Tucked away next to the Bird Vet on McEvoy Street, Waterloo is a little restaurant called the Indian Leaf. This place was recommended by a French chef who knows his stuff so I thought I’d give it a try. Personally, I usually find Indian fare a little oily and a source of heartburn so I was relieved to find that this place serves neither, and I was happy to see a departure from the usual suspects that turn up at near every Indian dinner.
The samosas were delicate and served with a delightful sweet dark chutney. The rice was fragrant and the papadums were crisp and light. We had the butter chicken which was close to my favourite but the Mango Chicken was sweet, creamy and dreamy. The pepper chicken was ok but not flavoursome enough to be a star. The Bombay beef is a coconut curry but dominated by the regular curry components and a little chewy. The bhindi-do-piaza is not a Hindi pizza but a delicious okra dish I can heartily recommend.
Make sure that you indulge in the cheese naan. We had roti (crisper than the Malay version) and plain naan as well that came out of the kitchen piping hot, fluffy and moist. It was the crown on a Raja’s feast.
Value: Good but easy to blow the budget on the extras. I believe there are some takeaway deals that really deliver.
Staff/ambience: The venue is clean but seemingly put together on a budget, though I must say it was a pleasure to be served by attentive professional waitstaff. Well done guys. An outside seating area, though it doesn’t have the greatest of views, would be very pleasant come springtime I am sure.
With family: The venue is accommodating with enough items on the menu to find something to fill the bill for everyone.
With friends: Lots of plates and lots of naan makes for a great feast. Attentive service and a noisy ambience should deliver a great night with friends.
With a date: The venue is pleasant, the food is great and being attentively served just makes this a great date night venue.
Summary: I rate this place A1 (despite the chewy beef) and the best Indian food at this price I know of. In Arnie’s immortal words, “I’ll be back”.