DURBAN’S SUPER SEVEN BUNNIES
REVIEWS: ROBZ MILLAR
A few years ago, we headed out to find the top Bunny spots in Durban and started a conversation that has gone on for quite some time. Some agreed – others didn’t and plenty of people suggested some alternatives to the restaurants that we featured.
So, we have decided to update our take on the inimitable bunny – and to simplify our reviews. This time round, we focused on central Durban (and, yes, we will go north and south so watch this space) and honed in on the mutton bunny so we were comparing like for like to level those playing fields.
We’ve also narrowed it down to the super seven this time around.
To be honest, there was very little in it when it came to the top three which suggests that you don’t really have to go far and wide to find a good bunny in the city that birthed this wonderful street food.
The criteria used to evaluate our bunnies were the tenderness of the meat and the flavour and consistency of the gravy. We didn’t, for one-minute, comment on the décor or the location – most of the top bunny spots are a little rough around the edges.
We also stuck to take out bunnies and, because of this, the plated meals were transported home in various containers and didn’t look ultra-glam by the time they were plated.
But that wasn’t what this was all about. Bunnies are about practical gastronomy that is best enjoyed with your fingers.
53-55 Helen Joseph Road, Glenwood, Durban
For us, this is still number 1!
Since the last time I visited Cane Cutters, they have now reopened their inside sitting area for sit down service. There was an amazing atmosphere around the dine-in area. Parking is roadside but it is fairly easy to find a spot. It took just eight minutes for them to hand us three bunny chows and I was blown away by how quick their service was.
My quarter mutton bunny cost R75 which is about standard and, in my opinion, very reasonable.
After having rated them number one in my last review, my mom (who has never eaten a bunny chow her whole life) also ordered one for herself and my Dad. Both of them were absolutely blown away by the service and taste of the bunny chow.
My overall view is that Cane Cutters still offers the best bunny chow in Durban. Service is quick and the price is reasonable. They put so much meat in which is extremely tender with very few bones, the perfect amount of gravy and extremely fresh and tasty bread to accompany the curry.
My score: 9/10 for Cane Cutters
GATE OF INDIA
Shop 8, Gillitts Shopping Centre, 1 Clifton Road, Gillitts, Durban
So, Gate of India was my wild card – but wow, did they pull through!
Gate of India offers sit down and take away options. The restaurant was quite empty but, after tasting their bunny chow, I can’t understand why. My mutton bunny cost R99 but was much closer to the size of a ½ bunny than a ¼
It took 10 minutes for them to deliver one of the most amazing bunny chows I have ever tasted. They do offer a choice between mild, medium and hot. Since I was sharing with my husband who isn’t a spice lover like me, I chose to go with medium. The bunny was to die for, tender meat, very few bones and a hint of sweetness to the gravy that left you wanting more.
My score: 8.5/10
GOUNDEN’S RESTAURANT AND TAKEAWAY
520 Umbilo Road and Deodar Ave, Glenwood, Durban
Yet again, since the last time I visited, Gounden’s has opened its inside seating area.
To be honest, this spot is never going to win a beauty contest but the very fact that it seems to be busy from dawn to dusk suggests that the food does all the talking. Even on a return visit at 10am, there were plenty of guys in overalls queuing for their bunnies – so this is the real deal.
On my first visit this time round, what really blew me away was how quick they delivered! There were so many people ordering food, yet it only took them five
minutes to bring me my bunny chow. My one ¼ mutton bunny cost R80.
The bunny tasted amazing. the meat was tender with not too many bones. There was plenty of meat and extremely tasty gravy.
My score: 8/10
HOLLYWOOD BETS BUNNY BAR
Springfield Retail Centre, 2 llala Ave, Umgeni Business Park, Durban
Compared to the last time I visited Hollywood Bets, I was blown away by their bunny chow.
The wait time was by far the longest, but in the end, it was definitely worth it! It took them 22 minutes to bring me my ¼ mutton bunny that cost R75, but I was amazed by the taste. They had so much meat with very few bones and the gravy was to die for!
They have two venues right opposite each other and you can get sit down or take away from both. I was slightly disappointed the last time I visited, but they definitely redeemed themselves this time around.
The signature purple bunny bar quickly puts a smile on your face and parking is safe and easy to come by.
My score: 7.5/10
PINCH OF SPICE
136 Jan Hofmeyer Road, Westville, Durban
This was a spur of the moment visit because Jalapeno Cove across the road wasn’t ready to serve up a lunchtime bunny. Apparently, the mutton curry was still cooking!
Parking is easy and the shop is clean and comfortable with the usual sit down and take away options.
Pinch of Spice specializes in North Indian cuisine and is strictly Halaal. Unlike many bunny spots, you have a choice of having your mutton bunny with the bones in or without. At R100 for the mutton curry with bones and R135 for the version without, this was by far the most expensive. The bunny itself was tasty with the meat tender and falling off the bone. The gravy was thick, plentiful and delicious.
Service was quick and friendly. My only criticism is that the curry was very mild and unlikely to appeal to those looking for a bit of bite… but then again, this is a truly suburban bunny.
My score 7/10
137 Jan Hofmeyer Road, Westville, Durban
Jalapeno Cove is more pub than curry den but nevertheless a great place to go and grab a bunny chow if you are in the Westville area. Quick service and a nice portion of food make it all worthwhile.
By far the cheapest, it took them nine minutes to deliver my mutton bunny that cost R65.
There is very little roadside parking but a great atmosphere around Jalapeno Cove with both sit down and take away options available.
The meat was of good quality and the gravy was delicious. The extremely fresh bread that came with was probably the highlight of the bunny chow.
Sadly, a return visit for a lunchtime bunny was stillborn as they were not ready to serve up.
My score: 7/10
875 Main Road, Moseley, Pinetown
I have had many people tell me that if want the best bunny in KZN, I must go to Curry O’s in Pinetown, so I finally decided to go and see what all the hype was about. Unfortunately, I left quite disappointed.
There were a few open tables outside, but it seems like they are mainly takeaway.
The service I received was great, considering how busy they were. I ordered three bunny chows and received them in 12 minutes at R80 for a ¼ bunny, which is still very reasonable.
The gravy was absolutely delicious but, unfortunately, all three bunnies consisted of mainly bones. What meat there was, was extremely tough and hard to eat. I completely understand that all restaurants have bad days but … so, if I based my review just on Curry O’s gravy, I wiould definitely be going back to give them another try.