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.
- Monday Closed
- Tuesday 18:00 - 23:00
- Wednesday 18:00 - 23:00
- Thursday 18:00 - 23:00
- Friday 18:00 - 23:00
- Saturday 18:00 - 23:00
- Sunday Closed
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.
Had the set menu which was a little bit pricey but well worth it. The food and the cocktails were great, and a good selection of wines. Knowing that the restaurant donates part of their profits makes it all worth while. Great job guys.
Really great food and atmosphere! Steak was perfect, chicken was perfect.. pretty much licked all the plates clean. Service got a bit slow towards the end as the place filled up, but didnt detract from the overall experience.
Delicious food, friendly service. Very loud interior because there's nothing to absorb the music & voices, but other than that we had a great time.
the food was really good and the idea was great, donate all the profit to the charity, love there, and will go to the cafe again next time
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!
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!
Unfortunately our experience could've only gone downhill quicker if we had walked head first into the glass front door. After being seated we learned that Folonomo had become licensed on Tuesday. As our booking was made a month ago, an email, text or phone call could've prevented any issues. Instead, we arrived with a bottle of wine that I'd been saving for five months after receiving it as a 40th birthday present and told we couldn't drink it and would be stuck with it for the rest of our night out. With our high expectations for the night dashed at the first hurdle (the only compromise offered was to surrender the bottle to the restaurant and retrieve it at a later date, which was too inconvenient - we'd already invested a large amount in a babysitter and cabs just to be able to go out for dinner), we both ordered the risotto on the waitress's recommendation, paid the bill and left. After taking our order the waitress avoided our table, and unfortunately our bill was probably the smallest the restaurant has ever taken. If ever there was a restaurant worth spending more at it was Folonomo due to its social conscience. We thought the BYO issue was handled extremely poorly, particularly as on this rare occasion I was emotionally attached to the bottle of wine and couldn't just get rid of it before we headed out afterward. Expensive restaurants are supposed to make you feel special for a couple of hours, and we felt like criminals as the restaurant couldn't be bothered to let patrons know of the rule changes. I'm sure other reviews will give a more predictable account of what to expect dining at Folonomo.
A small but well balanced menu of uncomplicated yet delicious food, perfectly cooked and presented; dishes are designed to be shared, so with a group of 4, you could sample everything on the menu - and it's all great! BYO makes it a value night out as well - we shared 7 courses between 2, at a cost of $75 each, and we'll be back to try the rest of the menu soon...highly recommended.
The place is stylish without being pretentious in any way, the service is slick and never too imposing, the food was all round excellent with the right balance of creativity and complexity of flavours without anything being overpowering or missing the mark by trying too hard. We are vegequarian and there was plenty to choose from for one visit, although maybe new choices would be limited the second time around. Add the positive ethical stance and it's just about a perfect dining experience. Very much recommended.
if you book online, I would recommend leaving a comment or phoning to state you want to be sat in the restaurant not opposite the kitchen in a bar style format (unless you like that). The food was very nice, we opted for the banquet ($70 pp). The entrees did come out too fast though (had 4-5 on the table at one point) and the mains then came out pretty slowly. All together a good experience though, would recommend if you havent been there
We enjoyed every course, such a cute place. Love the ambience and decor, definitely a date night local gem as well. Lovely flavours, good portion sizes and nice variety. The service was great and staff were friendly. Will definitely return! The philosophy and overall concept that profits go towards not for profits makes me admire this place even more!
I almost feel it's pointless reviewing the ridiculously good food and the impressive and friendly service at this place - frankly if you don't try it you're really missing out. But, the fact I can add that the atmosphere, fit-out AND THE MUSIC!!!!! are all spot on, well, I'm in heaven! THANK YOU Folonomo. Philip (already re-booked, of course!)
Excellent food, interesting dishes that were extremely tasty. Buzzy vibe and a mixed demographic of patrons all made for a great night. Only reservation was the extremely high price of drinks, way out of proportion to the food cost. A half carafe of wine for close to $50 is I feel a bit steep.
