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Don't Tell Aunty

Rule-breaking curries, retro Bollywood films flickering on the walls and a self-serve beer fridge in the old 4Fourteen site.
By Libby Curran and Gary Brun
May 01, 2023
By Libby Curran and Gary Brun
May 01, 2023

Surry Hills' creatively charged culinary hot-spot, the 'unauthentic Indian' restaurant Don't Tell Aunty, is one of the highlights of the Sydney Indian restaurant scene. Inspired by the welcoming homes of traditional (yet, slightly eclectic) Indian aunties — complete with blue velvet banquettes and bright pink walls — the food here does not stick to the rules. Instead, innovation is the hero, as the team sticks to its signature envelope-pushing approach.

An oft-changing menu trips all across India, with touches of Aussie and American influence peppered throughout. Street eats might include the likes of Colonel Tso's Indo-Chinese-style cauliflower with tomato and chilli; the 'Yoghurt Kebab', featuring a spiced yoghurt croquette in a vibrant beetroot ginger sauce; and the nachos-like papadi chaat. The tandoor is turning out dishes like charred salmon with spice and curry leaves, and there's a slew of crafty curries, including the short rib korma and a coconut cashew gravy. Head in for lunch, and you can snag a super affordable canteen-style selection of curries and street food.

Meanwhile, Rajat Parr — an international winemaker and sommelier — has worked his magic on the drinks offering. Watch retro Bollywood films flicker on the walls, while tucking into drops from the self-serve beer fridge, approachable wines from around the world, and lively cocktails like the namesake Don't Tell Aunty — a concoction of mezcal and beetroot rimmed with black lava salt.

There's even a bottomless brunch option available on weekends, serving up a tasting menu with unlimited wines and beers (bottomless margaritas cost an extra $20 per person). Head to Don't Tell Aunty for something different, but altogether fun and delicious.

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