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The Foundry

The Foundry
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Cost
R135 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual
Food
Bakery fare, Bistro fare, Café fare, Italian, Pizzas, Pub fare, Vegetarian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard
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Critic's review

Thulisa Martins

Food
The innovative menu includes a selection of nibbles to choose from, like citrus olives, lime-and-chilli almonds, and pumpkin-ale fritters. A tasting board comes with char-sui ostrich loin, sticky wings, baby ribs, lamb koftas, braised pork belly, pumpkin fritters and chimmichurri mielies – a nice range of tastes on one plate. The small plate offering is a great way to start the meal; to note here is the roasted bone marrow and mushrooms with onion marmalade, served with toast. I also suggest trying the crispy squid heads with harrissa aioli. From the salad offering, the superfood salad with roasted beetroot, butternut, sweet potato, quinoa, avo, pumpkin seeds, rocket and baby spinach, served with balsamic vinaigrette, is a lovely vegetarian option.

An everyday lunch special features well-known local favourites, such as a chicken bunny chow served in sourdough bread, with tomato and chilli sambal. Mains offer on-trend dishes such as ginger beer pork belly with cauliflower-and-potato purée, macadamia nuts and coffee gastrique. On Sundays, the spitbraai is extremely popular, and if you arrive too late, the feast may be over. The lamb is cut into luscious, succulent slices and served with roasted seasonal veggies, potatoes, mini sweet corn cobs and a mint sauce that goes wonderfully with the lamb. If this does not tickle your fancy, a sourdough pizza with chargrilled strips of beef fillet, caramelised onion, roasted tomatoes, fresh rocket and balsamic reduction is sure to whet the appetite. For dessert, the chocolate fondant is glorious, rich with chocolate and gooey in the middle, served with a creamy vanilla ice cream, berry compote and fresh berries. The Eton Mess with berries, meringue, chantilly cream and toasted almonds is equally dreamy. The portions are sizable – you certainly won’t go home hungry.

Drinks
Sourced from microbrewers, wine farms and whiskey distillers in South Africa, there's a selection of craft beers and artisanal wines. They have some very interesting aperitifs, and then for the brave there's the Morning Gloria, comprising Lanique, Cointreau, cranberry and fresh lime, served with a side of champagne foam and a capsule they call ‘gastrique’, which pops in your mouth and creates a sensation of excitement. The wine list holds a selection of Champagnes and sparkling wines, and some very good white wines.

Service
From the receiving reservations through to taking your bill, the service is well informed, friendly and professional. The waiters are passionate about what they do keen to make suggestions.

Ambience
It’s a comfortable space that makes guests feel welcome and relaxed. The décor combines dark wooden chairs with leather cushions and hanging globe lamps in irregular shapes. It’s a stylish look.

And…
Live music performances on Sunday afternoons adds to the vibe.

(October 2015)

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Marie-Lais Emond

    Food 
    If you think you’re here just for the craft beers, you’ll soon discover how wrong you are. This is real, cheffed gastropub food. The menu works for all categories of guests. Those who come for the beer will enjoy the snacks like spiced nuts or flatbreads with pickled beetroot and goat's cheese. The afternoon hordes go for platters of cured meats, superior pickles and/or cheeses.

    For actual lunchers and diners, the menu offers Small Plates and Main Plates, the latter divided into Classic, Comfort, Salad and Wood-fired Pizza dishes. There are specials, too, as well as sides, including the not-to-be-missed pumpkin-ale fritters.

    The small plates are more amusing, including the likes of roasted bone marrow with onion marmalade and toast, a rewarding Caesar salad, grilled calamari and baby pork ribs. An ideal choice here is a West Coast mussels in Weiss beer, celery and herbs. Since many come here for the beer, the use of various versions of it in some of the food makes sense.

    The mains feature dishes like homemade mushroom ravioli with pine nuts and butter-sage sauce, a three-sausage (pork, beef, lamb) gnocchi, and a beef fillet served with lovely accompaniments like parmesan mash and pea purée on a rich dark wine sauce.

    The lunch specials change fairly regularly with the seasons, but the ever-popular F burger with bacon chutney and avo persists. Don’t order beer-battered hake outside of mealtimes because the batter is not as crispy; opt perhaps for the braised pork in ginger beer and served with apple slaw, or a lamb bunny in a sourdough roll with tomato chilli.

    Their wood-fired pizzas are a little chunkier than expected, but very popular and not too heavily cheesed, like the elegant braised fennel and chorizo version with bacon and the white anchovy pizza with gremolata, olives, chilli and capers.

    Drinks 
    People come here in droves for the 56 unusual craft beers, nine of which are on tap. Many beer drinkers head straight to the bar section to get serious. There are, however, also some interesting aperitifs, cocktails, coolers and plenty of good wines for beer widows and widowers.

    Service 
    The service is stretched in the evenings, but copes at speed. At lunch time service tends to be more individualistic and quirky. All staff are fully, even lyrically, versed in craft beers.

