How To Find The Perfect Bunny

We’ve been posting a lot of guides lately, 2 to be exact, but this may be the most important guide we ever publish. DJ Fuego Heat has come up with a document that every Durbanite should live by. It is with great privilege and pleasure that we present to you, the DIY Guide To Finding The Perfect Bunny

 

The bunny chow: feared by some, adored by many. Regardless of your views on the cuisine, the entwinement of Durban and bunny chow cannot be denied. All classes of Durbanites, ranging from high powered businessmen to the lowly street sweeper, can be seen gorging on this indigenous delight at many of the cities outlets on a daily basis. Foreign travellers have heard of its mystical beauty and often snap up the first bunny that hops their way but for residents, discernment is the order of the day. Just about every curry den claims to have mastered this signature Durban delight but not all are made equal. To help you navigate your way through the sea of bean or mutton (depending on your choice of poison) I have come up with a helpful guide to discovering your own personal bunny nirvana.

the seedier the venue the higher the standard of bunny.

Introduction: If you have lived in this city for more than a couple of days and do not know what a bunny chow is then I pity you. For those unfortunate souls that fall into this category, simply put, it is a section of bread (either a ¼, ½ or full loaf) hollowed out and filled to the brim with a curry of your choice. The section of bread that has been removed is then placed on top of the curry. It is often served with a ‘salad’ consisting of grated carrot and onion with chopper chilli and may also include green pepper. Consider yourself educated.

 

The Establishment: Choosing the right establishment is essential to finding the right bunny. Despite its widespread consumption, bunnies are largely considered as peasant food. This means the ideal place to begin looking for a good curry house is industrial zones and other such areas associated with minimum wage jobs. Places like Umbilo make a great starting point for any prospective bunny crusade. Names are important. Any combination of the words ‘curry’, ‘house’, ‘den’ and a name of Indian origin (eg. Vishal’s Curry Den) displayed on a coke sponsored sign is a good indication of bunny excellence. Generally ‘takeaways’ should be avoided. Take note of the clientele. If Indian people (is that PC?) don’t frequent a venue then neither should you. A rule of thumb that I have found in my years of experience is that the seedier the venue the higher the standard of bunny. However, be warned that at the lower end of the cleanliness scale, ordering meat is highly discouraged. For the bunny novice, it’s best to go with recommendations from experienced connoisseurs before you venture out on your own quest.

 

Ordering: Ordering is simple. All you need to do is request the size and the filling. For example, “1/4 sugar beans” will convey to the cashier that you require a bunny that is a 1/4 loaf of bread filled with sugar beans curry. As a precautionary warning, unless you are well versed in the art of curry consumption, never ask for the curry to be super spicy (with the exceptions of being dared to by a friend or else trying to impress a prospective girlfriend). Also, asking for a knife and fork is taboo and may result in darting glares from patrons and owners alike. Use your hands, white boy! Requesting condiments such as tomato sauce is also a big ‘no no’ and may lead to expulsion from the venue, blacklisting from all reputable curry houses and hatred in general. Some believe this to be an offence that should be punishable by death. Ordering an appropriate beverage (Coke, Crème Soda, Iron Brew, Stoney or any beer) is highly encouraged.

Fuego Heat doing what he does second best. Photo: Gareth Bartgate

 

Judging: This process is multifaceted and more complicated than first meets the eye:

 

a) Taste – Obviously this is the big one. If your taste buds aren’t happy then you’re not happy. Just remember that places may specialise in different curries. A bad veg curry doesn’t necessarily translate to a bad boneless mutton. This is also a time to determine whether the curry fits your spice profile.

 

b) Freshness of the bread – While curry gets better with time, the same cannot be said about the bread. No matter how good your curry tastes, if you serve it to me in something staler than Chuck Norris jokes, there’s not a hope in hell that I’ll be back.

 

c) The bum – The bum is vitally important to any pleasurable bunny experience. This is the end piece of bread that allows the bunny to retain all its saucy goodness.  To achieve this, reputable curry houses use only the end pieces of the loaf. Bunnies made with the middle pieces result in a soggy mess rather than satisfied bliss.

 

d) Price – We are living in hard times and price as a parameter for excellence should not be scoffed at. With the recent advent of more bourgeois curry houses, being overcharged for a bunny has become a real and present danger. As I am more inclined towards the veg based curries, I can tell you that between R20-R30 is a good price for a ¼ bean bunny. Anything more than that and they’re having a laugh.

 

e) Digestibility – A bunny can have all the right boxes ticked but then leads to a day spent on the toilet seat. Having curry pass through you like water through a sieve is no fun at all. However, for some members of the bunny loving community, this is butt a small price to pay.

 

f) Consistency – When conducting scientific research, repeatability is paramount and the same applies to bunny sampling. To reward an establishment with the title of awesome, follow-up visits are needed to determine whether a previous favourable experience was due to chance or the standard. This applies to the fulfilment of all above-mentioned variables. Remember, a curry den should not be judged by a solitary visit.

