Anthony Albanese’s night out at Harris Park

When the PM took in a Friday night curry meal

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His predecessor may have preferred his Saturday night curry selfies, but Prime Minister Anthony Albanese appears to like his curry a tad more authentic, and surrounded by a few dozen friends and family.

Yes it was a desi style dinner for Mr Albanese last Friday night, as he ventured out to Harris Park with MPs Michelle Rowland and Andrew Charlton and their partners. The people on the street who joined them became bin bulaye mehmaan (uninvited guests, or bystanders), but in true desi and Aussie fashion, everyone had a good time.

Anthony Albanese: I thought the chaat looked like a primary school kid’s art project gone wrong, but what an amazing burst of flavours once I put a spoonful in my mouth (Source: Supplied)

Lots of selfies were taken – by the bin bulaye mehmaan, who put them on social media as soon as possible, only to be asked – PM ki security nahin dikhai de rahi (Where’s your PM’s security detail)?

Andrew Charlton: Only my 32nd visit here at Chatkazz… (Source: Supplied)

The PM’s visits at Chatkazz and Jaipur Sweets came at another prime minster’s recommendations (who hadn’t himself visited, to be precise, but why let that little detail ruin this story).

Anthony Albanese: No, no, not spicy at all… but, um, I can’t feel my tongue at this moment (Source: Supplied)

“When next you visit Harris Park, take my friend Anthony with you,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said to 20,000 listeners in Sydney only weeks ago. (Or words to that effect – why let a little detail…!)

Mr Modi, MP Andrew Charlton (as an Indophile?) listened to you and did your bidding, much to the delight of everyone at Little India.

What are these made of? Chickpeas? Loving these chickpea squiggles from Jaipur. (Source: Supplied)

“There’s been a different energy after the Modi visit,” Gurmeet Tuli, President of Little India Australia told Indian Link. “We got to know at lunch time that PM Albanese would be visiting, although we did know for days that a visit was in the works. We were thrilled to see him. He and his party were treated to some food tasting at keypoints Chatkazz and Jaipur Sweets, after which they proceeded to Ginger Indian Restaurant where MP Michelle Rowland welcomed them.”

Thank god for that Jalebi, the taste buds are coming back to life and we can finally smile (Source: Supplied)

For the restaurateurs themselves, to come to the attention of not one but two Prime Ministers in the space of a single month, must be thrilling.

Yeah I know, Mr Modi’s saying the exact same things in the US as he did here! (Source: Supplied)

“I think it’s a miracle,” Narinder Singh of Jaipur Sweets told Indian Link. “I wasn’t at the Modi event, and when people told me he had mentioned us, I thought it was a joke. Until I saw the video clips the next morning! Now so soon after that, to welcome PM Albanese, is really God’s – and people’s – recognition of my service to humanity. It gives me even more energy to continue my weekly langar, at which 1100 people have now started coming. In my brief chat with Mr Albanese, I told him about it – and he acknowledged it immediately as part of the Sikh spirit.”

What about the jalebis, though?

“The PM did like them but his partner Jodie Haydon I think liked them more, from her response!”

In his chats with Tuli, the PM suggested possible food tours of Harris Park – which Tuli is now very keen to pursue.

Now this is the iconic Harris Park photo, Anthony.
Love that Modi jacket you’ve got on, Andrew. Remind me to ask Barry to bring me one. (Source: Supplied)

It makes one wonder, given the recent good vibes in bilateral relations, whether the metropolises of Mumbai or Delhi would return the favour – and dedicate a small section of their own cities as ‘Little Australia‘. And perhaps not one but two Prime Ministers could pay a joint visit…

Read more: Little India plaque: Looking for a home

Rajni Anand Luthra
Rajni Anand Luthra
Rajni is the Editor of Indian Link.

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