Sydney, New South Wales

Nilgiri's is proof that you should never judge a restaurant by its cover –the chili sign hanging outside its St Leonard's door does not warn diners that inside is a haven of dynamic, constantly evolving Indian cuisine. Buffet luncheons Wednesday to Friday are a big hit with the local corporate crown.

81-83 Christie Street
St Leonards
Tel: +61 2 9966 0636
Price Range:
$$$$ ~ $$$$
$$$$ = Mains under $20
$$$$ = Mains $20 - $30
$$$$ = Mains $30 - $40
$$$$ = Mains over $40
Licensed & BYO (wine only)
Putting up a modest facade to the unassuming pedestrians of Christie Street, from the outside Nilgiri's could be mistaken for a plain restaurant. It could even be mistaken for a place that doesn't serve some of Sydney's most awarded Indian food. But it is neither plain nor without accolades. Inside its humble doors, if you ignore the daytime eatery where you can grab a window seat, purchase a curry or one of the restaurant's cook books to take away. Ah…stop. Right there is the first hint that Nilgiri's is nothing to poke a papadum at. Owner/chef Ajoy Joshi has published two successful books. Anyone who gazes past the bookshelf will also spot the fully-equipped kitchen encircled by a moat-like bench and seats (intuitive minds will deduct this is where cooking classes take place). Those blessed with x-ray vision may also see through the back wall to a banquet room draped with Indian silks, statues of Ganesh and a canopy of fairy lights.

However the real cuisine magic happens upstairs. Diners who follow the stairway to the restaurant's first floor walk into a spacious room infused with warm colours, cheerful tables and the scents of Indian cooking. Cumin and turmeric have a home here among constantly evolving dishes. Nilgiri's menu travels to a different part of India every month and excavates the intense cuisines of each region, unearthing little-known secrets. Some dishes, like the masala dosai (rice lentil pancake), never leave while others can be recreated on demand. But my favourite part of Niligri's are the private rooms fashioned to represent the four elements (air, water, earth and fire). Each of these richly-cushioned rooms looks like the interior of a genie bottle – spectacular! Overall Nilgiri's proves you should never judge a restaurant by a chili sign that hangs outside its doors.
Agnes Gajewska
This restaurant has not scheduled any events.
Please contact the restaurant for further information.
Bar / Wine Bar
Cooking school
Function for 100-300
Function for 50-100
Private Dining Room
Something Different
Suitable for Families with children
Suitable for Functions
Suitable for Groups of 10
Suitable for Weddings
This restaurant does not have any awards.
81-83 Christie Street
St Leonards NSW 2065
Across the road from St Leonards train station.
There are no recommendations for this restaurant.
HAVE YOU DINED AT Nilgiri's?Write your review
Best Restaurants of Australia invites your comments on your dining experience.
You are welcome to share your views with our many readers under our conditions of use*.
(will be displayed on the site)
(will NOT be displayed on the site)
Currently there are no reviews for this restaurant.
Be the first to share your experience.
de Groots Best Restaurants of Australia © de Groots Media 1996 - 2016