A Tauranga restaurant which has generously offered the community a Christmas feast in the past is cooking up goodwill again this year.
Indian restaurant Castle 91, located on Cameron Rd, is hosting its annual Christmas lunch to give back to the community this Sunday, December 10.
“This will be our fourth year,” says Castle 91 manager Mike Dhillion.
Can’t afford it
Mike says some people cannot afford to go out and do shopping for Christmas presents and everything – however they still want to have something for Christmas.
“Some solo mums can’t afford any presents – this is just a little treat for them who can’t affords it. Everyone wants to celebrate Christmas, but some people can’t do it.”
The lunch will be held at Castle 91 restaurant, at 1339 Cameron Rd, Greerton, from noon-2pm.
“Last time we had about 40 people turn up,” says Mike. “The first time we had only 10-15 – so the numbers are increasing. We can feed up to 80-90 people. We’ve got a big restaurant.”
This year Mike says they will serve two or three dishes like butter chicken, veggie korma, rice, naan breads. “We have one vegetarian, one vegan option, and gluten-free options. We are very excited about it.”
Mike recalls his favorite memory from a past gathering.
“We had a customer who was homeless and jobless during Covid. He broke down because he was financially not well and mentally not well. He came to have this lunch and a couple of times we did one free lunch during Covid. We gave away two meals a day every day for anyone who wanted it.
Mike says the man ended up going back to his job, and after a few months came back to Castle 91 well dressed and happy.
“He came to me like: ‘Hey bro, I came to you during the lunch when I couldn’t afford it, I’m coming to you because you sold me a free lunch at the time. Now I have a job and I’m doing very well, so I’m buying dinner just to say thanks to you for that lunch’,” says Mike.
“We want everyone to tell their mates, their families and who they think need it. We want many people,” says Mike. “The little things can change the life of someone.”
To get in touch with Castle 91 about the community lunch, phone 07 571 8891 or email: email@example.com