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Heard the song Waltzing Matilda?

It’s the unofficial national anthem of Australia, a bush-song really, that tells the tale of a vagabond/bushie who travels with his life’s belongings wrapped in a small bundle slung over his shoulder that he calls Matilda, which keeps him company through his long, arduous and lonely travels through the harsh wilderness of Australia’s Outback. Have a listen here, it’s sure to pull at your heart-strings, just a little bit…

So why am I suddenly talking about Waltzing Matilda? Well, aside from my soft corner for all things Australian (and a very soft corner for all things Hugh Jackman!), I really do ‘feel’ this song. And I really dig Australian lamb. Which there has been an unfair bit of in the last couple of days…

That’s b’cos Delhi and Mumbai have been waltzing to Aussie tunes what with 450 very important, very energetic and very well-dressed Australian delegates landing on our shores to identify, strengthen and deepen relationships with India, as part of the Australia Business Week in India. In human speak, it means that, apart from big plans being cemented in trade, investment, education and tourism, Australia’s famous produce like lamb, cheese and wine are going to be easily available right here in our cities. In foodie speak, just think ‘Yummo’! 🙂

A toast to India and Australia at the cooking demo by Chef Adam D'Sylva with Hon. AO MP and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb and Parliamentary Secretary Richard Colbeck

A toast to India and Australia at the cooking demo by Chef Adam D’Sylva with Hon. AO MP and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb and Parliamentary Secretary Richard Colbeck

And ‘Yummo’ is what Chef Adam D’Sylva (celebrated chef of the hot restaurants Tonka and Coda in Melbourne) gave us, as he kick-started the Mumbai leg with a fun cooking demo at Godrej Nature’s Basket, Bandra. With Australia’s AO MP and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb doing a pretty neat job at slicing Zucchini, and Parliamentary Secretary Richard Colbeck tossing Spaghetti like a pro, Chef Adam cooked up a delicious pasta, a winter salad and a pile of Chimichurri Lamb Chops, while bringing the house down with his anecdotes and quips. He even let us into a little chef’s secret – the best way to cook lamb chops is with a can of beer in your hand, he declared, and promptly popped open cans of chilled Foster’s beers for the apron-clad trio! No wonder they had the jostling, laughing crowd literally eating out of their hands!

The tender and succulent Aussie Lamb Chops, ready in minutes...

The tender and succulent Aussie Lamb Chops, ready in minutes…

Speaking of lamb chops, there was more than 300 kilos of the premium stuff flown down from Australia for the networking Gala Dinner later that evening that showcased Restaurant Australia in grand style. Chef Adam lived up to his promise of fusion Indian flavours with a ‘Punjabi Masala’ for the lamb chops that had Aussies and Indians queuing up for their fifth, sixth and (as in my good friends Suprio Bose and  Craig Wedge, AND even Teddy’s case) 20th helpings 😉

The Sofitel lawns, under a mildly chilly and starry Mumbai night, transformed into an exclusive hub of intense conversations, hearty exchanges and warm handshakes amidst some beautiful music by a pretty Australian trio. And Sofitel Executive Chef Indrajeet Saha personally ensured that our plates were always piled high from the lavish spread of salads, cheeses, charcuterie, pasta, desserts and the irresistible Aussie lamb chops, straight from the BBQ.

Chef Adam D'Sylva of Tonka and Coda from my very own heart city, Melbourne

Chef Adam D’Sylva of Tonka and Coda from my very own heart city, Melbourne

Teddy and I almost waltzed all the way back home, high on the Aussie promise. What with the ICC World Cup 2015 in Australia round the corner, and a possible Aussie holiday later this year, there’s no stopping us from ‘throwing another steak on the barbie’! 🙂

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