There are only three things better than eating eating delicious foods at fancy restaurants: scuba diving with a dolphin squad, doing a backflip into a pool and eating delicious foods at fancy restaurants that donate 100 percent of their profits to charity. Which is why Folonomo, Sydney's first 'profit for purpose' eatery created by philanthropist Matthew Byrne, should be your new favourite place to share a meal with your pals.
Folonomo — short for 'for love, not money' — is located in a refurbished heritage cottage in Surry Hills right next to its sister cafe Gratia on the corner of Albion and Bourke Streets. Every element of the fit-out is totally Pintrestable; it's got warm lighting, exposed brick walls, and rustic wooden furniture. There's a gallery space upstairs where the owners will hold events, classes, talks and exhibitions — the profits of which, just like in the restaurant, will be donated 50/50 to their own charity The Pure Foundation and other charities that strive to foster positive change in the world.
The menu is vibrant and eclectic, appropriating flavours and culinary techniques from around the world to provide a particularly innovative take on the classics. According to Byrne, the theme for the menu is a celebration of Australian multiculturalism. As such, the dishes are playful and hearty — and the portions are satisfying generous and perfect for sharing. Thank God the days of ordering a thimble of broth for $30 are finally over.
The starter of brilliantly orange ocean trout tartare served on a warm chickpea pancake ($19) is surprisingly moreish, while the spanner crab rolled in zucchini ribbons ($21) was super fresh and tasted like a paleo practitioner's wet dream. As for mains, the poached chicken is flawlessly succulent and topped with harissa and hazelnuts, while the tender hanger steak served on a bed of farro with earthy slices of swiss brown mushroom is as umami as it gets (both $32). The mere aroma of this savoury A Team is enough to trigger dangerous levels of salivating. And for those vegetarians and vegans among us who prefer to keep the source of their salivating ethical, fear not — the sunflower kernel risotto ($25) is deliciously hearty and served piled with grilled asparagus and sprouts.
Be sure to save some real estate in your dessert stomach though, as the chefs at Folonomo have created two of the most amazing post-dinner treats. There's the Instagram-worthy golden mousse served between shards of dark chocolate with honey chevre and bitter chocolate sorbet or, our favourite, the kouign-amann — a delicious creation from Brittany comprised of bread laden with layers of butter and sugar which caramelise as it's baked (both $14). It's served warm with tart lemon curd and vanilla ice cream, and tastes like bread and butter pudding on crack. If you're having trouble making a dessert decision, you can consider it your moral obligation to order both — it's for charity, after all.
Images: Bodhi Liggett.