If you have ever been down to Allmend you may have come across the Fork and Bottle, a gastro-pub with a great beer garden situated at the corner of the Allmend park and a stones throw from the Sihl. A great place to while away a long Sunday.
But what if you live in Wipkingen or Oerlikon? Or you work in the city and fancy a spot of lunch. Well, you are in luck as the good folks of Fork and Bottle have brought their take on the gastro-pub right to the centre of the city with their new venture, Urban Fork.
The first impression is a good one; nicely lit, well laid out and with a bar with ample stools if you just want to pop in for a drink with friends. As you enter the far wall is dominated by a mirror which gives a great impression of space and i was also struck by the number of plants and vibrant primary colours which, to me, gave the Urban Fork a slight latin flavour. The music was cool yet unobtrusive and importantly for me, the acoustic of the restaurant meant you could have a conversation easily.
As a unashamed Anglophile the most important thing in any kind of pub is the beer and I wasn’t disappointed. The options for beer is too numerous to list here and had I tried them all I would have been a drunken, gibbering wreck. I decided to sample three of their draft beers, all of which are brewed by craft breweries. First I tried their (unusual sounding) grapefruit IPA and followed it up with a delicious Swedish IPA and, Switzerlands own Wanderlust Swiss Pale Ale.
I must admit, all that beer made me pretty hungry and, after being informed that all the ingredients are locally sourced and bread is prepared in house, I couldn’t wait to give it a try. I started with a Pork Bao and it really hit the spot. The Bao bread had a fantastic texture and worked fantastically with the fresh coriander and char sui pork.
My dining companion had the sweet potato soup which was thick, creamy and delicious and served with a lightly toasted homemade bun. I must give the bun a special mention as it looked and tasted amazing. They are made in house, don’t you know? I also tried the mac and cheese balls with marinara sauce. Crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside and the sauce was great. My only complaint was i wanted more.
Did i say i am an Anglophile? I did? Okay, then it will be no surprise that i wanted to try the fish and chips, served with mushy peas and tartare sauce. The fish was perfectly cooked, with a delicious batter and served on a generous bed of country style chips. But what i think made it for me was the mushy peas, nothing like the normal fare from a standard British chip shop.
I have to admit, i was staring to feel a little full but there is always a small corner reserved for desert. This was filled with sticky toffee pudding, topped with ice-cream. If you are unfamiliar with sticky toffee pudding i suggest you change that. Right now.
Whilst contemplating this meal i pondered what might be on offer for lunch and it is worth mentioning that Urban Fork offers a lunch menu with fresh handmade ravioli, a burger of the week and also offers brunch on Saturday and Sunday if you are walking along the Limmat and fancy a bite. i was particularly tempted by the prospect of the Avocado Smash.
So, if a fusion of rustic Californian cuisine with British gastro pub takes your fancy then i can recommend the Urban Fork. Or pop in for one of their many beers and have a grazing snack at the bar. You’re in for a treat.
Rons Tip: Try the fish and chips with mushy peas. Delicious.
Rons Beer Tip: Grapefruit IPA may sound strange but it really works. i could drink it all night.
Instagram Suitability: The giant mirror and good lighting gives ample opportunities for a group selfie. 4 out of 5 flashbulbs.
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