Surry Hills is an unlikely spot for a communitarian revolution, home as it is to advanced tertiary sector industries, well-to-do professionals and the like, but there’s one afoot nonetheless. Folonomo, like its sister restaurant, Gratia Cafe, both on Bourke Street, is elevating people over profit to become Sydney’s first not-for-profit restaurant and gallery space. The restaurant seeks to be a celebration of multicultural diversity in Sydney and work as closely as possible with local suppliers to ensure that the carbon footprint at Folonomo is kept to a minimum.
Treading the fine line between chic not-for-profit and overly earnest cottage cheese knitting, Folonomo manages to stay on the stylish side of ethical trading by pairing their locally sourced, organically produced menu with a gallery space devoted to artists from across Sydney’s many artistic hubs. This, along with Bourke Street’s Folonomo’s commitment to offering talks and classes for their soon-to-be army of fans, means that Surry Hills looks gets to ring the changes at Folonomo.
For those interested in the nitty-gritty of Folonomo’s charitable efforts, the team have resolved to split 100% of their profits (after all debts have been cleared, naturally) between two not-for-profit organisations. The first to be chosen by the staff, and the second voted for by their customers. Surry Hill’s chic, tattooed and fabulous are sure to flock to Folonomo in search of a dining experience they can feel good about, art they can connect with and a philosophy they can get behind. As the world moves relentlessly in the direction of pure profiteering, Folonomo on Bourke Street is a moment of respite for Sydney’s in-the-know locals and visitors alike.
Love folonomo! The food is amazing, the service delightful and everything does taste better when you know the profits are going to a good cause!
I went for diner at Folonomo. The food was excellent and the staff very friendly. We had a great evening - highly recommend it! Thanks for a lovely night.
Excellent food and service was great - not pushy or rushing us out the door despite us being the last there. V relaxed but attentive. Waitress got rid of a drunk guy off the street who was bothering our table. The waiter had good banter and offered us umbrellas for the unexpected rain. The feedme menu was great value and tasty. Good funky house runes played too. Great experience, thank you.
Great food and service. Went with a group of 6 and enjoyed the sharing style. The space itself is great as well. Industrial but also homey.
I checked out Folonomo on a wet Wednesday after reading about it's social enterprise initiative. Working in that space, it's ethos appealed to me, and the menu and BYO ($10 per bottle) appealed. Definitely a great little space, with both the cafe and restaurants sides open in the evening for dinner, plus the little covered courtyard. It poured, and the poor staff spent half their evening trying to keep the courtyard patrons dry (which generally meant playing musical tables for some, though we were fine). It didn't dampen our experience at all though, and we remained dry throughout. The food was delicious - we shared the chargrilled octopus, very tasty flatbread and olives, and i then had the chicken and a'tar whilst my friend had the lamb. All the food I can't fault. Tasty, well presented, good value for money, filling and wholesome. Downside? They need to polish up their service. We were fine as we settled in for a lazy evening, and BYO means you aren't waiting for someone to come and fill your glass or replenish your bottle. If we were, I reckon we'd have been rather thirsty! Like I say, we are pretty laid back and not in a rush, but almost an hour for the octopus after the bread and olives was a long wait, as was then the mains after that. Even requests for more water took a longggg time. It was always friendly, just slow, and maybe that was in part due to the challenges with the weather. Will I be back? Most definitely. I'll make sure I pick up my BYO first (they are not licensed at all, but they will give you a discount card for the Bottle-O on Bourke St which is a 5 min walk....fine when not pouring with rain!). And i'll make sure i order that bread as - apart from being yummy, salty and confronting - otherwise I might have been chewing at the table! Overall - great food, good value for money, excellent ethos...just need to speed up the service guys. Then you'd be a 6/6.
This is without a doubt one of my best dinning experiences in Sydney and easily takes the number 1 spot in my 2015 - 2016 list of fav resultants and I reckon it will remain there for a very long time as I reckon it will be extremely hard to beat!!! My fav dish of the night was the Cod croquettes which were so out of this world all I could say was "omg omg omfg" and nearly teared up because of how amazing they were, the flavour combo and the texture were like something I'd only dreamed about!! Everything else was also delicious. And the kouign amann dessert is to die for!! Service was extremely friendly and very attentive. And all this was made For Love Not Money - FOLONOMO: non-for-profit Resturant who donate all profits to charity!
Had read reviews prior to going and a few commenters said that the service was a bit slow. I feel like the restaurant also had read reviews and improved in this because we were a larger group (8) and the service was impeccable. They were constantly refilling our wine/water glasses, the pace of the food was perfect, and at the end when we realised we had to rush to catch our train they cleared the table as soon as we requested it and brought the cake so we could sing, and then packed it for those that had to leave. The food was amazing, varied dishes and all delicious. Highly recommended!
Great little corner style cafe/restaurant with terrific ambience and some special treats on the menu (the poached chicken man was exceptional!) to suit casual diners and special occasion. We had two seats at the kitchen counter and thoroughly enjoyed the meal, the win, the banter between the kitchen staff (and between them and us from time to time) and the always attentive service. The best compliment I can give this place is that my experience with the dishes ordered and watching the prep in the kitchen to make our meals has made me excited to return to try the rest of the menu. Thoroughly recommended.
I've given it 4 out of 6, when it would probably deserve 3 out of 6 in any normal situation but the food was excellent so I couldn't bring myself to put 3. However, service was very very very slow. Also, there are 3 rooms to sit in. The front room is by far the best, the middle room ok, the counter seats/kitchen room was described to me as bad, I actually liked the set up and was pleasantly surprised by the room/layout, but unfortunately they have a bug infestation all over the counter where we sat and we saw between 15-20 insects (or the same 3 or 4 ones multiple times) throughout the whole meal which was slightly offputting. All in all, definitely worth going, food is excellent, but ask for table in the first room. As for service being super slow (but still friendly), I assume we were just unlucky on the night.
There were 6 of us so we chose the banquet menu, which whilst it was not the cheapest option, was good value. Beautiful flavours, and so much of it! The barramundi was our favourite, along with the tapioca fritters. The first five courses came in a rush then we asked for a break, which became a really long gap. Perhaps ask to space out the courses more evenly. The service was good though our waitress kept saying spicy when she meant spiced, which meant my son who doesn't like spicy food missed out, despite our reassurances! Overall, great food, good atmosphere and we love the idea of a restaurant with a social conscience, putting profits back into the community. Enjoy!