Photos and story: David Lowe
In a very difficult time for local restaurants, Byron Bay’s long established choice for authentic Indian food, the family-owned Bombay to Byron, is keeping their doors open and customers satisfied with an exotic menu blending new tastes and old favourites.
Owner and Head Chef, Rahul Thacker, has fifteen years of experience in hospitality and a real passion for fine food. Rahul gained expertise in cuisines from right across the subcontinent with his work as a chef in various hotels, before establishing Bombay to Byron with his wife, Radhika, more than seven years ago.
Current COVID rules (prior to lockdown effective 10/8) allow fifteen people to sit inside the Byron restaurant, and more outside. Takeaway and online ordering are also options.
Bombay to Byron’s diverse menu caters for every dietary requirement, including vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free. They also have an extensive wine and beer list.
Specialities include Masala Dosa, a South Indian savoury crepe delicacy that’s available for lunch.
Other favourites include Goan Fish Curry, Butter Chicken, Malai Kofta, and Chicken Tikka Masala. ‘That’s very very popular!’ said Radhika. ‘Also Vegetable Kofta and Kerala Chicken.’
Along with the classics, Bombay to Byron has regular specials, taking advantage of whatever’s in season. Current offerings include Bhindi Do Pyaza (a vegan dish featuring okra) and Aloo Gobhi (potato and cauliflower curry).
Rahul and Radhika use locally sourced ingredients wherever possible, grind their own spices, and employ local people.
As a family owned business, they also believe in giving back to the community, having supported Liberation Larder (a non-profit organisation feeding those in need in Byron Bay) since COVID began.
For the owners of the Bombay to Byron restaurant, community support is a two-way street. As Radhika says, ‘I really would like to thank the local community for supporting us in recent years. It is a big challenge. The town is so quiet. For some restaurants it’s not worth opening.’
‘But people are lovely. The staff work really hard,’ she ,said. ‘The reason we keep opening, even though it’s so slow, is to be able to support our permanent staff. As long as the community supports us, we will keep going!’
Bombay to Byron is open seven nights a week from 4.30–9.30pm and they serve lunch every day except Monday.
You can find the restaurant at Shop 12, North Byron Plaza (near the old Woolworths site) at 90–96 Jonson Street, Byron Bay. Rahul, Radhika and their staff are operating under COVID Safe conditions, with additional hygiene precautions and chairs and tables being sanitised regularly.
Bombay to Byron also delivers throughout the area, including to Suffolk Park and Ewingsdale. Ring them on (02) 6680 8355.
You can check out their menu online, complete with mouth-watering pictures of the food and online ordering options, at: www.bombaytobyron.com.au