SUNDOO – Durban Bunny Chow in the heart of Cape Town
Sundoo is the brainchild of renowned restaurateur and chef, Seelan Sundoo. Seelans roots are deeply founded in Kerala, India – better known as “The Land of Spices”. Seelan is a chef with a wealth of experience and has an impeccable track record as a well-known chef in the culinary community. His career started as head chef at La Perla Sea Point for many years and whilst working there the restaurant was awarded as the “best Italian restaurant outside of Italy” in 1998. He has had many successful partnerships opened The Grand Camps Bay with Justin Paul Jansen at first and then moving onto The Grand on the Beach. Thereafter Seelan started up the Shimmy Beach Club but felt that it was time to open his own Mediterranean style restaurant and so Seelans Restaurant & Bar opened along Quay 5 in the V&A Waterfront.
He has since opened Sundoo, which offers a wide variety of authentic Southern Indian Foods. He believes that finding authenticity to share amongst friends is what is needed and Sundoo would be an extension of Seelan. His passion to become a chef was born from visiting his grandmother in Durban who had him foraging in the garden for herbs and vegetables in preparation for large family meals. He ensures that his produce is sourced from an organic farm in Wellington and his signature sauces (that contain to pre- mixed spices) are evident in the variety of dishes on offer.
He also treasures traditional Kerala influences using traditional course spices, chili, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, ginger and cinnamon. Sundoo is a celebration of Seelan’s heritage. The street food version of Sundoo allows one to choose a free-range chicken, Karoo lamb, South coast prawn curry or beef kebabs of choice either Medium strength or Vindaloo served with either a Roti, Breyani, 1/4 Loaf of Bread or Rice. There is also a Durban styled two bean curry for those who are vegan. For those who miss the traditional Durban bunny chow – look no further. Dip into this South African tradition of breaking a loaf of bread, emptying out the center soft core and filling with delicious curry.
It is still highly debatable where the name Bunny comes from. Some say in means “banyachow” which is the old name for the Indian population in Durban but others believe the term bunny originated from the fact that the bunny chow can only be eaten with hands, imitating the rabbit. The word Chow, was a cliché for food. Nevertheless… Tradition dictates that South Africans love curry.