EAT OUT: Urbanologi inside Mad Giant Brewery

Located on 1 Fox Precinct in Ferreirasdor the restaurant brings to life the oldest most ancient gems of Johannesburg in it's layout, design and decor but also in it's approach to food and flavours.

Urbanologi gives you the experience of urban culture combined with the sophistication of street style which celebrates the beauty less seen. I crave discovering hidden gems like these and Jo'burg is truly filled with some of the most unique restaurants I have ever seen.

A restaurant so rich in South African culture but also, a place which openly embraces street culture and urban flavours found in this unique city. Walking into the restaurant you are immediately greeted with the open kitchen and some strong scents of what's cooking inside, chefs hard at work not looking up for a second making the food their priority.

It's an open plan setup with high and low wooden tables and benches, some tables and chairs placed at random - but an overwhelming feeling of industrialisation, the epitome of Johannesburg. Red and rustic with cement floors and silver detailing - truly embracing the mechanic feel of the CBD.

The Urban Garde cuisine and design is described by Head Chef Angelo Scirocco as "Our rediscovered energetic urban space, nested in the heart of the CBD. inspired the fundamental epitome of our street food culture. The cuisine comes alive by experimenting with typical street food techniques such as Kushiyaki, Yakitori and Teriyaki."

You are probably wondering how I found this place - well it was the lunch venue for my company's Christmas party this year When asked how they found this place, it was a rare find by the organsier of the party who I presume is also quite a 'foodie'.

Situated inside the Mad Giant brewery - it was apt for us to kick off the lunch with some craft beer, locally made and brewed and some mainstream shooters.

Anyway - we all sat around a wooden table and bench right in front of the open kitchen and was served several small dishes to try, share, pass around, discuss and critique - as you do. Some meat, some veggie, others completely new and foreign dishes - but all unique tasting, delicate on the palette and left me wanting more.

First up - a sneaky starter. This is the deep fried potatoes with seaweed emulsion - R35. Delicious and not what you would expect to taste. The seaweed has a bit of a kick and the potatoes are crispy and have a slight sprinkle of masala over top.

Next up was the crispy dropped black pepper pork belly tamarind dressing, butternut puree with cucumber and smoked peanuts - R70. Ten points for presentation, this dish looks like every little thing was individually placed on the plate. I am not a fan of pork in general but I had a little taste and it wasn't half as bad as I expected from a pork dish. Quite tender with interesting flavours.

Coal fired sweet potatoe with Buffalo milk labneh & pork cracklings - R58. The potatoe dipped into the labneh was just perfection. The flavours bounce off your palette superbly and the garnish adds that little bit of spice - which tops it off for me.

Marjoram cured lamb rib kushiyaki with french oak wood teriyaki & roast apple - R120. Definitely smoked, definitely apple and definitely something worth trying. I have not quite tried lamb ribs that taste like this before, its very tender, literally slides off the bone and dipped into the apple is simply mind blowing.

Another meat dish - this time beef. A beef sirloin kushiyaki with charred leek and oyster emulsion - R90. The mere colours of this dish is breath taking, makes my mouth water just looking at it. The beef is properly cooked with signature flavours which roll around in your mouth and topped with the emulsion - it's out of this world.

Doenjang glazed & charred beef cheek with truffled cauliflower puree & shaoshing braised onions - R90 and subject to availability. We were lucky clearly! All the flavours mash together so wonderfully and linger around on your taste buds for a while.

I saved the best for last - steamed brioche with truffle creme and pea salt - R30. Has to be the best most delicious of all the dishes we tried. This french pastry dish is creamy and has just enough kick to tantalise your taste buds. The minute you cut into it the inside creme drips out and together with the bread it's like nothing on this Earth - literally. So good, that it had us talking about it and craving it a whole week later.

Dessert - banana barley malt ice-cream with beer gateau, halva, dark beer caramel, Mad Giant's True Grit Beer fromage blanc and an oat crisp - R50. This was okay, not my cup of tea when it comes to desserts but it sufficed.

I believe they have three set menu's with a selection of their different options, but you can mix and match what you would like. Considering the amount of food you get per plate it might be considered as a little pricey but it's an experience. The food will not disappoint and could be great for family birthday's or functions, but not a usual spot if you crave and enjoy hearty meals.

I would definitely recommend checking them out for a new experience!