“Unapologetically Indian” is how Nick and Kirk Mathews Bowden describe the menu at their diner, Raja, in Potts Point. Behind the dishes is Ahana Dutt ex-Firedoor, and she’s not sticking to any specific Indian region. Instead she’s showcasing dishes from all over the country, as well as those from her childhood.

When Broadsheet visited, highlights were the spatchcock makhani (butter chicken) and ambot tik, a punchy Goan curry made with whole fish. For dessert, it was a spin on a Bangladeshi treat chanar jilipi (jalebi), reimagined as a ricotta doughnut with a pistachio sabayon (zabaglione) and finished with salt.

But the real scene-stealer was the buttery, garlicky mud crab served with green chutney and roti for mopping up excess sauce. (Wearing one of the restaurant’s very chic adult bibs is a necessity.)

To drink, PS40’s Michael Chiem has designed a list of cocktails combining Indian concepts with native Australian ingredients. The 150-strong wine list leans local, with 70 per cent from female producers.

Inspired by India’s “organised chaos”, the space is decked out in soft pink tiles and plush tiger-print cushions, plus more traditional elements like fireplaces and carved wooden doorframes. Artworks depicting the Jaipur royal family and others historic Hindi events line the walls; all were bought from a single stall near the Palace of the Winds in Jaipur.

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Updated: October 25th, 2023

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