For the past 2 years of me seeking residency in Johannesburg, I have been on the hunt for the best bunny chows the city can produce. As a group of 4 friends, we made it a bi-monthly event whereby we would set our sites on a venue and try it. To my surprise, it has been a delicious and rewarding journey that has seen us try 8(actually more) restaurants in the Johannesburg region.
Before we get into my top 5 list, here are a few non-negotiable dependencies we took into account prior to qualifying the list.
- It had to be a Durban Curry…despite my love for North Indian Cuisine, only Durban style curries would suffice
- Price points…paying R180 for a bunny chow hardly seems brag worthy.
- Heat and Flavour…the last thing you want is a curry so spicey you cannot feel your tongue
- Meat to bone ratio…if I wanted mainly bones well hey I would order me some of them ribs
- Consistency…If it’s delicious once, it HAS to be the same the next time
So let’s get down to it
At Number 5, is a convenient favourite of mines. Be it the Malibongwe or Bellair branches, I have had fairly good experiences at both. Their quarter lamb bunny is R50.00 with a side of salad and for the most part is quite tasty especially for those days when you are so lazy to cook and you may be passing that neck of the woods. The disappointment for me is the lack of consistency as I felt that no two meals were the same which is a shame seeing as though the potential is there. For the most part though, It is good enough and makes it onto the list as a contender.
4. Chilli Express
For those of you who are blissfully unaware of Weltevreden Park, now is the time to venture in. Chilli Express is a small takeaway joint that I discovered during my daily commutes to and from work. Specialising in all things spicy and delicious as the name would suggest, I was pleasantly surprised to find out just how tasty their Lamb Bunnies were. At only R60.00 a pop (inclusive of a can drink) there was not much I could fault them on. Well, perhaps my only sad experience thus far has been, them running out of stock (which in essence is a testament to just how great their food is). I do tend to find most of their dishes are too spicy though so if that doesn’t suit your palette then perhaps ask for a milder option.
Situated in Randburg, Lugz for me has been that one bit of consistency that I find myself constantly drawn to. If a guaranteed Durban curry is what you after, then Lugz is your place. Their quarter Lamb bunnies are priced at R60.00 and ooze flavour for days. That ratio of gravy to meat and bread is something I cannot do justice by words but perhaps something you should get off the couch and try.
Where do I begin on this one…Purple Lounge is one of those ”don’t judge a book by its cover” kind of places that I have to admit has left a pretty good first impression. It’s not every day you come across the perfect combination of great service and great quality food under one roof. Piping hot and fresh curries served on a bed of warm and soft bread with a generous portion of salad AND additional gravy is what bunny chow dreams are made of….and we found it here. The thing that sold me on it though had to have been the personalised level of quick service. Not too spicy and generous fleshy meat portions make for a delicious bunny chow that is a MUST try!
*Que the drum roll* – Sitting as my number one bunny chow favourite is a little Indian restaurant nestled in the heart of Ferndale. Unless you have heard of Dali or came across it, it can be easily missed seeing as though it does not cave to bold advertising efforts the way 1860 and Danny’s do. Instead, Dali embraces the passion of what true and authentic Durban curries are meant to be. To my surprise, their lamb bunny chows have been nothing short of delicious. Never before have I finished an entire quarter with such ease. And the best part? Surface oil was non-existent. Definitely, a must try for whether you are in the area or not. PS: they really own it for being one of the best bunnies around.
Just remember that this is just my top 5 list. There are other worthy contenders out there that we have not tried and that you never know, could make it onto the list in future so watch this space 🙂