    Ambience 
    There's a very loud buzz, by day or by night. The generously sized deck fills up first, then the buzz spreads into the spacious interior with its interesting mural and the very large bar. Foundry is ridiculously popular and, though the fascinating and well-chosen beers are the pull, the imaginative food backs things up nicely. It’s a treat to loll about in a most glorified pub and have the chef in a white toque making an appearance.

    And…
    Owner-chef Willem Lubbe has upped the standard of what would otherwise be pub grub and is keeping it there.

    (July 2014)

  • Food
    The lunch menu is essentially an extension of the dinner menu, with the addition of a section of ‘royales’, which are sandwiches served on artisan bread with tobacco onions and root vegetable crisps. The lamb kofta royale with roast garlic tzatziki, lemon hummus and avocado salsa sounds particularly delicious. Both menus include charcuterie and cheese planks for two or four people served with wood-fired sourdough flatbread. Le Carne Curado boasts local, Spanish and Italian cured meats with pickles and mustard, which could also serve nicely as a starter. As homely as pumpkin fritters may sound, you should definitely try the Van Hunks Pumpkin Ale sweet fritters in a simple cinnamon-sugar dusting – they are heavenly. The main course section is where the real gems are to be found, however: these range from a trio of sausages (lamb, pork and beef) served with house-made potato gnocchi and onion gravy, to roast pumpkin and prawn risotto with lemongrass, coriander and chilli.

    Wine
    The craft beers come bottled or on tap, and there are no fewer than nine craft brews to choose from including Van Hunks Pumpkin Ale, Naked Mexican and Jack Black Pale Ale. A range of whiskeys, cocktails and even a Swedish pear cider round out an interesting selection of other alcoholic beverages. The wine list is somewhat limited, featuring South African wines such as Black Oystercatcher White Pearl and Edgebaston The Pepper Pot. I get the impression that the wine list did not enjoy the same level of attention that other aspects of this lovely Parktown corner spot did.

    Service
    Well-trained and professional, the service staff are attentive, polite and very competent, making you feel as if they’re genuinely pleased to contribute to the success of your evening out. The restaurant is generally jam-packed, meaning that the noise levels rise as the night progresses, but the waiting staff appear to be unfazed and on top of their game throughout.

    Ambience
    This corner of Parktown has proved to be a real culinary hotspot over the years, and The Foundry Kitchen’s addition to the neighbourhood does not disappoint. A large dining area overlooks the kitchen with a separate bar area to the side, and is simply appointed with wooden ceilings, large black cottage pane windows, and the most elegant hand-blown glass light fittings with low-burning filament bulbs. In the entrance, a large coffee roaster takes pride of place. This is a feel-good restaurant where young and old hang out in large groups, having fun and eating good food.

    And...
    If you must have pineapple on your pizza, this is the place to do so. The Empire Butter Chicken sourdough pizza with masala pineapple, cracked poppadum, raita and fresh coriander is simply delicious. The hand-made field mushroom ravioli with burnt sage butter, pine nuts and rocket is positively perfect: elegant and fresh but also wholesome and filling. The linguine with crab, herbs, lemon zest, chilli and roasted pepper is a delight for both the eye and the palate; the crab pieces are opened with so much care and attention that you can get to the meat with your fork and spoon. This is a sign that the chef and owners are true hospitality-driven professionals who think about how their customers will approach their meals.(Hennie Fisher, Nov 2012)

User reviews

  • From the moment you walk in to the restaurant, you can feel an urban tribal ambiance. And I like that, the staff uniforms, the decor and even the amazing bar is on point. But, lets not forget about the Wagyu Burger - which is to die for! You can leave the bun, but the actual burger patties is out of this world. It almost tastes like a steak. Hands down best Wagyu burger yet!
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  • As much as I enjoyed our dinner here, I was a little bit disappointed by the quality of the food. I had the tuna with wasabi mash...which the waiter promised is something that they have mastered, however I regret to day that it is far from the best I've had and was overcooked (and subsequently overpriced). The vibe is awesome and the service is good, but they still have to learn the art of the perfect dish. Overall awesome evening, and definitely worth the visit - but skip the tuna!
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  • Food was fantastic! Absolutely cooked to prefection. I asked for a medium rare fillet and I could not have been more pleased! Highly recommend it and their selection of lager and ciders are fantastic! 1 up, keep it up!
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  • Absolutely fantastic!!! The food was exceptional - I had the fillet with bone marrow and my friend had the wild mushroom ravioli which was delish! Great service, fantastic atmosphere - they'll definitely be seeing me again!
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  • I was really disappointed to have a bad food experience at The Foundry as it's got so much going for it. Good location, vibey interiors and a good drinks menu. I've had good charcuterie there before and would stick to that if I ever return but I'll never eat a meal there again. We ordered the "special" which was pulled pork and came highly recommended. Not only was the dish completely misrepresented on the menu, the only flavour coming through was All Gold tomato sauce. Apple slaw? No. More like tomato sauce on a roll. Maybe time to invest in a proper chef.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Licensed
  • Parking
  • Takeaways
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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