10 of the Spiciest, Flavour-Packed Indian Restaurants In Sydney

Don't Tell Aunty Surry Hills Indian restaurant Sydney

For many Sydneysiders, Indian food is associated with takeaway. And while the city has some tasty options, it also has some great places scattered around town to sit down and dine. You can find classic Indian dishes, if you want them. Or modern takes on traditional.

From the colourful-décor spots, like Don’t Tell Aunty, Masala Theory and Pinky Ji, to the more demure, but still delicious, like Lavendra, Itihaas and Billu’s, this is our edit of 10 of the most flavour-packed and spicy Indian restaurants to try in Sydney right now.

Don’t Tell Aunty, Surry Hills

Don’t Tell Aunty on Bourke Street is easily one of Sydney’s most beautifully decorated Indian restaurants, with walls a mix of green tiling and pink exposed brick, complemented by blue velvet seating, green hanging lamps and pops of greenery. Street food dishes, tandoori specialties and cross-regional curries are on the menu.

Pinky Ji, CBD

For an immersive Indian restaurant experience, head to Pinky Ji on York Street in the CBD. By restauranteur Jessi Singh, the venue feels like a scene from an Indian wedding with flower garlands hanging from the ceiling, pink tablecloths and red neon lights. The menu has snacks, tandoor and curry, as well as a bargain $25 express lunch thali option.

Pinky Ji Sydney indian restaurant sydney
Image: Pinky Ji

Abhi’s Indian Restaurant, North Strathfield

Open since 1990, Abhi’s Indian Restaurant serves fine dining cuisine. In 2023, it was awarded One Hat by SMH’s Good Food Guide. The menu focuses on tandoori flavours from New Delhi, classic dishes from Chennai and seafood from Goa. Think masala dosa, Goa fish curry and goat curry, slow-cooked with garam masala.

Billu’s Indian Eatery, Harris Park

Located on Wigram Street in Harris Park, Billu’s Indian Eatery focuses on South Indian food, the likes of tandoori paneer tikka, lamb cutlets and aloo tikka chaat. You’ll also find dishes from other regions of the country, including goat masala, kadhai paneer and dal makhani. The kitchen prides itself on the fact its dishes are all free of preservatives, gelatin and gluten.

Delhi ‘O’ Delhi, Newtown

Operating for over 17 years, Delhi ‘O’ Delhi is a fine dining Indian restaurant on Erskenville Road in Newtown. Its menu features a modern interpretation of classic Indian dishes, and was inspired by what you’d find at the venues of luxury hotels in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. The house specialty is a succulent whole leg of lamb, infused with cinnamon oil and marinated with potli spices for 24 hours.

Masala Theory, Surry Hills and Bondi

Both of Masala Theory’s Bondi and Surry Hills locations are colourfully decorated, in line with their ethos of showcasing modern Indian culture. The restaurants are known for their curry bombs, which see crunchy domes encasing spiced fillings. The curry bombs come in chicken, vegetarian and vegan options, and are served with a curry.

best indian restaurants sydney
Image: Masala Theory

The Spice Room, CBD

You’ll find The Spice Room tucked in The Quay Building in Circular Quay, opposite Wharf 2. In addition to the restaurant’s lunch and dinner menu, it also has a banquet and pre-theatre menu, ideal for diners booked into a show at the Opera House. The extensive lunch and dinner menu has chicken, beef, lamb, seafood and vegetarian options, which can be scooped up with your choice of one of nine different naans.

Itihaas, Turramurra and Parramatta

Itihaas has locations on the Pacific Highway in Turramurra and on Church Street in Parramatta. Both spots are open for dinner seven days a week, while Parramatta is also open for lunch from Wednesdays to Sundays. The menu is heavy on vegetarian and vegan dishes, though also has chicken, lamb and seafood. For a taste of everything, order the banquet menu, which comes in your choice of vegetarian or non-veg.

Derrel’s, Camperdown

Derrel’s on Parramatta Road is an Anglo-Indian diner, serving until as late as 1am on Saturday and Sunday. Named after the owner Brendan King’s grandfather Derrel, who King grew up watching cook, the restaurant serves fun takes on classic Indian dishes, like raw kingfish on papadam, tandoori fried chicken burger and charcoaled tandoori chicken wings. Food is served on pink plastic divided plates.

Derrel's Camperdown indian restaurant sydney
Image: Derrel’s

Lavendra Indian, Lavender Bay

Lavendra is located harbour side in Lavender Bay. Its menu is seasonal and changes every three months, with most dishes the chef-owner’s own unique creations, based on traditional Indian dishes. For bites of the restaurant’s specialties, order the tasting menu, which can be accompanied with matching wines.

Related: Tastemakers: Raja’s Ahana Dutt on Where to Find Sydney’s Best Food

Related: Raja’s Ahana Dutt on What’s Ahead For Sydney’s Indian Dining Scene

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