Sunrise Chip ‘n Ranch, Mowbray, Cape Town: Take-Away Review


It’s surprisingly hard to find a good, cheap curry in Cape Town. SA Blog is on the case! Click on our cheap curries tag for more hot eats.

Sunrise Chip ‘n Ranch
94 Main Road
Mowbray, Cape Town
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Specialty: Cheap curries!
Contact: Tel: +27 (0) 21 689 3250
SA Blog recommends a taste? Don’t miss it!

Further Insight & Opinion
This is the most innovatively-named take-away in Cape Town’s entire metropolitan area. Its derivation is somewhat murky, but the “Sunrise” part has a 45-year history, beginning with Sunrise Fruiterers in Durban. As the fruit-selling, Hindi-speaking family grew and branched out, so did their businesses. Eventually, cousins Vinesh Vikash and Girdhairee Birjanund established the name in Cape Town. Theirs is the only Durban-style Indian take-away for two provinces in any direction.

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What distinguishes Durban take-aways from the rest? First, the prices, which are extremely high, for 1960 – and extremely masochistic, for 2006. To give you an idea, the current special at Sunrise Chip ‘n Ranch is a 1/4 beans and potato bunny chow for R3. A bunny chow, for those who’ve never sopped one up before, is a quarter- or half-loaf of bread hollowed out and filled with delicious curry. Created in Durban, it’s South Africa’s most innovative contribution to world cuisine, and one of the most democratic (in a “great leveller” sense) foods of all time.

  • Bunny chow tips: Never pay more than R15 for a 1/4 bunny; and always ask for extra napkins!

Apart from the fact that your loose change will buy you lunch, the Chip ‘n Ranch’s wonderfully aromatic flavours help single the food out as “Durban’s pride”. Vinesh and Girdhairee gave me a peek at their secret spice mix, which contains ingredients rarely, if ever, seen in other local kitchens, such as unusual brown cardamom pods, which resemble tiny coconuts.

  • TOP DISH: It’s got to be the R3 bunny chow. How can anyone pass up a R3 bunny?
  • More on local Indian cuisine: my own Masala Cookbook, of course!

This piece originally ran, in edited form, in the 1 Nov 2005 Cape Times (“Review”). It is reprinted with permission.