REVIEW: IYO’s burgers that give back

iyo_decor.jpg ‘We’re good on the inside because of what we put in from the outside,’ explained the menu at Inside & You’re Out. Much thought went into IYO burgers and the environment in which they’re served. The plus is diners will find things to like even if they’re not beef and bun fans.

The space is cheerful with recycled orange tins holding cutlery and sides, forest stewardship council-approved pine tables, and food served on recycled wine barrels. Herbs in planters form part of your table. You’re handed a pencil and tick list, to place your counter order.

Entrepreneur Jonah Lewis says minimising food wastage, knowing the source of food (all free-range or grass-fed meat, and some veggies are organic), operating ethically and sourcing locally is important to him. IYO implements these principles and can tell you how. Chef Jean-Marc Lenferna uses his fine dining background to put it on a plate.

Fortunately excellent burgers do their bit. The Better BLT: free-range, grass-fed beef tucked around a Boerenkaas cheese centre. Bouncy sesame buns, homemade bacon and onion jam, lettuce and garlic mayo. An unripe, crumbed tomato slice on top disappointed, but otherwise it was umami all the way. Flour-dusted curly fries were good; hand-peeled sweet potato chips were awesome.

iyo_planter.jpg The Umami burger took an Asian bent, tasting more sweet than salty with hoisin sauce and a pickled cabbage vinegarish sting. A pulled pork patty and creative ostrich version are alternatives. There’s goats’ cheese, bean and beetroot for vegetarians, or a lentil sweet potato patty for vegans – women at the next table had theirs with salad and sprouts instead of a bun.

I went healthier with a spiralized Asian salad, tangily raw sweet potato and carrot lengths in a peanut satay sauce. A beetroot-based red juice was refreshing. Then, crossing back to baked territory, the cheesecake under blowtorched marshmallows was glorious.


What to eat You can’t go wrong with any of the four beef burgers, holding cheddar inside their patties.

When to go It’s a sunny lunchtime burger option to go with colleagues, as the vegetarians and vegans eat well too.

Who to take A date, a group of friends or work colleagues.

What not to do Get too upset if you have to wait for a table if you arrive after 12.15pm. IYO is popular.

What to drink Beer – everybody else is, because it’s so burger-friendly. Local craft, bottled or on tap.

Whatever you do don’t forget to tip after ordering and paying at the counter. Waiters in dungarees will explain dishes and clear your plates.

How much Starters cost R39 to R66. Burgers with sides range from R58 to R87.

The verdict: Excellent burgers and a super-cool ethical experience.

INSIDE & YOURE OUT BURGER BAR, 103 Bree Street, Cape Town. Open Monday to Friday for lunch and dinner; Sat dinner only. Tel 021-422-1313, IYO Burgers)

A version of this review appeared in The Times on 6 May 2015.