Freelance writer, food blogger and Etsy store owner.
Published January 24th 2011
As I mentioned in my dumplings article, one of the best things about Sydney is the multicultural food. Included in the vast array of international cuisines available is one of my personal favourites, Indian.
The types of Indian food are often region-specific and this is reflected in the different Indian restaurants across Sydney. Often you will come across a restaurant offering "Southern Indian Cuisine". The food they serve is different to a restaurant offering, well, northern Indian cuisine.
Whatever the region, all Indian food is good. Here are my top 5 recommendations.
I don't think too many people will disagree with me when I say that the best Indian in Sydney can be found at Nilgiris. Located in St Leonards, Nilgiris is Indian's answer to fine dining. The menu rotates on a monthly basis and offers very unique speciality dishes. There are also a few regular menu items including a dish you absolutely must try - mini masala dosai. If you don't feel like eating something you've never heard of, request an Indian classic. They're not on the menu but the chefs will happily make them for you. Nilgiris is not like other Indian restaurants and accordingly you should expect to pay more than you normally would.
Another Indian restaurant that is definitely worth trying is the Road to Goa in St Ives. Road to Goa, as the name suggests, serves not only classic Indian dishes but also Goan specialties. You should definitely try the lentil dumplings, and the malai kofta is worth writing home about. Like Nilgiris, the Road to Goa will probably end up costing you a little bit more than you'd normally expect to pay for Indian.
Other Indian restaurants worthy of honourable mention are the Curry House of Thornleigh (you cannot go wrong with anything fresh out of their tandoor), Sibis of Lindfield (Southern Indian cooked to order) and Ashiana of Manly (an Indian restaurant with cosy ambience and possibly the best butter chicken in Sydney). Curry House and Ashiana both have sister restaurants, in Wahroonga and Avalon respectively.
When it comes to Nilgiris, I could not agree with you more. They have a dish called Paneer Butter Masala which is made of cottage cheese and it's a cracker!
Crows nest has many really good Indian joints. Strongly recommend Raavi's Cumin and Bundu Khan. It's aunthentic, tasty and worth every penny too.
By Priyanka - senior writer Monday, 24th of January @ 05:22 am
It's clear you live in the North, which is probably why you've missed out all the best Indian restaurants in Sydney.
1. Jananai (Homebush and Newtown) offer some of the tastiest AND authentic Indian and Sri Lankan food there is. Try the Bonda, uttapam and Roti Kottu.
2. Maya Vegetarian (Surry Hills)
Great Southern and Northern vegetarian food - Excellent Dosai, Thali and Indian sweets.
3. Faheems (Enmore)
The best tandoor food in Sydney along with authentic Pakistani and Northern Indian food, like the amazing Haleem
You can even get a good quality dosai in the City in the food court under Galeries Victoria.
There are many more that didn't make it on the list which is why I was kind of disappointed by your article.
By heymr0 - reader Monday, 24th of January @ 06:16 am
could not read most of this page due to it being covered in adds. Any other way i can get to see it?.
By gdayj - reader Monday, 24th of January @ 07:10 am
gdayj -- Can you tell us what computer system you are using (mac, pc etc) and what browser? That will help us fix the problem.
By Jon Jones - general editor Monday, 24th of January @ 09:53 pm
Can I strongly suggest you venture out west to Paramatta, Harris Park and Westmead? Those are all lovely places but as heymr0 says you may want to move out of your home patch.
By graem - reader Friday, 28th of January @ 12:44 am
There's an ongoing debate between myself and my friends about this same thing. I'm going to say that the best Indian restaurant is actually in Circular Quay. Mind you, my bestie says somewhere in Parramatta lies the Pandora's box of Indian. Hmm...
By Maia's Notes - senior reviewer Monday, 28th of February @ 09:12 pm
Yep, I have to agree with you about Nilgiris. I love the fact that the menu is always changing, so every time I've been there I've tried something completely different. I donít think Iíve ever left unhappy Ė the food is always fresh, interesting and often surprising. Probably almost time for us to pay Nilgiris another visit!
By Tim Falk - senior reviewer Monday, 23rd of May @ 04:39 am
I work in the Parramatta, Harris Park, Westmead area. Do you know the names of the best Indian restaurants?
By ecook0 - reader Sunday, 7th of August @ 03:04 am
Will definitely try nilgiris. @ecook0: 'Billus' is a very famous Indian restaurant in Harris park.
By RM - senior reviewer Friday, 30th of September @ 01:47 am
Sorry but you are all missing one of the best Indian restaurants in Sydney, Thousand Spices in Homebush would have to be THE best. It is a small unassuming restaurant and you would probably walk right past it but din't be put off by the lack of decor the food is second to none. Splitting the bill is an experience so make sure you are not in a hurry to leave.This is one not to miss.
By Anonymous Friday, 10th of August @ 01:32 am
Sorry,you are all missing one of the best Indian restaurant in sydney ,Malabar in crows nest
By Sherl - reader Friday, 25th of October @ 11:51 pm
Not far from Nilgiris is the Rangoon Colonial Club which in my opinion rivals it.
7/70 Alexander St, Crows Nest
By woody - reader Thursday, 19th of December @ 11:55 pm
Only North Shore restaurants make the cut? You are missing out.
From Homebush to Wentworthville there are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of South Asian restaurants catering mostly to people from the sub continent, which is the best indicator of their authenticity. The amount of competition also means that if the food is not consistently good they won't survive. Those that have are certainly pretty good if not "best".
By graha - reader Tuesday, 27th of March @ 01:46 am
'Urban Tadka', off Mona Vale Road Terrey Hills. Voted the best Indian restaurant on many occasions. Great food and service.
By Gloria - reader Wednesday, 17th of April @ 07:48 pm