It has to be said, Bunnychow has a great name for conversation. No, you are not actually being fed fluffy bunnyrabbits: instead, legend states that it originates from the African fast food being sold from underneath the banyan tree. Bunnychow is the offspring of Indian migrant food: a loaf of bread, top sliced and hollowed out, filled with a curry and the top back on again. Now, the speciality of Durban has found its way to London.
Like many before them, Bunnychow started in a truck and has recently expanded to a more stable home. So I try my very first bunnychow, where else than at the Box Park in Shoreditch. The little loaves are custom made for bunnychow and there is a choice of fillings. There are six fillings, including a vegetarian option, Boston Beans, and even fish chowder. I opt for the signature Monkey Glands and my friend tries the newest addition to the menu: the Cumberland sausage.
Monkey Glands again, isn’t really monkey meat, instead my little loaf is filled with tasty meatballs in a flavoursome tomato based sauce with colourful peppers, crunching with freshness. This is yummy! The meatballs are well seasoned and the sauce has a sweetness but also a little kick. It’s gorgeously warming in this cold weather.
My friend’s choice is equally scrumptious, the sausage is sticking out like two little bunny ears from a rich gravy and (the best part) grated cheese. A very British twist on the bunnychow, with my only note that the sausage needs to be cut to be eaten and that is a little tricky. The loaves, the size of an extra large bread roll, are all around the £6-7 mark and beautifully presented in a folded box.
The question remains: how does one eat the loaf ? We are sitting at a table with hands free for cutlery but there are only a dozen or so places to sit in and outside at the original truck they must have had the same issue. There are different methods here: you can either tear the sides of the loaf as you eat the curry and dip it in the sauce, or finish the curry and by that time the sauce will have soaked into the bread and soften it enough for you to just bite as a sandwich.
It’s worth remembering when you find yourself queuing in either Shoreditch or at the still-operational truck (check the website for truck locations). The menu will soon be expanded with flat bunnies (in flat bread) and Bunnychow have an interesting social media campaign that involves a limited amount of red badges that you can get from the store. Rumour has it that the badge works like a newwave loyalty card with exclusive offers advertised on social media: ah, tasty and fun! So pop by, enjoy a Bunny chow, try to bag a badge and eat yourself happy and warm during these cold and wet winter days.
Unit 55, 2-4 Bethnal Green Road
Tel: 020 3697 7762