are marketing themselves as a fine dining restaurant.  I personally feel that it would be worth paying a little bit extra for the quality and restaurant location.

If you'd like to know more about the The Bridge and Bayleaf, please click to visit their website and take a look at their menus.  They also offer a local takeaway service and private venue hire.

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