Workshop 55 in Parktown North is a little different to other restaurants you may have visited. To kick things off, there is a R210 ‘entrance fee’, which allows you to choose three different dishes; from there, you order individual dishes. Serving the very best finely crafted drinks – the bar is renowned for its delicious infused gins – with locally and internationally influenced food, in a laid-back setting. It’s the ultimate place to share an out-of-the-ordinary foodie experience with friends.
Head Chef, Alex Webber − who studied at Prue Leith Chefs Academy and did his apprenticeship with Jackie Cameron at Hartford House, before working at Cube Tasting Kitchen – likes to use locally sourced, seasonal produce whenever possible. “Our food has an element of surprise, yet with a hearty, hit-the-spot quality,” he says. This goes for everything on the menu, from the various moreish vegetarian dishes to the desserts and more.
For something on the lighter side, try the Smoked Tuna, cured and served raw with a beetroot and horseradish slaw, goat’s milk chèvre and seaweed caviar. There’s also a fire-grilled Beef Fillet with smoky aubergine, bone marrow and za’atar, which will not disappoint. For a mix of cuisines with a local twist, try the Quail with harissa sweet corn, tamarind puree, roast garlic and sweet potato ‘vetkoek’. End things off on a decadent note with one of the scrumptious desserts. Highlights include the Chocolate Custard Tart, a set chocolate custard with crispy pastry, pistachio ice-cream and Turkish delight; or the Strawberry and Balsamic frozen yoghurt with vanilla shortbread crumb, macerated basil strawberries and a strawberry gel.
The quirky lounge adjacent to Workshop 55 is perfect for a pre- or post-dinner drink. Think Miami 1930’s glamour, with luxurious Pink Christiaan Lacroix wallpaper and a touch of whimsy, thanks to the resident parrot. The select cocktail menu boasts the best champagnes, including Laurent Perrier and local bubbly hero Le Lude. The bar also stocks whiskies and wines, which have been sourced from far and wide to create a unique collection for the serious connoisseur. Mostly though, Workshop 55 has become synonymous with delicious and interesting gin infusions, allowing you to savour rare gin gems and a selection of high quality tonics. Whatever you choose at Workshop 55, it is sure to be a not-to-be-forgotten foodie experience.