Brik Café. Picture: Facebook
Brick by brick, a house is only as strong as its foundation.
At Brik Café in Rosebank its the local ingredients that create a menu that’s not only vibrant but also able to hold its own for picky eaters who want more that steak and potatoes.
In fact, at Brik some of the meat-free dishes show a lot more culinary chutzpah than its meat-based counterparts. There’s also something really wholesome at play.
Brik combines Art Deco, postmodern and mid-century modern stylings with the vibrancy of Rosebank as well as the excitement that is part of the Rosebank firehouse.
Add to that it is going to add a sort of dysphoria for the bunch on the other side of Rosebank around the Keyes Art Mile. Not that there is any competition – it simply revives this side of town with gutsy food and coffee.
Brik Café. Picture: Facebook
What sets Brik Café apart is it’s sustainable, ethical on conscious. In 2019 those aren’t words that get thrown around lightly.
All ingredients, whether it’s from animals or vegetables, are sourced as locally as possible and sustainable. That includes supporting small community gardens and entrepreneurs.
Everything is recycled in some way, and almost everything is made from scratch, except the things other people have specialised in, like the Truthery cold press juices, Malies baobab ice creams and Caz kombucha.
Leftovers and waste from here become compost to grow more vegetables, plastic waste become bricks that is sent to Not Made in China where it becomes recycled shirts and bags.
Picanha served with wilted greens, Vietnamese rice paper, romanesco, chilli and corn ribs. Picture: Facebook
Fruit and vegetable cutoffs become syrups, flavourings or garnishes while sustainable meat and fish is used.
But Brik Café is that rare sort of place where you can close your eyes and pick something at whim – and it will be extraordinary.
There’s exciting dishes like corn “ribs” which is essentially slithers of corn on the cob in a barbecue basting sauce meant to be devoured the same as pork ribs at a buffet.
The chickpea pancakes are completely vegan and absolutely a good start to the day. Another surprising delight at R49 is the Vegan Fried Fish and Chips made with banana blossom nori, sweet potato and aquafaba tartar.
There’s also barbeque pulled banana done a la pulled-pork that really shows a commitment to clever use of substitutions.
BBQ pulled banana peel with humus and tomato. Picture: Facebook
If you’re on a health binge desserts offer many sugar-free options, but if there is one ultimate indulgence it has to be the Basque baked cheesecake with a dreamy whisky custard.
Sasha Simpson, Brik Café’s owner, fell in love with the corner of the working fire station building in Rosebank. And the sunny bay window and ruddy red bricks only added to the charm. While the restaurant is named after these bricks, the inside is meant to be opened and soft.
Featuring glass, black enamelled metal and pale woods, the beautiful 60s-70s style bamboo chairs brings together modern and slick with comfort and old charms.
As with the food, the interior pieces are also locally focused. The bamboo chairs and metal chairs are designed and made by Neil Grantham. Takk studios and David Krynauw are both responsible for the wooden seating and tables.
A delightfully relevant find was the huge mortar and pestle from the old Waverley Pharmacy – the same place the apothecary jars came from, all lovely Johannesburg heritage pieces.
At Brik the foundation for a perfect food escape is indeed very strong.
Basque baked cheesecake with whisky custard. Picture: Facebook
7am: It might be one of the cyclists relishing coffee and a pastry over a weekend, or the mum on a weekday who’s on her way to or from delivering the kids at play or real school – coffee and a cocoa protein ball (from the glass cabinet).
9-11am: The person looking for breakfast should try Apple and Rolled Oats Bircher (with triple thick yoghurt and city-hives local honey).
Noon: The laptop worker can grab a trendy coffee and the Best Ever Grilled Cheese (four cheeses actually) from the menu.
3pm: The shopper will find sustenance from fynbos teas and Basque Baked Cheesecake (with whisky custard).
4-5pm: The happy hour-type office worker can enjoy any of the greater craft beers with the tapas type snack foods.
7pm: Diners from greater Johannesburg can look forward to the summer dinner menu and wine (curated by manager and wine host Odette Botha).
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