If you’re familiar with “unauthentic Indian” chef Jessi Singh, you’ll know he’s all about having fun with his restaurants. Pinky-Ji is Singh’s second in Sydney (a follow-up to colourful Surry Hills diner Don’t Tell Aunty), but it feels very much like a sibling to Daughter in Law, a casual restaurant and bar concept Singh has opened in Melbourne, Adelaide and Byron Bay. But like all of the above, Pinky-Ji is built for good times.
The menu plays with classic Indian dishes and flavours. Start with snacks such as croquettes filled with crab curry served with a charred sweetcorn puree; pilau and paneer spring rolls; and “balls of happiness” (gol gappa), spheres of fried flatbread that bring together creamy, sweet, sour and spicy flavours. A menu dedicated to wok cooking features mud crab and Wagyu. For weekday lunches there are thali (platters), and on weekends you can roll in for a yum cha-style brunch. The tandoor is on heavy rotation, and naturally, there are a vibrant array of curries on offer.
Beyond its food, Pinky Ji is built for fun: a jukebox blasts retro tunes and Bollywood classics, there’s a self-serve fridge packed with craft beers and Kingfisher, and a long bar down the back of the room is pouring classic cocktails like Pina Coladas and Daiquiris.
The furniture is upholstered in scarlet velvet and the room flooded with red-neon lighting; a private dining room will have a karaoke machine blasting hits from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s; and guests can serve themselves craft beers from the fridge.
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