Cuisine: Indian

Located at the side of a commercial high-rise, this contemporary Indian diner signals its intention to break with tradition with an airy space and menu divided into regional specials and classic curries. There are no entrees or mains and diners are encouraged to share and choose three dishes per person or order from a bewildering array of set-price menus (tasting menus $50–$85 for two or banquets $30–$50 per person). Goat curry $16 is well spiced while Goan pork vindaloo $15 comes with the desired balance of chilli and tang. A thali makes this venue’s mission statement on the plate. Forget utilitarian aluminium platters; here, the two curries with dhal, raita, rice, naan and pappadams $21 are presented on a silver tray with a border of matching bowls.

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Cuisine: Indian,Indian

Owner/chef Ajoy Joshi’s cooking can be sampled in the homes of numerous Sydneysiders who attend his cooking classes. But the real deal is inimitable, especially since the menu changes on the first Saturday of every month, with dishes from a different region of India each time. When we dined, it was cuisine from the north, so we started with tandoori achari khumb, tandoor-smoked fresh mushrooms in a garlic, chilli and coriander marinade $15. Kali murch ki murgi, tender chicken with flavours of pepper, yoghurt and coconut $26, followed. One constant on the menu is goat, but it’s always cooked in a different style depending on the menu’s regional focus. One bite of the northern-style goat $26 and you’ll be signing up for a cooking class.


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Cuisine: Indian,Indian,Cafe,Modern Australian

A crowded square at a train station entrance isn’t somewhere you’d expect to find upmarket dining, but this modern eatery, led by chef Damien Naughton, formerly of La Grillade and Pond, snubs the pigeons and frantic commuters and gets on with serving quality modern Australian fare with Mediterranean influences. At breakfast you’ll see office workers lining up for a kopi luwak coffee (made from undigested coffee beans taken out of civet droppings — look it up) and getting their fingers sticky with ricotta hotcakes and maple syrup $14. Lunch is for swanky meet-ups over a salad of pumpkin, chickpea and goat’s cheese $18 or salmon spaghettini with lime, chilli and parmesan $21 and a sneaky glass of vino (there are 45 boutique wines available). Dinner might involve a charcuterie board $14, a Greek lamb salad $29 or a prawn and chorizo pizza $18.


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Cuisine: Indian,Indian,Cafe,Modern Australian,Chinese

Slick black-and-white decor, pressed white tablecloths and mood lighting indicate this northern Chinese is aiming for the whole dining package. The food sees its aesthetic goals and raises them by one, or many, with quality, traditional dishes primarily from the two cities of Chengdu and Kunming in China’s Szechuan province. Start with the splendidly sweet lamb fillet pancakes $16.90 before graduating to the (hot!) Szechuan-style barramundi fillet $29.90 or diced chicken with a zingy special Peking sauce $19.90. Hunan-style three-chilli pork $23.90 (even hotter!) is mind-blowing. For some who like it less spicy, there are milder sauce options, such as Peking sweet bean and honey ginger. Efficient service and banquet options from $30 make it a must-visit. Tell ’em we sent you.


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