A cult favorite Sydney diner has been “saved” after Woollahra Council reversed course and decided late-night Indian kebabs were in the public interest after all, agreeing to let the restaurant trade until 3am on weekends.
The Indian Home Diner on Oxford Street, Paddington, has become a Sydney institution with a loyal following among eastern suburbs partygoers en route home from the city. The “#5” garlic cheese is the go-to favorite for mopping up booze.
The shop had been dishing out carby, butter-chicken filled naan rolls until the early hours for years, apparently in breach of its development consent. Following a complaint, the council cracked down earlier this year, enforcing a midnight closure.
Later, the council rejected the diner’s first application to extend its trading hours to 3am on Friday and Saturday nights, citing possible noise concerns and declaring it was “not in the public interest” for the diner to open until 3am.
Such was the restaurant’s cultural cachet that a popular community Instagram page, Bondi Lines, took up the fight, and was soon joined by the then candidates for the federal seat of Wentworth, Dave Sharma and Allegra Spender. Spender, now the MP, called the diner a “national treasure.”
The restaurant requested a formal review and at a meeting on Tuesday night, Woollahra Council relented and approved the diner to trade until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights. Planning officers said the proposal was in the public interest and would not have any adverse social impacts.
Liberal councillor Sean Carmichael, who in May tabled a petition with more than 4000 signatures supporting the diner, said it was a magnificent result and “a well-loved slice of Oxford Street has, for a change, been saved”.
But he said the case was a lightning rod for “widespread public anger” about the decline of Oxford Street and Sydney nightlife due to excessive regulation.