A trip to Jozi to spend a day in three different kitchens led me to Urbanologi at last. I was writing and photographing for an article about Jozi staff meals and after I had thoroughly intruded on what is usually a peaceful staff chow, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of staying to experience the night service.
A coffee and chat with head chef Jack Coetzee proved to be entirely inspirational and energizing as he spoke about his team and the reverence for the multi-cultural work environment he has that enriches his life and brings a truly Jozi experience to this off-beat corner of the big city. The restaurant shares a space with Mad Giant Brewery, and is large, open plan and pure industrial awesomeness. Graffiti, murals, steel and corrugated adaptations make this place an homage to the cool parts of a city full of financial duality. If downtown Jozi was an eatery, it would be embodied in Urbanologi. The red lights and grey-dredded DJ bring so much cool and sexiness to the environment and it’s matched by the slick open-plan kitchen and punchy small plates. As always, I don’t photograph patrons, but oh my… If you are an avid people watcher and enjoy unique fashion and self expression, do come early and spend the evening basking in the bravery and confidence of the beautiful Joburg crowd. The pace is a hustle and the energy is electric. I’m super grateful that the passionate chefs indulged me and let me spend the night all up in the grill, and later I got to spend time plating on the pastry section. I don’t know if I will ever lose the passion for it.
To those who are about to cook, we salute you!