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Urbanologi in Joburg launches new Winter menu

Clare Anderson visits the sought after, edgy tapas spot, for a meal that dazzles the senses.

by: Clare Anderson | 12 Jul 2017

(Images courtesy of Urbanologi)

As the gentrification of the Jozi CBD continues, more and more exciting restaurants join the every changing foodie landscape of the Big City. Urbanologi has been on the scene for a while now, but Head Chef Jack Coetzee has just launched an exciting new Winter menu and Food24 went along to try it out.

The meal influences are definitely Asian with a very noticeable African twist. Jack draws on flavours from his childhood, spent on a farm in Zimbabwe – for example, unusual flavours, like kumquats, abound.

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Expect tapas style plates, which work brilliantly for sharing. Being a constant sufferer of 'order-envy', this style of eating works brilliantly, in that, I get to taste a whole host of different things in one sitting.

The menu is split into six sections, each including a mix of starters, mains, sides and desserts. Each section refers to how the food is prepared – cured, frozen, kushiyaki (grilled), steamed, raw or fried. Jack has worked closely with the in-house brewers at Mad Giant Brewery and so a beer and wine option are recommended as a suitable pairing partner for each plate.

We started off with the steamed Mosbolletjies, served with whipped farm butter and dukkah spice (R30),  yakitori chicken (R70) and gamefish tataki -served with orange, nori, sesame emulsion and pork crackling (R75). All incredibly tasty and a nice little mix of items that worked well as starters. We couldn’t quite decide whether to go with a meat or seafood dish, so decided to go with both – the cured and smoked pork neck served with roast parsnip, burnt nectarine and apple puree (R80) was like a little Sunday Roast on a plate – a real hit with the table! There wasn’t a single crumb left in the bowl of crumbed, line caught, chokka (calamari) from St Francis Bay served with kimchi, burnt lime and garlic emulsion (R80), proving its undeniable popularity. We added a portion of heirloom baby carrots – served with star anise and orange blossom labneh and kumquat marmalade (R50) and a portion of tempura shimejii mushrooms (R65) – accompanied with tamarind dressing, butternut puree and smoked peanuts just to ensure we got some yummy veggies in too.

I always say, there is always space for dessert and this was no exception. The ginger malva with lime leaf ice cream and popcorn soil was absolutely delicious...the lime leaf ice cream took me right back to a Thai island holiday.  


As mentioned, each plate on the menu has a suggested beverage partner, whether that be wine or one of the Mad Giant’s four beers – Pilsner, Weiss, pale ale and amber ale.


Staff are well trained and really do know the menu well and are happy to make recommendations on portions and flavour profiles. The guidance they gave on the number of plates to order was spot on.


The Urbanologi kitchen is open to the restaurant, allowing you to see the chef hard at work prepping the delicious tapas plates. Also, opening on to the restaurant is the working Mad Giant Brewery. All of this creates quite a big, industrial space – but the custom made furniture and beautiful artwork and graffiti ensure that space is super-edgy and inviting.

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