Two Indian restaurants have made the cut as finalists in the Time Out Food & Drinks Awards Sydney 2022. Foreign Return based in Surry Hills is a finalist in the ‘Best Casual Dining Venue’ category while Indian Home Diner in Darlinghurst is a finalist in the ‘Best Cheap Eat’ category.
The Awards have 9 categories – Best Fine Dining Venue, Best Casual Dining Venue, Best Cheap Eat, Best Regional Restaurant, Best Cocktail Bar, Best Wine Bar, Best Casual Drinking Venue, Restaurant of the Year and Bar of the Year.
There are also four People’s Choice Awards – Favourite Restaurant, Favourite Bar, Favourite Café and Favourite Pub.
‘Foreign Return’ is the brainchild of Gaurang Gahoi (ex-Four Seasons Hotel), Javed Khan (Delhi O’Delhi) and Kunal Patel.
While describing its finalist ‘Foreign Return’, Time Out quotes,
“Foreign Return – named affectionately for expats who leave India and come back home – is nixing the idea that Indian food is all creamy sauces, soft breads, and two-note spice blends, and putting ‘lost’ recipes back onto leather-bound menus.”
“A meal at Foreign Return doesn’t have to be a three-course affair: come lunchtime, tiffin boxes are rolled out, stainless-steel tins twinkling in the midday sun. Follow in the tradition of urban city workers dating back to the 18th century and order a stacked lunch of eggplant, lamb or chicken to go. Just borrow a box and return when you’re done (or come back for a refill tomorrow)”.
Talking about the sole Indian restaurant to make the cut in the ‘Best Cheap Eat’ category, Time Out says that anyone who’s tried an Indian kebab from the Indian Home Diner knows that this Oxford Street late-night haunt is a very special place.
“Pick your naan (go on, live a little and get the cheese naan), then with metal tongs they’ll smash together pieces of grilled chicken tikka with either aloo chop (fried potato) or an onion bhaji. Finally, pick your curry sauce (butter chicken, vindaloo, Rogan Josh or korma) and watch them fold it up into one of the tastiest wraps you’ve ever had”.
Time Out says the following about O Tama Carey’s Lankan Filling Station which is also a finalist in the ‘Best Casual Dining Venue’ category,
“Like a really excellent capsule wardrobe, you can remix everything on the menu into countless combinations – there is no such thing as dining fatigue here. If your visit to Lankan Filling Station lands on a regular evening’s service, you will receive your white paper menu for selecting your curry, from the mildest coconut base to the power of a dry spice mix that’s been roasted almost to the point of burning”.
You choose your sambols, your hoppers (yes, you want the egg), and your drinks, which includes a whole bunch of local beers and fun, natural wines that disprove all naysayers who think spice and vino don’t mix.”
The awards will be announced on 14th October 2022.