The enterprise is the brainchild of Robbie Cornell and Jo Howell, both from Cambridge, who had the idea when travelling in Central America, inspired by the Guatemalan local transport system, known as ‘chicken buses’.
“We were wondering what we were going to do with our lives, and we had this idea to buy a school bus,” explains Jo. “We went up to Florida and bought a bus in Tampa and had it shipped to the UK, and for the last year and a half, we’ve been converting it into a restaurant. We’ve done everything inside by hand – which has been a complete mission!”
It’s been worth the hard work and energy though – the interior of the bus has been transformed, using as many recycled materials as possible, into a funky, fully functioning café, with bars, tables and benches all made out of reclaimed pallets and scaffold planks.
“We are both vegetarian, so it was kind of obvious we were going to do some kind of vegetarian food,” says Jo. “And Rob has spent quite a lot of time over the last few years travelling and cooking in India. He cooks really amazing curries, so we thought, we’ll do what we’re good at and make vegetarian and vegan Indian food.”
On the menu you’ll find delicious, authentic dishes like paneer butter masala, mixed vegetable korma and Bombay aloo, as well as sides like crispy double-fried ‘Bombay wedges’ tossed in cumin and paprika – all freshly prepared on-site. There’s also a range of herbal teas on offer, plus chai masala and fair trade coffee.
Keep an eye out for The Bhangra Bus at events around Cambridge or get in touch to discuss private hire for events.