Ipswich businessman Rajesh Sharma will open his Indian Mehfil restaurant for free meals on Christmas Day.
Ipswich businessman Rajesh Sharma will open his Indian Mehfil restaurant for free meals on Christmas Day. Rob Williams

Ipswich restaurant's Christmas gift to those less fortunate

IN A tradition that has become synonymous with Christmas in Ipswich, an Ipswich restaurant will open on December 25 to feed people less fortunate.

Ipswich businessman Rajesh Sharma will open his Indian Mehfil restaurant for free meals on Christmas Day.

In the past few years Mr Sharma and his family have opened their restaurant in the heart of Ipswich Central at Christmas.

The Sharmas provide a hearty meal to ensure people are not alone on this important family day.

Mr Sharma will again open for lunch on Christmas Day from noon until 2pm.

"We remember our loved ones the most when festivals happen - whether that be Christmas, Diwali or Eid,” Mr Sharma said.

"When we celebrated Christmas in the past we would close the restaurant and invite staff and their families to our home where my wife, Priyanka, and I would cook.

In previous years Mr Sharma and his family have prepared more than 300 meals on December 25 where people can dine-in or take away at Indian Mehfil, with no questions asked.

"Our staff is our family, and the Ipswich community is our extended family,” Mr Sharma said.

"We thought we would do something for our extended family because what we are today is because of their support. This is the least we can do.”

Mr Sharma said many people in the Ipswich community were doing it tough at this time of the year.

"We must show people compassion - that's when we bring out the best in ourselves - when we can give back to others,” he said.

"If we can help some people feel less alone on Christmas Day and provide them with a nutritious meal then that really is what Christmas is all about and we're happy to play a minor role in that.”

Indian Mehfil, located at 116 Brisbane St Ipswich, will open at noon on Christmas Day and stay open until 2pm.

For more information phone 32818683.