Johannesburg’s foodies are flocking to Urbanologi, the latest addition to the inner city 1Fox precinct.
Located in Ferreirasdorp on Joburg’s western edge, the 1Fox Precinct is a shining example of the potential of inner city rejuvenation. Urbanologi is the latest addition to the precinct, housed within the voluminous warehouse space of the Mad Giant brewery.
Urbanologi’s unique “urban garde” food concept experiments with Asian street food techniques in an avante-garde way: think glazed beef cheek kushiyaki with truffled cauliflower, or cured pork neck with quince purée and baby choy. Urbanologi is headed by Angelo Scirocco of Chefs Warehouse and The Test Kitchen, who was also a contender at Milan’s S.Pellegrino Young Chef Awards in 2015. We chatted with him to find out more.
What kind of crowd is Urbanologi attracting?
We’re attracting all walks of life: businessmen, young people, hipsters and, of course, foodies. We’re still first and foremost a brewery, so this is a destination for beer as much as it is for food.
Can you tell us a bit more about the Mad Giant beers on offer?
Mad Giant brews a Pale Ale, Amber Ale, Pilsener and a Weiss. The brewer, Eben Uys, creates beers that are very easy on the palate. Overall, our beers are light, crisp and zesty.
Japanese flavours work very well with our beer, so it all makes sense
What made you choose Japanese street food as your cultural influence?
My food background is very Japanese-influenced, especially when I worked with Luke Dale Roberts at La Colombe and The Test Kitchen. Spearheading my first restaurant concept, I chose to play to my strengths. In addition, Japanese flavours work very well with our beer, so it makes sense.
What are your future plans?
We’re currently working on new cooking techniques such as taking a heavy-based sauce and converting it into a dressing or “tea”, which is a clear stock. We’re also working on how to incorporate the flavour of burnt butter into a clear liquid without the mouthfeel of fat: this is quite a lengthy process, but we want to create the trends and not follow them. Overall, we want to break boundaries, but in an informal way.
Taste it for yourself:
Urbanologi | Tel: 011 492 1399 | Website: urbanologi.co.za
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.