Yesterday’s visit to Wollongong’s Shiraz Persian Restaurant coincided with a weekend when the paranoid right was out “reclaiming Australia” in various places around the nation, sometimes with the support of the nuttier members of the Australian government, alas. It was just a coincidence, mind. Our friend Persian Danny had suggested the place last weekend. Chris T and I didn’t even know it existed.
But I very happily reclaim the Australia that respects the beliefs of all Australians and doesn’t freak out over urban myths about halal food. I ate the food. I did not turn into a Muslim. As someone with Australian ancestry going back almost 200 years, or likely even 40,000 years, I am proud to reclaim multicultural Australia through such excellent food. As others have said:
Simply the best Persian restaurant I have been to. My favourite dish is “chenjeh” 😀
The Persian food here is amazing!
Persian rice heaven with pomegranate, lovely food, lovely people
We were accompanied yesterday by a Korean colleague of Persian Danny, glimpsed here entering the restaurant:
I had a beautiful lamb shank dish, buried under fragrant rice.
We all had free soup, and two appetisers, one a spinach and yoghurt dip, the other an eggplant dip rather like baba ganoush but with mint and topped with walnuts. That we were hardly in a hotbed of Islamist extremists appeared from the tea set, a bit like this one:
That’s Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar.
Naser al-Din was the first modern Persian monarch to visit Europe in 1873 and then again in 1878 (when he saw a Royal Navy Fleet Review), and finally in 1889 and was reportedly amazed with the technology he saw. During his visit to the United Kingdom in 1873, Naser al-Din Shah was appointed by Queen Victoria a Knight of the Order of the Garter, the highest English order of chivalry. He was the first Persian monarch to be so honoured. His travel diary of his 1873 trip has been published in several languages as Persian, German, French, and Dutch.
And then there are the wall decorations, perhaps pointing to Alexander the Great:
Excellent food, great company – and praise be for Australia in all its 21st century diversity. A pox on all those who wish to disrupt our harmony.