The business of ordering always ends up being a rather expensive exercise at Urbanologi it’s worth it for the pleasure of being able to taste so many fresh, foreign and interesting flavor combinations. The menu is divided into raw, cured, steamed, fried, kushiyaki (meaning skewered and grilled) and dessert. If you’re dining alone, make sure to pick one from each.
Standout plates included the herb seared venison with Sriracha emulsion, cucumber salsa and ponzu in the raw section; the duck pancakes with kimchi, horseradish emulsion and hoisin in the cured section; the coal-fried broccoli with smoked gorgonzola and broccoli gremolata; and the crumbed line-caught chokka (squid) served with a sweet and piquant mango salsa and micro basil. For those who enjoy pairing their food with the right kind of beverage, each dish comes with a wine or beer recommendation.
Say yes to the churros served with lime frozen yoghurt, cinnamon and orange jelly for dessert – they’re light and fresh and go beautifully with the suggested glass of Yardstick pinot noir.
Pleasingly, many of the wines are served by the glass, with some nice surprises such as the Circumstance Biodynamic (cabernet franc) and the Yardstick (pinot noir). Cocktails are made using only premium spirits and specially made spirits and are definitely worth a spin. For instance, the humble margarita is made with Don Julio, Cointreau, still lemonade and a squeeze of lemon. Non-alcoholic beverages are also available – from Symmetry Botanical tonics to BOS ice tea and S.Pellegrino sparkling water.
Quick, efficient service and knowledgeable staff means that recommendations from your waitron can be trusted and ingredients and plate size can be explained before decisions are made.
Because it’s a huge, industrial-style restaurant space with high ceilings and a brewery on-site, it can get very cold and drafty, especially in the colder months. But it’s great for entertaining big groups, who can be seated at the long dark wooden tables on matching high chairs.
Urbanologi patrons don’t pay for parking – just remember to ask for a receipt and present it to the car guards.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.
Really HORRIBLE service and tiny portions of food.
Despite making a reservation - they couldn't find my reservation and insisted i didn't make one. I had to show the staff on THEIR computer where my reservation was. Because they forgot my reservation, there wasn't a table large enough for my group of people.
Waited ages to get a menu, place orders and to actually get our food. Portions of food where minuscule - even for tapas.
I had the best time on my birthday. The food was great, had the best chicken of my life. The decor is so fresh and the waiter served us well.
The restaurant its self is quite amazing, surely deserving of the award it got for the design. My wife and I had dinner here this past weekend, she insisted we come here because of all the hype surrounding this place, I was a bit skeptical given the location, however it was worth it.
The restaurant was not as busy as one would expect but the food was amazing and service was phenomenal, Thabiso gave us the experience like no other, we are well travelled and can safely say this was way up there with the best places we have been to, the only down side to the experience was the dessert, I personally did not enjoy them.
We were very pleased with our experience here and we will definitely be coming back for more as I understand the menu changes quite often.
Was a little dissapointed by the food. For tapas, I found that there was no cohesion between the dishes. The duck pancake was delicious but required something fresh to cut through the fatty like texture. My partner found the steamed brioche bland as the bun had very little of the truffle catalan. Alas, the only dish we truly enjoyed was the deep fried potatoes. Maybe we made poor selections, as the waiter did not offer up any suggestions or recommendations. For dessert we had the peach and thyme. There was no peach flavouring and too much thyme. Not a great way to end. May give this another try in a couple of months if the menu changes.
Best restaurant, food and beer in town, simple as that
Having recently returned to South Africa, Urbanologi was high on my list of must try restaurants. It is a great spot, with wonderful potential, and I look forward to visiting again.
As a creature of habit, I perused the menu before my visit, and was very keen to try the duck pancakes. Unfortunately our waitress informed us that the menu item was not available that day, and I was slightly perturbed.
We don't eat beef or pork, but found sufficient menu items that satisfied our dietary restrictions. We ordered the venison tartare, smoked snoek toast, mushroom springrolls, chicken yakitori and brioche buns. Most of the menu items were scrumptious - I particularly enjoyed the brioche buns (bursting with a truffle butter filled center) and the chicken yakitori (soft and tender, served with an excellent chimichurri style sauce). Our least favorite item was the mushroom springroll - I felt the sauce and springroll combination just didn't work.
We skipped dessert as we planned to grab ice-cream at the little market in the center.
I was slightly apprehensive about driving to Urbanologi in Johannesburg central, but there is adequate, free secure parking provided. There are a number of small craft style stores in the little center that are worth a visit.
With the promise of seasonal menu items, I'm keen to give Urbanologi another try, especially if duck pancakes are still on the menu.
Great restaurant, we loved that we could chat to the guys who run the place. Will definitely go back any day
Had another great lunch at Urbanologi. As always. I'm not necessarily a vegetarian but would become if these guys would cook every day. Grilled broccoli with gorginzola dip. Heaven!