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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

J' Something

Food
The Foundry can be described as a food factory that produces extremely rare gastronomical experiences. As you walk in you will automatically fall in love with the little bar it has hidden in the corner and if you are a fan of beer you are in for a treat, as the variety of craft beer is endless. With a very well balanced menu, the tapas options are a good place to start.

Three options that stand out and are to die for are the roasted bone marrow, the albondingas (which are little pork and veal meatballs swimming in delicious red pepper and chilli sauce) and the chourico bravas. The main dishes will all make your mouth water, but because we all have to choose something in life, the pork belly is a must. The cider bacon jam is from another planet and is served with a chilli pak choi and potato galette that balances out the dish to perfection.

Other options for mains (in addition to their amazing range of sourdough pizzas) are things like sausages and sweet potato gnocchi, moroccan lamb, ostrich fillet and springbok shank.

Those with a sweet tooth are in for a treat. If you are fan of crème brûlée you have to try their Amarula and vanilla-infused one. Other standouts are the Eton mess and the honeycomb affogato.

Drinks
Any beer fan will be in for a treat with the extensive variety of craft beer available here. This is definitely a spot to go to, even if it’s just for drinks. A standout wine that pairs extremely well with the pork belly is the Durbanville merlot.

Service
The staff seems to be well clued up on their workplace and what it offers. Great service.

Ambience
Whatever the occasion. The Foundry has the right setting. It's warm, cozy, and makes one happy. The décor really makes you feel comfortable and the low lighting creates the perfect mood.

And…
The specials on the chalkboard are a must when going to The Foundry, be sure to check these out.

(September 2016)

Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.

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  • 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)

  • 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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  • It took me over 2 weeks to get a reservation at The Foundry on a Friday night and after having eaten there, I now understand why! The Foundry has an easy, chilled, effortless atmosphere in a uniquely designed setting.
    The beer selection on offer has something to quench every thirst. We honestly ate some of thee most deliciously yummy mushroom ravioli that I have ever eaten in my entire life and the pumpkin fritters were also done to perfection!
    The service is outstanding with the most knowledgeable enthusiastic waiters that make the whole dining experience nothing but a pleasure. Definitely worth the wait!

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  • Loved the atmosphere, the food was delish! Definately eating there again.

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  • Love them! From pizza to bone marrow to seafood pasta to venison fillet... all done very well.

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  • Another lovely lunch today.

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  • Fantastic - all these other bad reviews are either snobby people who love to complain or old people who don't like change! Awesome menu, fantastic service. Best kept secret ever.

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  • Dreadful lunch. I have never seen a Salad Nicoise so badly presented and tasteless fish and chips. Not an experience to repeat.

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  • Limited menu, although the linguini with seafood was great the rest was sub standard. The maitre d was a bit of a spin doctor - more interested in the ladies than getting us a table. Young crowd, not a lot of class.

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  • Had an absolutely amazing time last night; service was top top class; food great and a lovely ambience. Definitely going back - well done you guys. Certainly have the right recipe.

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  • I went to The Foundry with a friend on Thursday, 4th of April - we arrived at around 6pm, the inside restaurant was seemingly empty. When we asked for a table for two, the waiters made us wait for the manager, the manager then came over whith a very smug attitude and said that we could only be seated outside. This restaurant was practically empty. We were going for a drink and the only reason we wanted it inside was because it was freezing cold. The unaccommodating attitude of the manager made it really easy for me never to return to The Foundry. Definite thumbs down.

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  • I have been several times and the atmosphere, service and food are exceptional!

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  • We had a very special celebration dinner at The Foundry last night. The food was out of this world and the ambience was wonderful. We will all be back! Anyone who says Joburg doesn't have excellent restaurants has not been to The Foundry.

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  • I took my wife there for a casual anniversary dinner. I mentioned it while making reservations not expecting anything, but when we got there we were treated very well. Our waiter was very friendly and attentive. We got complimentary glasses of sparkling wine as well as dessert at the end. The seafood pasta (which they slightly modified for our taste) and pork belly was delicious and the selection of craft beers was a welcome change, Will definitely come back.

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  • Went to lunch there and was not impressed. Service was non-existent. We had to continuously call the waiters over. I ordered the pork sandwich and it was served with lots of rocket. This wasn't mentioned on the menu as if it was I would have asked them to remove it. When I asked the waitress to please take it back and just remove it for me the manager (I think) seemed rather annoyed at my request and told me that he would need to have a whole new sandwich made (that was not my request, just remove all the rocket, I would have done it at the table but there was no space) When I did eat it, it was too sweet and there were two bones that I had to pick out of my mouthful of food. Not nice at all. I wouldn't go back... Overpriced and not worth it.

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  • What a great evening at Foundry. Trendy place where you can have a drink on a Friday afternoon and then stay for dinner. Try the pork belly because it is in one word, fantastic! Our waiter, Joe, was great and if you are a loud person with a big personality then you will absolutely love this place. I’ll definitely be back!

