Looking for a good curry but don’t want the same old Indian? Don’t Tell Aunty is loud and proud about being “unauthentic Indian” – Indian that is driven by creativity and fun rather than rule and tradition (that’s why we can’t tell Aunty!).
Greeted by bright, cheerful blue and pink walls and 70s retro Bollywood music, we’re transported from Surry Hills straight to the streets of Delhi. Before a dish lands on your table, you know this isn’t your average Indian diner. First off, there’s a buzz in the air that’s gravitating from the booze fridge. Diners are encouraged to get up and choose their drinks from the well stocked fridges and shelves in the corners of the restaurant. Standing around with other diners, chatting about which beer and wine to pick, and perusing the selection up close is a welcome change rather than picking from a menu. There’s a great selection of local and imported wines and beers to choose from, with staff close at hand if you have any questions.
Then there’s the food. Don’t Tell Aunty combines what we love best about Indian food – good curies, tandoori and naan bread – while bringing in fun, fresh dishes that use Indian cuisine as a base, before expanding them into a new and creative cuisine. Think Colonel Tso’s cauliflower; fried cauliflower in a sweet and spicy sauce, Uni Biryani; spicy fried rice topped with sea urchin or even a naan pizza.
For those with an appetite, the set menu is good value at $55 per person and gives you a little bit of everything to taste. Food is presented on no frills enamel crockery or metal lunch trays (laid back lunches, hello!) that ensures the food itself is the star. Try the papadum balls (pop them in your mouth in one bite!) tandoori chicken and grilled summer prawn for entrée. For mains, you can’t go past the butter chicken (always a winner!), beef short rib korma and “Aunty” Dahl with black lentils. Let’s not forget, scooping curries onto fresh papadums and fluffy garlic naan bread is one of life’s simple pleasures. Part of the set menu includes chef’s selections which may not appear on the menu, great for those adventurous diners who are looking to try something new.
Don’t Tell Aunty also offer a buffet style $10 set lunch, which is proving popular for those looking for a quick and casual lunchtime option in a restaurant setting.
Bollywood in our ears and curries in our bellies, we left Don’t Tell Aunty already chatting about which dishes we would try next time!
Don’t Tell Aunty
414 Bourke street, Surry Hills
02 9331 5399
Lunch from Tuesday to Friday Only: 11.30am to 2.00pm
Dinner from Tuesday to Saturday: 5pm to 10pm
Closed: Sunday and Monday