Whooooo else is hungry? You, I suppose, because you clicked on this article. I won’t beat around the bush, because that would be rude when there’s talk of some delicious Indian food.
Whether you’re into a biryani, or a bunah; you’re partial to a chicken tikka roll after a few too many wines, or just like to stuff your face with bucket loads of naan bread, Sydney is brimming with top notch Indian restaurants and you damn well should be excited to get them India.
Because we like to cover all bases, here are 13 of the best Indian restaurants in our fine city. No white shirts allowed, we gonn’ get saucaayyy!
Taj Indian Sweets
Vegetarians and vegans are usually in luck when it comes to Indian food, with a plethora of options just waiting to be destroyed in a number of seconds. Try to contain yourself around the daily specials that will no doubt end up all over your face, but YOLO. Of course, it’s all in the name, so be sure to get your fix of delicious Indian sweets and desserts afterwards. We love the burfi, a toffee-like treat that will no doubt have you converted after one nibble.
If you ask any food purist where they go for sensationally authentic, run-don’t-walk Indian food in Sydney, they’ll pretty much bark “Chatkazz” in your face before you even finish your sentence. Friendly service and a street food style menu combine to offer some of the best vegetarian food our city has to offer. There’s no wrong way to get stuck into the goodies here, but the menu is huge, so bring your posse or go every day for two weeks… either one will do just fine.
Ram’s Indian And Sri Lankan Food
Make note, friend. Go write this name down, or add it to a list, it’s one you need to remember. Ram’s Indian And Sri Lankan Food has been serving up damn fine fare from the friendly hole-in-the-wall since 1999, and good golly does it show in every bite, because everything on offer is made fresh daily with love. They don’t take reservations, so get there early to avoid attacking someone’s jugular from food envy. Seriously. Alternatively, you can grab yourself a tasty take away and enjoy it in the car, because we all know that’s what will happen.
Oh Sparkling Sydney Harbour, why is everything infinitely better when you’re around? Although, when Lal Qila is on offer, everything else seems to sparkle—even the eyes of your heavy-breathing Tinder date. Specialising in Pakistani food, there are more musts than usual on the menu here, so group dining is encouraged. Or be a pig, whatever works. Try the Noohrani salmon or chickpea battered king prawns, and forget everything you thought you knew about Indian food.
Haveli means mansion, and you might not get exactly that here, but you’ll feel right at home in this cosy, home style Indian restaurant, where smiles are a given and napkins are nothing short of essential. They like to keep it simple and satisfying (and so will you), so go for the fish adaraki lamb chop, cooked to perfection in a tandoor oven and gone from your plate before you know it.
Oh Surjit’s, I dread to think what life in Sydney would have been like without your mouth-watering goodness gracing our plates and filling our stomachs for the past 32 years (I’m dead serious about that). Yes, in a world where a new artisan chicken coop opens up every week, it’s good to know there are still epic eateries going strong. The Indian Mughali style of food here is always satisfying; go for the adraki batair if you want to see them really show off.
Manjit’s @ The Wharf
King Street Wharf
The hardest thing about going to Manjit’s is figuring out what to gush about afterwards. Will it be the impeccably dressed staff, the unbelievable Balkan bug curry, the views, or the sheer surprise and magic of it all? Honestly, this is some of the most beautiful and creative plating of food you'll ever see. I won't spoil all of the fun, but think of stained glass designs and more food theatrics than you’d ever expect upon first glance. This is one of the most memorable meals we’ve had in the past year, so take our word for it and make sure to tell us how much you love it. Now.
Maya Da Dhaba
Can we just take a minute to appreciate Maya Da Dhaba and their epic cheap eats? Choosing a restaurant on Crown Street has never been easier (and you know there’s endless choice, right?) thanks to this group-dining friendly gem that never gets upset when you add a few more bums to their seats. Goat masala and the cheesiest of garlic naans are your best friends here, but there’s no way to go wrong. And yes, it’s BYO, so get stuck the fuck in, mate.
When modern Indian restaurant Indu opened its doors in late 2015, there was a whole lot of chin scratching about what to expect. Very, very good things, it seems. And we should have known considering it's by the great minds behind the delicious Mejico. Take note of the dosa bar on your way in, it’s going to play a big part in the enjoyment of your lunch or dinner. The lamb raan falls off the bone at your mere whisper, while the pan flashed clams and mussels are the perfect accompaniment. Of course, there’s frosty Kingfisher on tap, alongside an amazing piña colada that will make you forget every shitty one you had in your youth. You know what I mean.
Abhi’s Indian Restaurant
You’ll no doubt recognise Abhi’s Indian from its signature peacock logo. That, and the awesome food it plates up night after night. Or day, if that’s your thing. These guys spread the love of different regions of India throughout the menu, so you’re getting an epic display of the food under one trustworthy roof. Ain’t that grand? Go on weekends for the signature lamb biriyani, or rock up any night for the life-affirming kadhai paneer.
Crows Nest and Darlinghurst
Malabar is something of an institution around inner Sydney, with all of your favourite Indian delicacies served in silver serving bowls that you plan to share but end up hoarding before distracting your dining partner and eating theirs. But seriously, it’s famous for good reason, and many will make a journey just for a taste of their konkan prawn curry and malai kofta. BRB, getting take away.
The Spice Room
This is another modern Indian restaurant that has graced the fine-ass shores of Sydney. The Spice Room combines trendy street food style eats with a chic setting that makes spilling your food on your front much more embarrassing, but you won’t care because yum. Go for the tandoori whole snapper and be reminded why you dig this joint so much. If there’s an occasion coming up and you want to get all curried up, The Spice Room does an epic banquet that will impress all your connoisseur mates.
Oh. Maya. I bet you thought we forgot about you. How could we? What with your incredibly well priced vegetarian food that will please even the biggest carnivore, we frankly can’t get enough. For those that love to share, the vegetarian sizzling platter will light a fire in yo’ belly and rev those engines for the aloo takari that’s going to join it later. Don’t skimp on the pista kulfi with homemade pistachio ice cream for dessert.
If you need more convincing, here are some of the refreshing dishes from INDU.
Image credit: Michelle Jarni