The Duke and Duchess of Sussex got a taste of ‘s native cuisine when they visited a social enterprise in Fitzroy on Thursday.
During their whirlwind tour of Melbourne, Harry and Meghan dropped into Charcoal Lane for a ‘touch, taste, smell’ hands-on tour of native ingredients.
They entered via the laneway where indigenous artist Robert Young discussed his mural depicting a Victorian Aboriginal Health Service van flying a banner which reads ‘Deadly Future’.
“Deadly has a different meaning for us,” the Gunnai and Waradgerie man told Harry and Meghan to the sound of royal laughter.
Inside the kitchen, head chef Greg Hampton explained the rules.
“You can taste anything you like,” he said. “Just ask me first.”
The menu included crispy fried saltbush, bunya nuts, sea blight, rosella flowers, cinnamon myrtle, lemon tea tree leaves and river mint, to name a few.
The chef crushed and gave them to Meghan and Harry to smell.
“It’s got a few different names, it’s called fruit salad herb, strawberry gum, forest berry herb … people get musk out of it, people get mango out of it, people get berries out of it, eucalyptus,” he said.
“They’re trying to describe something they’ve never smelled or tasted before”.
The restaurant served a lunch of an entree of mushroom and quinoa nest and chargrilled kangaroo and main courses of wild boar, saffron risotto and barramundi.
But the tour was about more than food and art. The royal couple met several of the young Indigenous trainees who are in the process of gaining certifications in hospitality.
In 10 years, Charcoal Lane has trained more than 250 young Indigenous people for the workforce with a 70 per cent completion rate, Mission CEO James Toomey said.