Gorgeous venue, gorgeous food, amazing cocktails and beautiful art. We will be back. We LOVED IT. We went for the 7 course sharing menu as there was 4 of us, honestly felt so at home, conversation was flowing as this delicious food kept coming out, the portions were bigger than I expected as well!!
A lovely experience at Folonomo. The concept is wonderful. The service was impeccable, very friendly, extremely accommodating but also not intrusive. The food was interesting and different. The curry was really fantastic.
We started with the crab rolls and octopus which were delicious. We had the chicken and the pumpkin seeds risotto as mains. The chicken was moist with a great combination of flavours. The risotto was nicely prepared and seasoned. It was busy on a Thursday night but the service was attentive. A great place for a chilled evening with lovely food and atmosphere.
The food was excellent, flavourful and interesting. The service was friendly and accommodating. I would certainly return to dine again. The only downside was us being seated near the toilet away from the main restaurant area, it was really cold. Blankets were provided but we had to stay in our winter coats.
Having been to Folonomo before I had great expectations, but the second time around the service was disorganised (3 different waiters asked us for our drinks order and we had to remind them that we'd actually ordered for our drinks to arrive) and the food was super slow to arrive. Our reservation was at 7.30pm and we didn't leave til 10.30pm! The food was great but based on the experience this time around, I wouldn't go again.
amazing food and service on a cold and busy night. waitress was really helpful and lovely, food was delicious (a little small - was said that it was for sharing, which you could with maybe two, but if you're a big eater probably order an extra main), and ambiance was great.
We had an absolutely fantastic experience at Folonomo. Enjoyed the unique menu, personable staff, location and atmosphere. Highly recommend the Murray Cod and amazing desserts.
Delicious food, some dishes like the poached chicken, rabbit croquettes and golden moose were exceptional. Friendly and accommodating service - the one pescitarian in our group was well looked after and dishes came out in a dining friendly order (sea food first, side dishes with meat) unlike other places. Cool and atmospheric- added bonus of art gallery upstairs. Great experience.
Delicious food complete with a short explanation from the chef about how certain dishes were prepared. I booked online easily, and suggest booking in advance, particularly for tables looking to dine at the 8:30pm and later session. Waitress recommendations were helpful, attentive service from all staff. Great concept, great evening.
The food is wholesome and yummy, the service great. I was in the brick section this time and all the reflective surfaces meant that our table of 8 had to yell to be heard by the person next to you let alone 2 away. Love the place but it needs some good absorbant material to soften the acoustics
The food and service were of a high standard - simple menu - delicious, subtle flavours. However we didn't stay for desert because it was so noisy we had just about lost our voices by then. That is the only down side - why play loud music when everyone is shouting at each other to be heard?
It was a great experience and I would definitely recommend - the food was mostly great and the staff very attentive. They even organised a birthday candle and sparkler for one of our party. Only downside, and even then not so much, was that the smaller pieces of the octopus were charred/burnt, the larger pieces were fine.
Such a cosy and welcoming restaurant... the food was delicious - really interesting flavours with great cocktails and wine to match. The staff were friendly and very helpful. And just the fact that all profits go to charity makes your evening so much better. Remember to tip!
Delicious menu. We chose the dumplings to share, followed by the chicken and steak. All perfect. Smiling, friendly faces greeted us and were all very helpful when we had questions regarding our wine choices. Loved the low lighting too. A perfect evening. Thank you all at Folonomo.
Food was good as was the service; the wait staff were friendly and efficient. Only negatives were a confusion with our booking on arrival which was dealt with and getting rained on due to a leaky roof in the courtyard area but we were relocated fairly quickly so all good. Overall it was a good night.
