Melbourne’s so-called ‘Mr Butter Chicken’ has been identified, after he drove 32km to pick up some curry from the CBD – and copped a $1,652 coronavirus restriction penalty in the process.
The Times of India reports the man in question is 48-year-old Noel Atkinson, who travelled from Werribee to Melbourne’s city centre on Friday in search of some late-night curry.
“I finally found one restaurant that was open but there was no home delivery to my place due to the distance,” Atkinson said.
“So I decided to go there.”
Atkinson was pulled over by Victoria Police “just metres” from his restaurant of choice, the paper reports, with the cops finding the construction worker in violation of the city’s Stage 3 lockdown protocols.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has urged Melburnians to only travel as far as necessary to pick up their daily essentials, and yes, take-away food, in an attempt to minimise the virus’ spread through the community.
But Atkinson said he’s gearing up to challenge the fine, saying the regulations could still be clearer.
“I don’t think the rules are clear on how far a person is allowed to travel for food or takeaway,” Atkinson said.
“I will ask police to waive off the fine or approach the local court.”
While Mr Butter Chicken has been found, we also have a bit more clarity on the CBD restaurant he attempted to visit.
After learning that Victoria Police had fined a fella for his journey, Kate Bartholomew, co-owner of Melbourne restaurant Tonka, said she believed Atkinson was pinged while driving to her eatery.
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Guys, help! We need to find Mr Butter Chicken…Anyone got a lead? And if so, how would we know he was the real deal? We want to deliver him a few curries to soften the blow. All we know is that he lives in Werribee, he got fined $1,652.00 and had called earlier to ask about delivery to Werribee which we couldn’t do until Wednesday. But how good is Butter Chicken?
But the Times of India reports Atkinson was actually heading to Desi Dhaba, whose owner, Amit Teteja, promised to provide Atkinson with free butter chicken for a year – once lockdown restrictions ease, that is.
“We at Desi Dhaba are in no way supporting or promoting that people should step out in these times and break rules,” the restaurant said on Instagram.
“We are only being compassionate for Noel and his love for our food as these are hard times for all and our empathy is towards all!”
While I’m sure Tonka and Desi Dhaba both have an absolutely ripper butter chicken, consider ordering closer to home: Melbourne is stacked with grouse Indian restaurants, and it’s entirely possible to score yourself a curry without violating lockdown protocols.Image: @desidhaba_melbourne / Instagram / Belchonock / Getty Images