You only need to look around at the other diners to order with confidence at Aki’s. As one of the only fine dining Indian restaurants in Sydney, Aki’s has the monopoly and is thus frequented by small groups of well-heeled Indian businessmen and British expatriates. The restaurant sits proudly at the helm of the Woolloomooloo wharf, often referred to as Golden Mile, a prosperous waterfront nook packed with yachts, elite restaurants and even Hollywood stars like Russell Crowe, who lives upstairs in the penthouse apartments. With attentive native waitstaff and a refined atmosphere, chef Kumar Mahadevan has elevated Indian cuisine with flair, serving up rich, spicy dishes from his native Chennai to Goan seafood dishes like black tiger prawn curry. The tandoor oven gets a good work out – dishes like Achari Tikka, roasted chicken thigh fillets marinated in a sweet coat of yoghurt, ginger, fenugreek and lime are ordered steadily. Slightly messy but no less satisfying are the nacho-like Palak Patta chaat spinach leaves fried in crispy lentil batter – use them to scoop up a sweet mixture of chickpeas and potatoes doused in yoghurt, date, tamarind, chilli and mint. Wash it all down with a Kingfisher beer or cardapiriñha, a cardamon-infused vodka cocktail with muddled limes, vanilla sugar and fresh mint.