This story was originally published on April 22. Menu items may have changed.
Popular Red Hill cafe-in-a-bowls-club Bula Vinaka has launched an end-of-week takeaway curry menu.
The menu features three kinds of curry (Fijian chicken, butter chicken, and chickpea) and a dal. Much like Bula Vinaka’s cafe menu, the curries draw on co-owner Shika Furminger’s Indo-Fijian heritage.
“This is what I grew up with, with my mum’s cooking,” Furminger says. “People used to tell her how amazing her curries were and I said, ‘Why not do them in a bigger batch?’
“We had this thought before Covid-19, but since the restrictions we had to look at other means of growing a little – just takeaway coffees weren’t cutting it.”
The menu launched earlier this month and has been a hit with Ashgrove, Red Hill and Paddington locals, selling out on a couple of occasions. Furminger puts the popularity down to the unique dishes, which are anchored by a house-made spice mix based on bay leaf, cardamom and clove.
“It’s different to what you’d get from an Indian takeaway,” she says. “We hardly use any dairy. Our Fijian chicken curry has no dairy, no nuts, it’s gluten-free. Our chickpea curry, too, we avoid using a lot of cream. Our dal has no cream. It’s very lean and healthy.
“Our butter chicken [has dairy] but it’s not the typical sweet butter chicken people might be familiar with. It’s more flavoursome. It’s a little bit tangy because it’s not so creamy.”
They’re cheap too. You can grab one curry for $20 or a family pack of three for $50. All curries come with rice and roti included. Sides are spinach and onion pakoras served with tamarind sauce, and spiced-pea-and-potato samosas with a choice of raita or tamarind sauce.
Curries are available for pick-up from 4.30pm to 7.30pm on Thursdays and Fridays. Pre-orders are encouraged.