 

So it is with this knowledge that I wish you luck on your quest for your perfect bunny. Remember that the bunny community is a family. Tell your tales of disappointment and ecstasy to fellow lovers of the chow and through shared experiences we can all find our own little piece of bunny heaven.

 

 

*The magnificent bunny at the top of the page is courtesy of Hollywood and was shot by Russell Grant

Comments
31 Responses to “How To Find The Perfect Bunny”
  1. Brenda Fassie says:

    Loving DIY at the moment, such a kiff post guys!

  2. Amy says:

    Brilliantly written! Makes me miss my city.

  3. 25th Hour says:

    BOSS!

  4. Es'kia Mphahlele says:

    I love good wholesome food, I grew up on it. I am loving this post just as much as I am loving good wholesome food.

  5. Daniel says:

    Awesome guide. Big fan of the site, gush gush etc!

    There is one place which defies the inverse relationship of seedy curry joint and quality of bunny – Unity Bar next to Cafe ’99. R29 for a kind of 1/3 bunny, possibly the best bunny I’ve had. And hell, you get to stroke the carpet that is stuck underneath the tables. Win!

  6. currymuncher says:

    The Polar Stop just down passed the robots by Johnny’s in Sparks Road. Has the Coca-Cola sign and all laanie

  7. luke says:

    the palace has always had a decent price, quality, quantity and location vibe to it. added factor is the indian mafioso elements.

  8. luke says:

    seriously though, recommend more places to check out. polar stop sounds good.

  9. Bob says:

    I personally hit Hollywood for chicken and then Govenders in Umbilo for Mutton, although Govenders can be a bit inconsistent. Goundens is obviously great, but it’s often too busy so I go to Govenders instead.

  10. Will says:

    Frig, Fuego, you just made me homesick! Btw, why aren’t your hands blurry in your DJ photo? I want to see ACTION.

    The food in Thailand is amazing, but nothing touches a bunny.

    I stick to beans bunnies, so my recommendations are limited to them:
    Durban Curry House on Stamford Hill Rd (R12 bunny, Coke in a glass bottle – it doesn’t get better than that)
    Chili Pot at The Lion Match Factory
    Obviously, The Britannia
    … I’ll try think of more, but those are my favourites, with the Chili Pot being the most satisfying.

  11. keags says:

    If you are in Toti (yeah right), Angel Rose is a winner. 18 bucks for a quarter beans and coke, tasty as.

  12. Russell says:

    Currently frothing for a bunny

  13. Bob says:

    Bro, I feel you. Hitting up Govenders after work.

  14. LegitBunnyCritic says:

    Govender’s sucks.

  15. DJ Fuego Heat says:

    I agree with Bob. Govender’s is good but lacks the consistency. No point in going there with Gounden’s just around the corner.

  16. Bob says:

    Govenders is cheaper… Just got a mutton now and it’s so damn good.

  17. DJ Fuego Heat says:

    Fuck bunnies I actually hate them I just did this for the money

  18. Ozzie says:

    The last Britannia I ate still hurts! It was so spicy, I even remember the date – Thursday 20 November 2009.

    I won’t mention names, but half of Lowprofile eat the cheapest sugar beans bunnies at the roughest establishments, and half eat the mild, overpriced boneless chicken at House of Curries ha ha!

  19. Jays!n says:

    if you ever in the gateway region and spent all your petrol money on getting up there, thers a rad little veggie spot on the main boulevard that sells a decent 1/4 bunny for only 6bucks!!!!

  20. Steve says:

    Jonnies. Half bean for 6 bucks. Yeah, it’s where all the douchebags go, but they get faggity ass chip and cheese cos they’re not man enough for a half loaf of bean bliss yo. And the two days of solid nose-hair burning farts that follow a half bean.

  21. Nick says:

    Watch what you say about chip triple cheese, bro. You’re stepping on thin ice.

  22. Amy says:

    This is awesome, love!

  23. jared says:

    Ryan knows how to eat a bunny.

  24. LoFo says:

    House of Curries. Perfect for a cutlery based tasty Chicken bunny – i thought it was great value, loads of boneless white meat. Brittania was hard work, first to park and then to seat ourselves – but once the staff at Capsicum noticed us, service improved, and as per previous quote, i got punished by an uncle from the table next door for using cutlery… yikes!.. way to go authentic – tasted like home cooking – awesome, more sauce than substance. Going to try Chilli Pot today actually. Keep up the good work on the blog DIY FTW.

  25. 1/4 mutton says:

    While I can’t comment on the chicken or bean bunnies from some of these places, i can comment on the quarter muttons. Having eaten at over 70 different bunny places over the last couple of years (some of them 4 or 5 times) I feel myself and my friends know a good bunny when we taste one.

