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House of Curries on Florida - QuarterBunny

House of Curries on Florida
Luke Comins

Due to a recent request and invitation by the owner of House of Curries on Florida, we have ‘re-reviewed’ this establishment. A good contingent of QB went to see if Trevor was being clever… and he certainly has been.

Trevor Beckett, the owner of Book Base took over this outlet from the previous owners (Sunrise group) and when we last sampled a bunny here he was in the process of changing over staff, refurbishing etc. That was then (and our review was bad) but now he’s onto a good thing. Since the start of the World Cup Football in July 2010 he has also opened the ‘bar with no name’ on the right of his curry shop and all three shops are doing a remarkable trade.

There were five of us on this occasion so we managed to try quite an assortment of bunnies, as well as the breyani and a few samoosas. The bunnies took a while but you know how it goes when they try to serve the order complete so that no one is sitting there thinking ‘how come everyone else got theirs but where’s mine?’ There are about ten different bunnies available on the menu (see image below) and I’d personally love to try the mushroom and potato next time. We ordered a ¼ chicken, a ¼ chicken & beans, a ¼ mutton, and a ¼ prawn & chicken and they were all flippen tasty, scoring an average of 4/5 all round. The sambals were very generously supplied and the size of the bunny was good (4/5) – we did have a couple of ‘funny bunnies’ (which is when the bread is cut from the middle of the loaf and there is no crust at the bottom). Minor detail though as, all round, the average on the scorecards was 22/25 which is probably the highest score any of the outlets we have reviewed have achieved!

The vibe is great, afterall this outlet is situated on Durban’s most popular road of restaurants and bars. Everything seemed clean, the seating is a vast improvement on those previous grimy wood benches & tables and, for a Thursday lunchtime, there were a fair amount of patrons coming and going. The place apparently pumps on weekends till late and with the bookshop and bar next door… who needs say more. (OK, another 4/5)

Oh yes, the breyani was epic. The samoosas were eaten by our samoosa sampler and she gave them the thumbs up. We will be back Trevor and are truly glad to have been convinced otherwise. For a wit ‘o you sure deliver a flippen awesome bunny!

I forgot to mention the price… not bad considering all we’ve mentioned above, check out the prices below…

14 August 2009

We were on our way to sample the bunnies at Saffron in Florida Rd, due to various reviews and comments posted on the website (or perhaps the owner or some over zealous patron logging in over & over posting their own..??), but on driving past the frontage it seemed no different to when we popped in there a couple of years ago and were handed a rather meagre bunny that could have come straight out of a tin of Koo Baked Beans! So, where to next…? We had recently heard rumours that Sunrise had closed down on Florida Road so thought we’d use the opportunity to see if this was fact or fiction.

A lot of patrons used to think that Sunrise in Florida Road was an extension of the well-known Sunrise Chip n’ Ranch in Sparks Road but, according to the latter, this was definitely not the case. The two eateries were in no way connected. The Florida Road ‘rip-off’ did serve a rather decent bunny, roti etc but was not in the same league as ‘Johnny’s’. Anyway, just thought we’d share that with you..they’re gone now and in their place is the House of Curries on Florida Road.`

Under the new ownership (the bookstore owner next door – unless we stand corrected?) the place looks pretty much the same, but not so for the bunnies! Here’s what one of our QuarterBunny® critics had to say about the food (and he’s Indian!)

“Flavour – on a scale of 1-10, I’d give it a 2. The mutton tasted like it was boiled and just added to the curry mixture. The curry itself was bland/flavorless and definitely needed some curry spice blend. It was also too over spiced with tumeric leaving my hands rather yellow for the rest of the day. Value for money – 2. Ambience – 2.  The shop was definitely in a rebranding phase and did not have the normal buzz that is associated with a take away. Would I go there again… definitely not.”

As for me and my regular fare – the beans bunny was flippen expensive at R17.00! That was for sugar beans nogal as they had no broad/butter beans. The gravy had no spice or bite whatsoever… a typical white man’s bunny chow.

Oh wait!, one thing we DID like was the bowl of sambals and chillies on the side… made a bit of an improvement on the flavour. Perhaps, in the near future, both Saffron and HOC on Florida can formally invite us over and change our minds…