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  • Love it. Great vibe, tasty food and beer and excellent friendly service. It is loud, but that is the sound of people having fun and it adds to the charm. I keep going back and back and back.

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  • Time to get your Foundry on... Yes please. Can anybody say charcuterie? I did. Again and again... Give me more. Service with a smile, the way it should be and Pimms for some added excitement. Decor - fab and the feature wall... I want one. Chocoholics will be going gaga for the choc fondant and freshly roasted coffee fills the air. Winner all round. Done.

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  • My wife and I visited Foundry this week for the first time, with four friends, for dinner. Yes, it is very noisy, and (mostly) full of cool, young people, but the food is really great! Fresh, well prepared and with good combinations! Enjoyed the field mushroom ravioli and duck salad a lot... tasty pizzas as well. Fair wine list, with plenty of beer. Will definitely return, maybe for lunch next time.

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  • Sorry but way too noisy! Beautiful place with no acoustics! We booked two weeks ago but only had a beer and left. Waiter was friendly and helpful...(bad user experience}.

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  • First visit today - great atmosphere and staff. Your server, Privlage, is an asset to your business!

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  • Foundry is awesome! Should be ‘nuff said, but I’ll elaborate. Stumbled onto it 2 weeks ago and have probably been 6 times since. The beers and food are delicious! The vibe is awesome and never over crowded which is a plus (except when we got bounced by the bulky guy saying the bar was ‘packed’ to find it empty apart from the tables there).
    Service is super friendly and efficient. Mostly ex-Tashas waiters I think. They know service! Just a great place to drink, eat, laugh and love life. New favourite haunt.

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  • Had an awesome evening at Foundry last night - amazing vibe, great food and brilliant servce. Thank you.

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  • Sadly they have missed the plot with the food. Cheap ingredients always result in a weak finished product. The idea is great but the execution is lacking.

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  • Amazing. Trendy, noisy and fun with stunning food.

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  • Walked into this establishment expecting an experience to match the decor. Greeted by friendly staff except for an old blonde woman with a chip on her shoulder and a terrible attitude. Because of her, we walked out before placing an order and will never return. Just remember that as quickly as your new restaurant is gaining popularity it will be ruined by word of mouth about bad service and terrible attitudes like that on display from this woman. Not impressed.

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  • Had dinner here last night. Food ok, atmosphere ok, but when I ordered the wine it was a screw cap bottle that had been opened and filled with wine - so full it was right to the top! Never had this before, what a shocker!
    Sent back of course, but killed it for me.

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  • I went to The Foundry on Saturday 13/10. The decor is outstanding, the place gets packed to capacity making it quite noisy and cramped. Service was on the slow side, but mainly because it was so busy. We shared a bunch of starters of which the brushcetta was the best, but we also enjoyed the Charcuterie plate and marinated olives. The Capresse salad was nice but not the best I've had. For mains we had the trio of sausages and mushroom ravioli, all very good. The guys also loved their creme brulees, I had honeycomb ice-cream which could have done with a lot more honeycomb. All said and done I would recommend it and visit again to try their very tempting Royales.

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  • I concur with most comments here - the decor is really the thing to go for. The food is not that great, and the service indifferent.

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  • Amazing decor, but that's it. The layout is cramped and you get whipped by aprons and towels as the waiters run up and down, as well as constantly being bumped by those serving and clearing. It’s not often that everyone has an unsatisfactory starter and main course, but this was one of those times. Considering the price of the food and drinks, I think a lot of work needs to be put into the food preparation (over salted or flavourless), the quality of the ingredients (the fior de latte was rubbery and the sirloin so tough it was inedible) and the training of the staff (numerous but inattentive). It’s worth a visit, but stick to a ordering a cup of coffee…

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  • Lovely atmosphere and clearly a lot of thought and effort went into the decor and ambience. That's it. Medium rare Steak arrived blue and ice cold. Sent it back. Came back the incorrect steak dish. The waiter argued with me, eventually brought the correct topping... I had to scrape off the sauce I did not like myself. This steak was warm, well done and so tough I couldn't eat it. When I sent it back the waiter said, "What Now?" No manager in sight. I won't be going back and neither will any of my friends.

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  • Went to Foundry on Saturday, 6 October 2012. Great setting, décor, ambience and service. Food was a bit disappointing. The ‘deboned’ chicken as on the menu was not deboned. The sweet chili sauce was the ordinary supermarket type. The medium sirloin came well done (much better steaks next door).

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  • Excellent food, great atmosphere - crab linguine is excellent!

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  • Went to the Foundry on a Thursday night, restaurant was buzzing! great atmosphere and super trendy decor. Had great service from both management and waitron staff. Will be back! P.S. the Prawn risotto was yummy!

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Facilities

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

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