Price: Burgers from R58 to R93
Serves: Burgers, inventive starters and great cheesecake
Best for: A bite with buddies
Parking: Grab a spot in the Heritage Square parking lot across the road, or on Bree Street, if you’re exceedingly lucky
Star ratings: Food 4, service 4, ambience 3
Considering the prices – which are in line with other burger spots in town – it might come as a surprise to learn that all the burgers here are made with grass-fed beef, and everything else seems to come with the prefix ‘organic’ or ‘home-grown’. There are home-grown alfalfa and sunflower sprouts; organic homemade pickles; and chicken burgers made with free-range chicken thighs and legs, from a small farmer in Stellenbosch. The unique selling point here is that all patties are stuffed with ingredients, usually cheese, which is a principle we can really get behind.
The small bites menu includes some interesting titbits like pulled-pork pancakes, chicken wings, veggie croquettes and even a plate of little sliders, but you might not have space for the main event if you indulge too much here.
The Kimcheezy (R93 with a side included) oozes with Sriracha mayo, kimchi and something called caramelised pickled apple purée. The sauces are delicious, but on this occasion the beef patty is a little dry and crumbly.
A good beginner burger, the Quick Dip (R58), boasts smoked cheddar and crispy sweet onions, and is perfect if you don’t like too much funny business. Other favourites include the Whisky Braai-BBQ (R84), which features a smoked cheddar-stuffed beef patty, organic bacon, avo, wild rocket and whisky-barbecue sauce, and the Umami BBQ (R82), which has a boerenkaas cheddar-stuffed patty, pickled cabbage, toasted sesame seeds and peanuts, coriander hoisin sauce, miso mayo and yuzu dressing.
They please varied meat-loving palates with chicken, ostrich and pulled-pork patties, and vegetarians are looked after with a choice of a patty comprising goat’s cheese, roasted beetroot and bean, or a whole roasted portobello mushroom. Every month there’s a limited edition special burger, which could be topped with spicy chorizo and peppadews or a creative combo of pickled cauliflower and carrot, fresh mint, garlic mayo and mango chutney.
Burgers come on good, glossy wheat rolls, but are also available bunless or on rye rolls, and all are served with a side and a little dipping sauce included; the sweet potato fries with aioli are our favourite. You may not have space for dessert, but we urge you to try your darndest: the cheesecakes (salted caramel or Oreo) really are outrageously delicious.
Like the food, these are local and lekker at IYO. Try one of the colour-coded juices or Kombucha by Cape-based Brew. Sip on a pomegranate, rosemary and cinnamon gin and tonic made with Inverroche gin, or a Cluver & Jack Cider. Some lesser-known craft beers are available on tap or by the bottle. Wines feature Hartenberg and Alphabetical; both are fairly decent options. Our only gripe with this rather colourful beverage list is that the drinks are served in glass jars, with a rather thick rim. They’re cute, but ruin the experience of sipping good wine or bubbly. There are also shakes made with excellent ice cream from Moro Gelato – though, to be perfectly honest, we’ve never had the stamina to order one!
Staff are friendly, but laid-back. Place your own order on the checklist provided, and behave yourselves.
Located on the first floor, with lovely windows overlooking Bree, this white, bright space is peppered with plants and orange highlights. Pale wooden tables and chairs are spaced quite close together, the kitchen is open, and there aren’t many soft furnishings, so it can feel a little hectic and loud, but it’s all part of the easy-going fun.
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