    Unity – Silverton road: That is not a bunny Daniel. Stale flaking bread and a flavour of nothing but chillis is not a good thing. There is no way there is an indian aunty at the back making those curries, probably just a normal chef who could make a great steak and he’s trying his hand at curry. You were clearly too focused on the size of the bunny (which was massive), the cool carpet under your feet and maybe the ice cold beer you were enjoying, cause the bunny was sad and I think it’s +- 50th on our list of over 70 places.

    Hollywood was a great bunny (mutton). Big, lovely flavour and the meat was soft and juicy. For R31 (at the time) that was well worth it! Been there 3 times.

    Govenders was not bad, everything was decent but nothing stood out as being great. Haven’t been back since the first time. As you said, not much point going there with Goundens just round the corner.

    Goundens is a f’ing fantastic bunny and is in the top 3 in our list of champion bunnies! Amazing flavour, excellent Heat and the bread SO soft and fresh that the curry burst it’s way through the side of the bread the last time we had! Been there 10 times easy.

    Will check out Polar Stop soon. Been to Johnny’s (the stalest piece of sh*t with the most digusting meat we’ve ever eaten!) and Food City around the corner (which was not bad, everything was fresh and above average), but didn’t notice Polar stop. Will check it out…

    Durban curry house – stamford hill was nothing special. Just a plain old bunny, certainly nothing to write home about. I don;t remember the flavour being that great either but i suppose that’s personal preference. Heat – average, size – average, everything average. Think the price was about R35 though. Too much for that bunny.

    Brittania is so inconsistent it’s ridiculous. Besides, they are more well known for their chops chutney than their bunnies. Had from there 5 times, twice Really good. Twice average and once really [email protected] The biggest thing with that place is that you Must sit there. The take-away bunnies we’ve had have been rubbish whereas the 2 we sat down for where great. Yes I know there’s always a differencce between sit-down bunnies and take-aways, the former is always that little bit better, but these ones are world’s apart, almost like they’re from different places. Sit down = very nice. Takeaway = you may end up with nothing but bones… twice.

    House of curries (florida road) was rubbish. A pity because we’d been there in 2011 a couple of times and was quite good. They were even up in our top 20 for a while. But went back in Feb this year and it was a completely different bunny. Chewy meat, day old bread and no flavour. Would go there for a beer with the guys and maybe a roti or something, but won’t ask for a quarter mutton again.

    Need to go try Chilli pot, didn’t know about it. Will go have a 1/4 there soon.

    Not gonna give out our top 10, but here are a couple really good places I think you guys need to check out:

    Cafe India – Sarnia @ the BP service station.
    Food da Licious – Field street in town.
    Happy Chappy – behind Spar, across from the old ice rink.

    The below places I would Never suggest going for a bunny (unless I didn’t like you):

    Buds on the bay – off Bayhead road near the dry docks.
    Johnny’s sparks road – what a piece of ….
    Curry leaf @ Ushaka

    The above was our experiences at these places and you could’ve got something better or worse when you went, but I stand by what I’ve said and so do the other 4 guys who go in search with me every week, for Durbans best bunny.

    Looking to put together a book or something, just need to get everything together and find someone who’s keen to assist. Should be hitting that magical mark of 100 Different bunny places soon! Now that my friends, is legendary…

    Keep up the good work and always remember to ‘savour the flavour’

    Sincerely yours
    *1/4 mutton king*

  26. Darryl says:

    What about Wilsons Warf, a taste of India, I think they are pretty stunning. As you mentioned, Brittania serves the good stuff inside and sends the crap out for take-aways, never see me there again.

  27. joburg bunny lover says:

    I know that joeys isn’t known for its bunnies but hey man there’s a place called Curry and All in Sandton. It compares very favourably with the best I’ve had in Durbs (Goundens in Umbilo). Its at the garage on the corner of Katherine and Grayston

  28. Quarterbunny says:

    Popped in at Happy Chappy yesterday for a ¼ Mutton and ¼ Beef (and an interview with the flippen Wall Street Journal!) – still as epic as always!
    Quite agree with the comments made here and, ¼ Mutton Man, would love to meet you for a bunny one day… did you ever hit the Chili Pot? – could klap one there if you haven’t…

  29. adhir says:

    hi guys

    did any1 try the sasol guarage (old excell guarage) in mt edgecombe / phoenix. its awsome and i would rate it higher than Goundens.. its an awsome bunny even the cornish is awsome

  30. rajsingh says:

    Hollywood the worst.less salt,over boiled mutton .rubbish.don’t go there.orientals is great

  31. Desigan says:

    Floogys Indian Takeaway at Value Center (opposite Makro in Springfield) have the best tasting bunnies, curries and biryani by far..
    their prices are really good too – not like the ridiculous prices from the bigger known names out there.
    Definitely Durbans best kept secret!

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