Soho has long been a great destination for eating out. Come the summer everywhere seems to packed with queues of hungry diners waiting to get into popular spots. There is an evident international cuisine everywhere for all palettes and tastes.
Opened in late autumn 2014 was the South African street food inspired Bunny Chow. Following a re-jigging of the menu and a redesign of the venue Bunny Chow has been open for business on Wardour Street.
Design wise the refit seems to have worked well as space seems to be utilised nicely offering accommodating spaces for smallish groups, with nice spots for singletons or tete-a-tete dining. All making for a cosy, social unpretentious atmosphere.
Down to the main attraction and the ‘Bunnychows’. Essentially this consists of a bread of your choice hollowed out and filled with selected filling.
There are five to choose from, including a veggie option with cauliflower, chickpea, potato and spicy Durban sauce, but we opted for the ‘Durban Bunny’ of slow cooked mutton curry. Even though the place was quite busy our food was delivered quickly so a great fast food option for those where time is of the essence.
Cheap Eats In Soho
The Bunnychow concept originated in the early 1940s with the Indian community in Durban using beans and lentil fillings. The ‘Durban Curry’ began to become very popular with South Africans in the 1950s and who adapted it with meat fillings.
The topping of little poppadom like bits and raita and mango chutney, both which tasted very fresh, was a neat start to attacking the main event, the bunny. It was a little complexing at first glance on how to attack the bread roll and the meat but I suppose everyone has their own ways.
I started off like most diners by using the bread lid to scoop and top with some of the filling. The mutton was rich and tasty in flavour and unlike some other curry based dishes, not oily or fatty which it can be. I really enjoyed scooping the bread and filling together not wanting to leave anything on the plate.
Other people I noticed eat all their filling first then left the remaining bread and juices for last. At a fiver a pop the bunny seemed very good value considering the amount of meat and felt nice and filling and importantly without the post meal blow-out urge to ask for assistance to get out of your seat, so also not stodgy in an way.
Drinks wise there a number of refreshing and healthy fruit juices to choose from which can be turned into cocktail options with a suitable paired up alcohol.
The first one I tried was the ‘Green Mamba’ which consists of peppermint and Early Grey tea with lemon. It was a really surprising taste and not what I expected to be with a more citrusy flavour similar to orange juice.
The ‘Madiba’s’ with grapefruit juice, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries tasted very healthy, the grapefruit really coming through in what is an underrated fruit I reckon.
My favourite was definitely the ‘North Beach’ with coco cream, coco water, banana, lime and lemon which transported me to Curlies Shack in Goa (where I had the best fresh juices I have ever tasted) after a single sip and had me thinking I was on holiday in the sun rather than a February weekday winter school night in London.
Image Curlies Shack, Goa. Matthew Bradley via Flickr.
If you are nursing a cold or need a little winter warmer the ‘Invictus’ with ginger, lemon and honey packs a nice therapeutic punch. South African beers are also available such as Hunters Dry and Castle Milk Stout.
Overall, Bunnychow looks like a welcome addition to Soho to grab a quick, tasty and inexpensive bite to eat. Friendly staff to talk newbies through what’s on offer. Quick fast food service means you could spend longer in Mickey D’s or Subways for blander options at around the same price. The bunny portions coupled with the juices make for a filling yet surprising light street food experience in an unfussy environment.
Chowbunny , 74 Wardour Street, W1 0TE. Open daily. www.bunnychow.com
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