International Chef & Restaurateur, Jessi Singh, Opens Don’t Tell Aunty
Tuesday 23 October 2018
Don’t Tell Aunty, Jessi Singh’s newest restaurant venture, officially opens in Surry Hills today, serving up his infamous “unauthentic Indian” cuisine. Located in the space previously occupied by 4Fourteen, Don’t Tell Aunty offers a range of dining options amidst the familiar fun and casual atmosphere that Singh’s venues are known for.
Singh’s new restaurant, in partnership with Amar Singh, owner of Horn Please, Babu Ji and Dhaba at the Mill in Melbourne, has been playfully inspired by the home of a traditional Indian aunty - a place where you can show up unannounced and always be welcome, where the walls are brightly painted, where mismatched gold, silver and copperware are aplenty and you can gossip and laugh over a meal and a cup of chai. However, according to Singh, at Don’t Tell Aunty, the tables are set a little differently. “There’s no ghee or oil in the curry, there’s whiskey in the chai and the men do the cooking.” The restaurant centres around innovative food and wine driven by creativity and thought, not rule and tradition.
The regularly changing, rule-breaking menu spans all regions of India with inspiration from Australia and America. The menu features vibrant street foods, cross-regional curries and tandoori specialties and includes a collection of Singh’s signature dishes, including Colonel Tso’s Cauliflower, an Indo-Chinese style deep fried cauliflower cooked in tomato and chilli sauce, and Papadi Chaat, otherwise known as the Nachos of the Motherland.
The wine list, designed by international winemaker and sommelier, Rajat Parr, features approachable wines from across the globe. A self-serve beer fridge is stocked with small production, local and imported beers that guests can help themselves to throughout the meal while the gin and mezcal cocktail menu heros colourful juice-based drinks, including the signature Don’t Tell Aunty, a beetroot and mezcal cocktail rimmed with black lava salt.
The 85-seat venue, designed by Singh and his team, has a kitsch and playful atmosphere, with a projector playing old classic Bollywood movies and a soundtrack of 70s retro Bollywood music. The space has been fitted with blue velvet banquettes, brightly painted pink and blue walls, gold and copper accents and a 12-seater bar.
“Don’t Tell Aunty is a good time place where you can laugh loudly and be taken care of like one of the family”, says Singh. “It’s filled with just as much love as our aunty’s home, but with our own unique spin.”
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday. The $10 buffet lunch features a canteen-style offering of curries and street food while dinner includes the full a la carte menu or a reasonably priced $55 tasting menu.
Don’t Tell Aunty:
Address: 414 Bourke St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Phone: (02) 9331 5399
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