CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
Located in the centre of the Old City District dining precinct, Betoota’s most famous curry joint GET IT INDIA has a lot to brag about.
As 13 time winners of the Western Queensland South Asian Eatery Awards, including Best Regional Bhef, Best Korma and Best Naan Bread Price-To-Portion Ratio, this much loved local restaurant is an ornament to the town’s hospitality sector.
In his 40 years of serving the finest Northern Indian food to local families and hungover travelling salesmen, GET IT INDIA’s longtime owner-operator Sanju Chahal says the industry accolades are appreciated but the loyalty of his customers is the real reward.
“There are people that have been coming to this restaurant since the first week we opened. A lot of celebrities too” says Sanjal, as he gestures to the polaroid pictures and printed off iPhone photographs that make up the Wall Of Fame behind his front counter.
The list of high-profile customers ranges from mid-2000s Australian idol runner-ups, retired Commonwealth Games athletes, talkback radio hosts, TV hospital drama actors, and disgraced National party politicians.
However, there is one celebrity that trumps of all them. So famous that he doesn’t even make the wall, and instead gets his own framed photograph next to the cash register. Proudly posing with his arm around a much younger Sanjal.
It’s 1980s Queensland State Cricketer, Wayne ‘Weezer’ McCurdy.
A legend of the Domestic One Day era, Weezer was a Queensland state representative from 1983–1986 and scored nearly 11,000 runs in Betoota grade cricket for the Betoota Dugongs.
Sanjal says he probably dines here once a month, often with the entire family which includes his wife Lorraine, daughters Sheree and Mikeighla, and sons Kane, Kade and Kale.
“His sons played cricket too” says Sanjal.
“But now they all work in the resources sector. Kane is a site manager at Betoota Nickel, Kade works in drilling for Queensland Gas and Kale is a diesel fitter in Mount Isa”
It’s this family-friendly atmosphere that makes GET IT INDIA the go-to restaurant for birthdays and special occasions, especially for high-profile customers who want to be treated with the anonymity and humanity they deserve – but that’s not to say that VIPs won’t get special treatment.
And it doesn’t get much more VIP than the McCurdy family.
The fact that every single Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister since Bob Hawke have also dined in his restaurant is hardly worth bringing up. Because Weezer and Sanjal are on a SMS booking basis.