Never one to miss a good pun, Bunnychow’s sign ‘Born & Bread in Africa’ brought an immediate smile to my face. Literally surrounded by restaurants in every side, it has had to carve out a strong identity in this competitive environment.
Bunnychow’s USP is their bread bowl, which they hollow out and fill with an assortment of South African inspired fillings (chakalaka chicken, pulled pork, bobotie meatballs, the veggie) before finishing with a choice of salad tops. They’ve been perfecting these recipes for 3 years and the intention has been to make each filling distinctive and pack a punch.
They also serve dessert and breakfast dishes in the bread bowls
The reason for the Better Breads launch was to give their breads as much of a spotlight as the fillings. The compact bread bowls are made in bespoke bread tins and baked to exacting standards by their own baker. The new bread bowl menu comprises green tea matcha yoga bunny, protein gym bunny, charcoal brioche happy bunny and gluten-free smart bunny.
I went with my server’s recommendation of the protein bunny, filled it with bobotie meatballs and topped with fennel slaw. South African cuisine has a lot of Asian influences from their trade with the Dutch East Indies and bobotie is a Cape Malay dish of minced meat cooked with cloves, nutmeg and pepper. At Bunnychow, the bobotie meatballs are served with tomatoes, chilli, onions, coriander and raisins and topped with their own monkey gland BBQ sauce. Don’t worry – no monkeys were hurt in the making of this sauce; It’s a colloquial term for ‘mum’s home-cooked’.
I also got a side of slow-cooked pork ribs in the monkey gland BBQ sauce. I was very pleased to see a nice line-up of freshly made juices. I chose the creamed coconut and lime, an electrolyte-packed concoction of coconut water and cream, elderflower, lemon and lime juice.
The bunny was served in a rustic mess tin, which suits the dish – bold, up-front and gutsy. The bobotie meatballs reflect a beloved theme of South African food – sweet flavours mixed with savoury and here, the balance is just right for the soft meatballs. Be warned that the sauce is hot, so if you don’t like your food very spicy, ask them to tone it down for you.
The bread was high quality which at least solved the dilemma that I faced when I last had food in a bread bowl, which was chowder in the USA – whether to eat the bread bowl. In that instance, the bread had to be stale to stop chowder leaking whereas here, the bread was still springy and light.
For those on a low carb diet, the bunnies are available naked, where the fillings are served instead with a lovely, zingy salad of quinoa, beetroot, spinach, peas, black beans, spring and pickled onions.
With this new bread menu, Bunnychow feel that the menu is complete and are currently looking for new locations to hop into. It’s a fun alternative to the conventional sandwich and if you fancy a taste of a new cuisine, head over to Bunnychow.
I ate as a guest of Bunnychow.
74 Wardour Street, Soho, London W1F 0TE