Choice is not always such a good thing. Sometimes, it might mean that you take things for granted. Like Indian food. Consider the Indian takeaways dotted around town. Now put those right out of your mind, because Aki's Indian is something else entirely.
Situated on Woolloomooloo's Finger Wharf and alongside some of the best restaurants in town, Aki's is truly a delight to visit. If the weather is fine, sit outside and enjoy the scenery. If you're in the mood, ask your waiter to recommend a cocktail. You might as well, because it'll take a while to work your through the menus.
I started off with an aptly named Lycheelicious ($16), an understated muddled mix of fresh lychees, mint, Absolute Citron and lychee liqueur. If you'd prefer a man's drink, try the Glenfiddich Cooler ($16), with 12 year old Glenfiddich, apple juice and mint leaves. A good range of beers are also available including the Indian Kingfisher ($8). The options are refreshing for a reason and are a good counter to the intoxicating flavours of the food.
While servings are generous, make sure you don't miss out on the entrées. The best of the batch is the Palak Patta Chaat ($14): spinach leaves in lentil batter on a bed of potatoes and chickpeas, topped with three sauces (yoghurt, date and tamarind, and chili and mint). Also exceptional is the Masala Dosa ($14), a rolled pancake filled with spiced potato, onion and mustard seeds, served with lentil sambar and onion chutney.
The standout amongst the mains is the Madras Prawn Vendakai ($36), made famous by Masterchef. A traditional South Indian dish, it features jumbo prawns and okra in a coconut-based sauce. There's also the hard-to-go-past Beef Vindaloo ($29), alongside good veg options like the Mirchi Bhagara Baingan ($21), with baby eggplant and banana chilies in a peanut, sesame and brown coconut sauce. On top of naan ($3), roti ($4) and pappadums ($3), your waiter can also recommend accompaniments ($4) for each dish - or take all three ($10) and experiment.
Like me, I'd imagine you'll find it difficult to leave. Sit back and relax in the gentle breeze as you return to the cocktail menu. It's worth making the most of that view.