9 August 2022

Five minutes with Anish Adhikari, Mafia Buns

| Evelyn Karatzas
Man in front of food truck

Adhikari at his Mafia Buns food truck. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

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!

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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!

Dumplings at Smokey Horse, Braidwood

Traditional Nepalese Momo dumplings are Anish’s favourite. Photo: Michelle Rowe.

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.

Mookie Sakura burger

Mookie’s Sakura burger replaces the traditional bun with crispy nori rice. Photo: Amelia Bidgood.

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.


Anish says he gets his caffeine fix from Common Grounds Café in Gowrie. Photo: Common Grounds Café.

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.


Some of the delicious burgers served at Mafia Buns in Dickson. Photo: Mafia Buns, Instagram.

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.

Ben Willis in kitchen

The chef and owner of Aubergine, Ben Willis, is a pillar of the Canberra food and wine scene. Photo: Lean Timms.

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.


Burrito Bar’s ultimate Mexican burrito. Photo: Burrito Bar, Facebook.

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.


Death row meal? How about a thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma, Rocket and freshly shaved Parmesan cheese pizza topped off with a spray of balsamic vinegar from Pizza Artigiana? Photo: Pizza Artigiana Facebook.

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:

  1. Always use fresh ingredients
  2. Never get distracted on social media apps while cooking any food
  3. 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.

Original Article published by Evelyn Karatzas on Riotact.

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