Jessi Singh has been busy. In 2020, the chef-restaurateur introduced two new venues to his stable of Melbourne restaurants – wine bar Mrs Singh and four-storey pub Mr Brownie. And earlier this year, he opened a second outpost of colourful eatery Daughter in Law, this time in Adelaide.
Next month, he’s opening a third.
Singh is bringing the playful Daughter in Law concept – what he calls “unauthentic Indian” – to his favourite place in Australia: Byron Bay.
“Opening a restaurant is a great excuse to spend more time here,” he tells Broadsheet. “A big reason I wanted to be part of this small town is the amazing weather, microclimate, local farms and local seafood on offer.”
In Melbourne and Adelaide, Daughter in Law serves punchy flavours and fun cocktails. Expect the same at Byron Bay, but with more focus on fresh seafood (although vegetarian and vegan options will abound).
Singh is keeping mum about menu specifics, but teases ceviche; crudo; Indian-style oysters; sea-urchin fried rice; tandoori prawns, fish and octopus; and Indian fried squid and chicken. He plans on visiting the farmers market every week and letting it dictate the menu.
“There is such a great growing community here, and as a chef this is what I love the most. I can buy direct from the farmers – no middleman,” he says. “There is an abundance of local seafood and meat, and produce that is rich and diverse grown in the Northern Rivers.”
Sommelier Bhatia Dheeraj (ex-Est and Penfolds Magill Estate; he also co-owns Mrs Singh) is looking after the wine list, a mix of drop from local, interstate and overseas producers. Cocktails include an Indian-spiced sangria and a signature drink made with Brookie’s gin, tandoor-fired pineapple and cardamom lime.
The 65-seater will have the same kind of pastel-hued, jewel-toned, velvet-clad space as its sibling venues. DJs will be spinning ’80s and ’90s party tracks, while famous Bollywood films will be projected onto the walls.
All proceeds from opening night in mid-June will be donated to the Khaana Chahiye Foundation, a citizen-led organisation feeding vulnerable communities during the pandemic.
Daughter in Law is slated to open at 22 Fletcher Street, Byron Bay, in mid-June 2021.