This has been my go-to place all year-long. One of my very favourite places in Joburg. It is the ideal place for those after-work drinks, early dinner drinks, simple drinks meet-up, quick meals, long drawn out dinners…you get the idea. Their signature drinks use gin as a base. I have learned quite a bit about gin during my outings to Workshop 55, and more so that South Africa has quite the burgeoning yet increasingly popular craft gin market. However, as much as I love being plied into tasting their combos of gin cocktails – the waiters in charge of the drinks orders are very good at enticing you into trying their creations so be warned, I really go for the food. The staff is always efficient, attentive and professional. Combine that with the laid-back lounge music and you will see why I keep going back again and again.
Along the lines of The Cube Taking Kitchen, in fact, Workshop 55 is the smaller, more relaxed version of the Cube. So the food combinations are delightful, experimental and bold. Think seafood gnocchi bisque alongside pasties de queijo – a custard tart made with mature cheddar – a clever recreation of that Portuguese dessert tart into something delightful, melt-off-the-bone tender beef rib, and vegetarian dishes like their curried lentils which are a meal on their own.
That craze of tapas-style dining is what Workshop 55 is all about, and they do it well. Still planning on keeping it in my radar of places that never disappoint. A recent addition is a lounge bar right next door – 55, fitted out with retro decor, sumptuous velvet walls, and art deco pieces. Here you can enjoy your pre-drinks before heading for your meal next door.
Workshop 55, 55 7th Avenue, Parktown North.