Daughter in Law Byron Bay
Renowned chef Jessi Singh has brought his 'unauthentic' dishes to the beachside town.
At Sydney's Don't Tell Aunty and Melbourne's Daughter in Law, chef Jessi Singh serves up Indian cuisine his way. He isn't flouting tradition; rather, he doesn't think there's any such thing as 'authentic' Indian food. "There are no recipes, and everything is passed on through the generations in the kitchen verbally," he explains about his rule-breaking dishes — which'll are now also available in Byron Bay.
Singh has expanded the Daughter in Law brand to the beachside town, with the new 65-seat eatery setting up shop on Fletcher Street. Both locals and visitors to the scenic spot can tuck into a seafood-heavy menu, which places an emphasis on both vegan and gluten free fare. Ingredients from the Northern Rivers region are a big feature, too, with Singh calling his dishes "global food with an Indian twist".
The culinary lineup spans Indian fried chicken ($20), yoghurt croquettes ($18), grilled jumbo prawns cooked in the tandoor oven ($28) and crispy skin snapper served with coconut and crab sambal ($36) — if you're wondering what kind of meals Singh classes as 'unauthentic'. The food menu is paired with an extensive wine list curated by sommelier Bhatia Dheeraj, self-serve fridges full of beer and cider, and a range of cocktails. Sip the Indian spiced sangria, and you'll be tasting red wine, sweet vermouth and orange. Opt for the restaurant's namesake tipple, and you'll be enjoying Brookie's gin, a tandoori-fired pineapple and cardamom lime.
Vibe-wise, the new Daughter in Law takes its cues from its location — think playful, vibrant and also relaxed. Patrons can get comfortable on green and blue velvet seating, drink from handmade glasses covered in rainbow peacocks, and sit amidst gold flourishes and under a pink neon sign. Scenes from Bollywood films brighten up the walls, while DJs will spin 80s and 90s tracks.
Daughter in Law's Byron Bay restaurant marks the chain's third, after setting up shop in Adelaide earlier in 2021. Before launching Don't Tell Aunty in Sydney in 2018 — and going on to start its growing no-frills Australian-Indian bar and grill sibling — Singh spent a lengthy stint in the US running his two Babu Ji outposts.
Images: Jess Kearney.