Asian Fusion Indian

Don’t Tell Aunty – Surry Hills NSW Restaurant Review

Revenge meal (noun): the action of having a meal without someone in return for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands.

Several months ago a member of our merry band of colleagues was left out of the invite list to a work gathering at Don’t Tell Aunty, one of the inner-city’s foremost “Modern Indian” restaurants. In retaliation for this unceremonious snubbing we put the restaurant on the hit list for a future visit – it’s just unfortunate that the next time we found ourselves in Surry Hills that same friend was packing his bags, ready to board a flight to visit his partner interstate. I guess he’ll never know. (Unless he reads this post)

Parking in Surry Hills on a Thursday night was quite easy, with plenty of 2-hour free street parking around. We entered the restaurant at opening to the tunes of the Tokyo Drift song, a harbinger of the modern, Western musical theme that would persist throughout the night.

Aunty’s Balls of Happiness ($12) are tangy and creamy shots of chutney encased within puffs made of semolina. They came strongly recommended by BC via an esteemed professor of intensive care medicine, though were not so well received around the table. Though the puffs themselves were light and inoffensive, the chutney shot filling was, in my opinion, too strong tasting. The balance of filling to pastry was absolutely not achieved, and within our band of four diners we each had one, except for BC who had to have three.

The Papadi Chaat ($18), billed as “the motherland’s version of nachos and salsa”, was truly only okay. It featured a too-flavourful salsa over some flour-pastry chips. The flavour was, in my opinion, again too strong – erring on the tangy side, almost more of the same as the balls of happiness but different. I wouldn’t get this again.

The cheese naan ($8) was my personal highlight of the meal. Unlike most cheese naans, Aunty’s cheese naan is made with blue cheese, with a sprinkling of oregano. This blue cheese flavour – not too strong to be overpowering, but just there enough to taste – was a flavour that I had never experienced before in naan, and very enjoyable. Don’t go without trying this.

The basket of naan ($12) was a basket of three different types of triagular naan, cut in the middle. The garlic chive naan (left) was good, though my girlfriend missed out. The onion sesame naan (right) was also good, as was the plain naan (not pictured). Each of these three naans were quite oily, especially the plain naan, and quite thin compared to the spectrum of naans that I’ve had in the past. I guess you can’t go wrong with bread and oil.

The Unauthentic Butter Chicken ($30), was really just fine. There was nothing special about this butter chicken, except for the price, which I thought was quite extreme for such a small serving. You can compare the serving size with this normal sized spoon. It’s quite ridiculous.

The Short Rib Korma ($30) was also just fine. Unlike Korean BBQ, this short rib was indistinguishable from any other red meat – it wasn’t served on the rib, nor was there any rib-like display. The size of this serving was again minute for the price, and neither of these curries were any better than what you’d get at your local Indian restaurant in Western Sydney for half the price.

Mango Lassi ($6) was good.

Don’t Tell Aunty is in a difficult spot to like. The only real standout of meal was the blue cheese naan, which is not something you can really get elsewhere. The curries were extremely expensive for their serving size, and had no special elements at all to justify their pricing. As a Wentworthville resident with the entirety of Western Sydney’s South Asian offerings at my doorstep I would have extreme difficulty in recommending Don’t Tell Aunty to anyone.

Don’t Tell Aunty
414 Bourke St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9331 5399

Diners JW, PX, WKS, BC

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