The food was very good and the service prompt and attentive. i really enjoyed sitting at the bar and watching the chefs cook, one chef even explained our meal to us whic was lovely. However as the night wore on one chef became more and more agitated and essentially rude to the other staff which was unpleasant to watch. I wanted to support a restaurant that is nice to their employees as well as nice to the environment and this behavior is not acceptable in a workplace.
The food was delicious - especially the rabbit croquettes. The restaurant also had a good atmosphere. When the liquor licence is granted they will need to be careful about the wine prices in order to maintain affordability as it is at the pricier end - although all for a good cause!
Great food, friendly staff, good cause. We had the olives and flatbread, kingfish tartare, lamb with dirty rice, chicken, yellow squash and two desserts. The only minus was the yellow squash, everything else was excellent. The wine by the carafe was great.
Love the philosophy of the restaurant and then to have fantastic food just a wonderful combination and evening. The menu and food were creative, diverse and beautiful to see and taste- great selection and glad it was limited as it was already too hard to decide between dishes. Highly recommend.
Loved the ambience, really cosy. Had a table in the little courtyard out the back, which is really cute, with blankets in case it gets cold, which it didn't. Great service, great food. The art gallery upstairs is an unexpected bonus.
Amazing food and service plus worthy cause. We had an enjoyable evening and came away feeling very full and content. Great options for gluten free and I loved the different veggies dishes they on offer eg sunflower kernel risotto - yum!
Excellent food, attentive staff and great vibes! The Kernel Risotto and the lamb shoulder were mouthwatering and the Kouing-amann was on point! You feel great eating the food since 100% of the profit goes to Charity. Will definitely go back again.
Highly recommended. Beautiful food and service is fantastic. Love the terrace house and the decor. The menu is variety. The terrine and quail are amazing. The waiter told us menu will be changed every 3 months. Will go back for sure.
Food was superb. Fresh, adventurous and flavoursome. Atmosphere excellent and kitchen and floor staff attentive, open and friendly. We love eating at the long bench where you can see the kitchen and chat to the kitchen staff. All round exceeded expectations.
Just fantastic! Go with a group so you can try everything. The beef was especially good. So good that i had an allergic reaction (my own gamble - fish allergy and menu does say eel butter) and kept eating anyway!!
One of the best dining experiences I've had in Sydney in a long time. Ticked all the boxes- food, drink, service and atmosphere. This place tells a story and it's an inclusive one that I want to revisit again v.soon.
Between 4 of us we shared 8 dishes out of possible 12(?). 2 were spectac - prawn threads & kingfish. The menu had changed that day - and the chef. They need to extend their wine list & stock. Need more sparkling wine options. Great service
The food was fresh with strong flavours, had to send the beef back to the kitchen, looked like it hadn't touched the grill. However the staff where rude, pushy and slow, it took over 20 minutes to get the bill delivered to the table and when we got sick of waiting the waiter told us to remain seated all transactions are taken at the table and ask outright what we would pay for service.
Had a booking at 6:30 and to be out by 8:30, however we never felt pressured to leave and it was a Friday night! Left at 10:30 pm after a fabulous meal and sensational service, great vibe.
Food was fantastic. Every dish was explained by the staff when served. Recommend the pork and the rump steak Friendly staff and great atmosphere Definitely try it - but make sure you book if going on a Saturday night so you don't miss out
Great little restaurant with delicious food. I'd probably describe it as Modern Australian with a middle eastern twist. Lovely ambience with friendly service (though the server forgot our side dish!). Great experience and will go again.
Amazing restaurant. I'd never been for dinner before (only breakfast at Gratia, which is superb) but the dinner menu is delicious and the atmosphere in the restaurant at night is divine. Such a great little local.
A really nice seasonal menu to share. We very much enjoyed the food & the ambience and the staff were friendly and attentive. Folomono is making the not for profit model work so well without compromising on quality - win-win all round. Thanks!
Food was very tasty, definitely recommend the rump steak. Ambience has a hipster feel to it. Worth trying. Best to go with a group of four or more so that you can try more of the menu, which is designed to share.