I’m somewhat reluctant to share this epic restaurant with you. It’s the kind of a secret you want the world to know, but at the same time, keep to yourself, because if more people know about it, it will be fully booked forever like every other mouthwatering place in Joburg.
Urbanologi is a brand spanking new tapas style restaurant located at 1 Fox Street in Ferreirasdorp in the Joburg CBD. The middle of the gigantic, beautifully put together space is taken up by the biggest craft brewery I have ever seen. They haven’t started brewing yet, but I’m sure some fantastic beers will be gracing their taps soon (they mentioned July).
The huge open kitchen is headed up by Chef Angelo Scirocco (like the car). He used to work at The Chef’s Warehouse and Canteen on Bree Street in Cape Town (side note, if you are ever in Cape Town, make a plan to stop for their ever changing tapas menu, Liam Tomlin and his team make some amazing, delicious food).
The interior of Urbanologi is breath taking, the urban style, customised décor and furniture will have you turning around in your seat for the first 10 minutes of your visit. Custom made tables, chairs, bars and even artwork chipped out of the plaster in the wall are all gorgeous.
The Mervyn Gers crockery will have you wishing you bought a bigger handbag. (I own a small collection of his duck egg coloured ceramics – they are really beautiful)
We also experienced some of the best service we have ever encountered. Our glasses were always full, the table was cleared regularly and our waiter was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. It makes such a pleasant change from some of the surly, unhappy waiters that seem to be a common occurrence nowadays.
Onto the food. Wow. I have a soft spot for Tapas. It’s pretty much the best way of eating for my indecisiveness (I always want to try 100 things on the menu). The beers also went down a treat with the guys.
Deep Fried Potatoes with a seaweed emulsion (R35)
Salty, crispy, soft on the inside – everything that a potato should be.
Crispy dropped black pepper pork belly, tamarind dressing, butternut purée, cucumber and smoked peanuts. (R47)
I think my sister wanted to go home and bath in the tamarind dressing.
Flame roasted sweet potato, buffalo milk labneh and pork crackling (labneh is a soft cheese) (R41)
The flame roasting of those tatos was everything, and the pork crackling was light and crunchy.
Doenjang glazed beef cheek kushiyaki, truffled cauliflower purée & sherry braised onions. (R73). (Kushiyaki refers to food that is skewered and grilled)
This was the dish of the day. The beef cheeks were tender, melt in your mouth flavor bombs.
Dry aged beef rump kushiyaki, soba noodles, wasabi and lemon dressing (R90)
Steamed brioche, truffle crème and toasted potato skin salt (R30)
Perfectly soft exploding dumplings.
Whey cured yakatori chicken wings with Urabanologi SSamjang (R45) (ssamjang is a thick spicy paste according to the google)
Lightly smoked, dark chocolate milk passionfruit caramel and toasted rice (R55)
This dessert was quite bitter and I couldn’t taste any passionfruit. If you like dark chocolate, then you will enjoy this.
Banana-Barley Malt ice cream, dark beer gateau, halva, dark beer caramel, Mad Giant’s true grit beer fromage blanc and oat crisp (R45)
The ice cream, caramel and oat crisp were great, the beer cake was way too beery in flavor for me, but my dad loved it.
Black Currant Sorbet, poached plum, semi-dried plum, blanc mange, blackcurrant and liquorice powder(R60)
This was the best dessert on the menu. That slightly tart sorbet was everything. Order this one. Trust me.
My only gripe with this restaurant, was that their soft drinks and water came in tapas style servings (tiny, done in 2 sips). Just gooi some 330ml sodas on your menu, and everyone will be happy. (Sprite Zero if you are taking requests). My mom also wants some normal 5 roses tea, none of this “fancy flavoured stuff”. A cider or two would also make me a happy chappie.
Book quickly while they are still relatively unknown. You can make a reservation on their website (the reservation system works – I tried it out, no more awkward squawking on bad phone lines with complicated dates, times, numbers and names)
Look for the Mad Giant signage to find the Urbanologi restaurant. There is a secure parking lot located across the road.
Monday – Saturday
Lunch 12:00 – 14:45
Dinner 18:00 – 21:00
Bar 12:00 – 22:00
Sunday Lunch 12:00 – 16:45
Bar 12:00 – 18:00
Disclaimer: My kick ass sister and I paid for the meal in full. Please don’t use my pictures without my permission.