There were two things I knew I had to have on the menu at Durban Dish: bunny chow and chakalaka. How could anyone resist dishes with names like these?
It was the promise of South African food that led me to Baulkham Hills. This cosy family-run restaurant has been running for six years, but it's received minimal press or exposure. It was the perfect candidate for my monthly food and drink column in Time Out Sydney.
WHAT IS IT?
Bunny chow ($9.90) is South Africa’s answer to fast food. It's a hollowed out loaf of soft white bread stuffed with curry, normally eaten with hands only.
WHERE DO I GET IT?
Durban Dish - a small eatery specialising in Durban-style Indian cuisine. Durban, in South Africa, has the largest population of Indians outside of India.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
Look for the South African flag in the window. Part-restaurant, part-shop, it dedicates half its floorspace to South African products for homesick ex-pats.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I ORDER?
Bobotie ($13.90) is a thyme-scattered golden brown omelette over a bed or chicken or lamb mince baked with milk-soaked bread, nuts and dried fruits. The vetkoek ($2.30) is your excuse to have a donut with dinner - it's a deep-fried yeasted bun that's a cloud of fluffiness.
Wor and pap $20.90
Boerewors served with pap (putu) maize porridge and chakalaka spicy baked beans
ANYTHING FOR VEGETARIANS?
Chilli Bites are made from a packet mix but are a popular street snack in South Africa. They're small balls of deep-fried chickpea flour, spinach and spices that are best dipped in chilli sauce.
Chilli bites $5.50
Braised pumpkin $12.50
Pumpkin braised in onions, dried chilli and mustard seeds
WHAT’S IN THE SHOP?
Upright freezers are filled with bags of different samosas, lamb curry pies and boerewors sausages. You can also stock up on biltong beef jerky, Tennis biscuits and Zar Mate, the South African version of Vegemite.
South African shop
Ouma condensed milk flavoured rusks
Zar Mate South African Vegemite/Marmite and Braai Sout barbecue sauce
South African sweets
Durban Dish dining room (total seating is 26)
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This article appears in the April 2011 issue of Time Out Sydney in my monthly Food & Drink column Eat This!
More Time Out Sydney reviews:
ATL Marantha, Kensington (Indonesian fried chicken with edible bones)
Balkan Oven, Rockdale (Macedonian burek)
Hijazi's Falafel, Arncliffe (Lebanese breakfast)
Island Dreams Cafe, Lakemba (Christmas Islands cuisine)
La Paula, Fairfield (Chilean empanadas, lomitos and sweets)
Sea Sweet, Parramatta (Lebanese sweet kashta cheese burger)
Sizzling Fillo, Lidcombe (Filipino pork hock crackling)
Tehran, Granville (Persian cuisine)
Tuong Lai, Cabramatta (Vietnamese sugar cane prawns)
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4/08/2011 06:00:00 a.m.