Who is Anish Adhikari?: I’m the owner of Mafia Buns in Dickson.
Best dining experience: I haven’t had the chance to explore much around Canberra, but my most recent dining experience was at Burrito Bar in Tuggeranong. It only recently opened in Canberra and offers modern-day Mexican food.
What I like about it is the pub-style look of it and the fact that it’s got lots of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to offer, alongside the modern Mexican cuisine. I would love to go back there with more of my friends soon!
Favourite cuisine: It would have to be Nepalese food! My partner and I both grew up in Nepal, so it still feels like nothing can beat our food.
My favourite Nepalese food is Momo – aka Nepalese dumplings.
Most embarrassing fridge or pantry item: I would probably say milk because my mum always used to tell me to drink milk growing up, so I always buy it. I never drink it, though, so it always ends up expiring!
What ingredient can I not live without: I can’t live without spices, especially cumin powder and chilli. When I cook at home, I feel like if I don’t use these spices, my food will taste bland.
Next big thing in the Canberra food scene: Maybe getting food delivered to your balcony via drones.
Favourite place for lunch in the ACT: When it comes to lunch, burgers are totally my thing. Just a few shops apart from Burrito Bar in South.Point shopping centre, Mookie Burger is my must-go lunch spot for me.
They have a great range of chicken, beef, pork, vegetarian and vegan burgers on the menu, which I love. My favourite is the truffle-chicken burger, which has Portuguese grilled chicken breast, maple cured bacon, lettuce and tomato filling with crispy chips.
My go-to coffee spot in Canberra: For me, coffee is life! I always like to stay caffeinated, and Common Grounds Café is the place to be. They have Campos Superior Beans as their house blend, which I am addicted to. It just gives the perfect caffeine hit with medium-dark roasted beans. The staff there are also super friendly and welcoming. I feel like it’s my second home every time I go there.
A must-try on our menu: Our chicken burger – the Chickenger. It gets its name from The Avengers. It features the Mafia house sauce and house BBQ sauce, along with other ingredients.
Biggest culinary influence: Probably my twin brother; he also really loves cooking. From being together in the same womb to working together in the hospitality sector, he has inspired me every step of the way.
Favourite cookbook: I don’t follow cookbooks; I prefer watching cooking videos on YouTube.
What business do I admire in the Canberra food and wine scene: I would say Aubergine Restaurant. I really love their wine list. They have received numerous awards and they have different labels of interesting and classic wines.
What’s the special of the week at Mafia Buns?: Currently, we don’t do one special burger of the week. All our burgers on our menu are served daily.
Where am I travelling to next: I would love to go to Nepal with my partner. We want to go and surprise our parents as it’s been almost six years since I have seen my parents.
Death row meal: I can’t pick just one. It would vary from chicken kebabs to pizza, to chicken burgers, to Nepalese dumplings, to mushroom curry – there are so many delicious foods out there!
My least favourite food: I wouldn’t want to disrespect any food, but if I had to choose one, it would be bitter melon.
COVID-19 response: Luckily, we weren’t open when the COVID-19 was at its peak, so we weren’t affected.
My three recipe tips:
- Always use fresh ingredients
- Never get distracted on social media apps while cooking any food
- Cook the food for everyone with love, cook like you are cooking for your crush to impress them!
Mafia Buns is open seven days a week, from 11 am to 8 pm. It is located at 18 Challis St, Dickson.