Sydney chef denies skewering customer

A Sydney chef has denied stabbing a customer with a meat skewer, telling a court the man had shoved him as he worked beside a hot oven.

Mati Rahman, 43, is accused of piercing the hand of Jamil Hossain, 43, with a long steel skewer at his wife's Lakemba restaurant on March 31.

He has pleaded not guilty to reckless wounding.

Rahman told Burwood Local Court today he never stabbed Mr Hossain, and was himself set upon as he prepared curries near a 200-degree tandoori oven.

A group of men had become agitated after having to wait for their meals, Rahman said.

He repeatedly told them to be patient, but Mr Hossain and another man approached him as he worked alone in the kitchen.

Mr Hossain then shoved him, Rahman told the court.

He said a frightened young waitress cowered behind a fridge.

When the men were eventually escorted out, they threw chairs and a mop at the restaurant's front windows, Rahman said.

"The (waitress) said `don't go outside, they want a fight'," he said.

When pressed by prosector Wayne Law on why he hadn't mentioned being pushed when he called police, Rahman said he was flustered after the confrontation.

The trial before Magistrate Margaret Quinn continues.

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