Malabar Rocks The Cross


If you really want authentic Indian most chefs will tell you to get in a car and head west to Harris Park where the staff meal isn’t so different to what’s served front of house. So why is it that while street food from the rest of the world is begging for our attention the Indian equivalent is mysteriously hard to find?

The Coco Cola sign at The Cross is rarely a landmark we will ask you to follow to discover culinary excellence. After 25 years of culinary research leading kitchens across India’s best restaurants and exclusive hotels, Chef Mohammed Sali has relocated neighbourhood favourite Malabar to a new hot spot just skips from the razzle dazzle nightlife icon.

Designers, Matrix Digital dramatise walls with black and white murals and oversized photos of a lost subcontinental world whilst white table cloths and fine china bring a touch of royal maharaja dining.

It’s the food which creates headlines, delivering elegance with a balance of spices and a delicate hand with tandoori. It’s wellbeing through nature and respect. The mighty south Indian dosa has a whole page dedicated to its rice and lentil curves. Two perfectly stuffed specimens compete for attention as the Banglore podi hand-mashed potato is narrowly trumped by Kozhi paneer chicken bursting with black pepper and fennel aromatics. Mains of Chicken Makhani, Prawn Konkan in a creamy turmeric coconut sauce along with house made cottage cheese blended with slow cooked spinach and onions creates a superior Palak Paneer. Simply add a delicious cheese and spinach naan and you can see why there isn’t a spare seat in the house on a Monday night!


With BYO (yay!) and a thoughtful wine list touring from Tasmania’s awarded 42 Degrees South to Bollinger and over to Argentinian Malbec, there’s no papadam left uncovered but plenty of worthy discoveries to enjoy.

274 Victoria Street,(Cnr Victoria + Craigend St), Darlinghurst 2010

Lunch Wed – Sun 12-2.30pm, Dinner Mon – Sun 5.30 until late 

About the author

Karen’s corporate job back in the UK had included entertaining clients in some of the best restaurants. This ultimately sparked a curiosity 'Just how do they do that?' (she confesses she was brought up on meat and vegetables, so this was all very exciting). Currently a Mr & Mrs Smith 'Tastemaker', she’s flashpacked around the world, learning about wine, experiencing different cultures and cuisines and had a two- year love affair with it all. Originally from England, she finally settled in Australia and continues to be besotted by food, wine and travel preferring to focus on the luxury end of town (thread count does matter).


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