I normally meander around in these reviews talking about style, ambience, pricing etc. But Bunnychow is just so god damn delicious that it feels wrong to talk about anything other than the food first…or possibly, at all. No matter how I describe the food, it’s going to sound like an elaborate subway – you pick a bread, then a filling, but it is so much more. What you get is a bowl made out of bread (technically called a “little loaf” except there isn’t anything small about it) stuffed (and I mean stuffed with, filled to capacity), possibly oozing sauce, with one of five bunnies; the chakalaka, the veggie, the piri piri, the Durban or the full English. Now, I know nothing about South African street food, but if this is it then I’ll take it…and again…and again…oh look, I’m on my fourth.
I always talk about portion sizes and there’s a reason for that. My mum has a friend called Tracy who eats out a lot and her first port of call when reporting back is, “Do you like a big dinner? [Pause for effect] Go there then.” Do you like a big dinner? Go. To. Bunnychow. I ordered the chakalaka (mainly because the name is fun to say) and honestly I don’t know what I was expecting. It says ‘Spicy chicken and tomato, raita, mango chutney’ on the menu and yeah, whilst I do know that’s a shrug the shoulders description, you guess that maybe it will taste nice. No, I was wrong. The second I saw it there was no “maybe” involved in whether it would taste nice. It was phenomenal. Over the top was a crushed poppadum, covering a barely contained curry that was pouring over the side – all held in a white “little loaf.”
Well, needless to say, when my boyfriend attempted to try some, I stabbed him with the fork. I did eventually concede, so that I could try his (he ordered the full English). Now I did prefer mine, but the bacon was like something sent from above. It was so salty and had a kick of sweetness. I almost went back and ordered another one, but I found it difficult to move off my stool once I’d finished mine. So, back to the chakalaka. Ignore what the menu says: “and tomato, raita, mango chutney” makes it sound like there’s only a small amount. Oh no. It was smothered – so creamy and sweet and spicy and tangy, all at once. It was the best five pounds I’ve ever made my boyfriend spend.
I probably should mention the sides. At only a pound, they are all great, and come on, a choice between medium fries at McDonalds or sweet and spicy fragrant rice? I know which one I’d pick. And I chose correctly. The rice is perfectly light, and despite the worry that, as chakalaka is chicken stuffed in bread, maybe another carb wouldn’t work, have no fear; it works perfectly. Even better, a couple of minutes after finishing, staring longingly and wishing there was more, you don’t feel heavy. Full, yes, undoubtedly. But not heavy. I saw this couple on a date whilst I was there and they left the bread. Rookie skinny person error. Monumental, huge even. You can finish this and not have a food baby.
A brief word then, finally, about the very lovely staff. I know it’s a new place and they are supposed to smile, but they were all really very pleasant. And it was nice to not to be made to feel like an idiot when I didn’t know what I was ordering.