“After travelling in Europe for years, I realised that there was a huge misconception about South African cuisine. Everyone seems to be talking about our ‘braai, boerewors and biltong’. Knowing how diverse South Africa is, I thought the bunny chow is the most authentic and ultimate South African dish. It tells South African history and puts South Africa in middle of the world’s revolution of that time – the international spice trade.”
The BunnyChow Experience is advertised as the only South African food truck in the Netherlands.
Menán van Heerden finds out more.
What was the inspiration behind BunnyChow Experience?
After travelling in Europe for years, I realised that there was a huge misconception about South African cuisine. Everyone seems to be talking about our “braai, boerewors and biltong”. Knowing how diverse South Africa is, I thought the bunny chow is the most authentic and ultimate South African dish. It tells South African history and puts South Africa in middle of the world’s revolution of that time – the international spice trade.
Besides that, bunny chow has its own story to tell; one that goes back to the time of the Great Depression and cannot be ignored. Even though the story of its origin has many versions, bunny chow tells a story about our eating culture, the sharing of meals, eating with our hands and the fact that the biggest Indian community living outside of India lives in South Africa.
How would you describe bunny chow and why is bunny chow an experience?
Bunny chow – a loaf full of flavours.
The experience begins with the “wow” effect that bunny chow has on everyone; followed by the art of eating it.
What ingredients do you use; are some of them Dutch inspired?
Most ingredients are South African, but since we are internationally based, we decided to take bunny chow to another level. We have a number of fusions – Thai and, yes, Dutch – which is a garlic meatball bunny chow in a monkey gland sauce.
Do you serve other South African dishes?
Yes, we do. We also serve bobotie, malva pudding, ostrich burgers and peri-peri chicken.
What other services do you provide?
We mostly do business events, but we also do office catering and private parties such as weddings and birthdays.
According to your Facebook page, you are the only South African food truck in the Netherlands. Where have you travelled to, and to what events?
Throughout the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. We have done a number of festivals, such as Festival Mundial and MultiCulinair Food Festival.
What has been the most interesting reaction(s) from South African / Dutch / foreign customers enjoying bunny chow (and/or your other dishes) for the first time?
South African – “Bunny chow, wow!” “That is too small.” “Best curry since I left South Africa.” “Where do you get your spices?” (We mix them ourselves!) “Do you have extra chilies?”
Dutch – “How do you eat it?” “No, thank you. I do not eat rabbit meat.” “Cute loaves.” “What is Durban?” “Hebben jullie ook ‘broodje kroket’?” “That was too spicy!” “Dat was hartstikke lekker, maar het is een kunst om te eten!”
International – “Do have a restaurant somewhere?” “But this is not original Dutch, right?” “What is bunny chow?” “Could you take a photo so I can send it to my South African friends?”
- Photos: provided