Workshop 55 is Jo’burg’s new and unique feasting experience, combining finely crafted cocktails with locally- and internationally-influenced food, set in a quirky, yet tastefully furnished space.
New to Parktown North, the setup is a little different… The experience offers guests three different dishes (starters, main course, dessert, or mix it up) at R210. If still hungry, additional dishes can be ordered at an extra cost. Head chef Alex Webber – a Prue Leith Chefs Academy alum, who did his apprenticeship with Jackie Cameron at Hartford House before working at Cube Tasting Kitchen – uses locally sourced, seasonal produce wherever possible. ‘Our food has an element of surprise, with a hearty, hit-the-spot quality,’ he says. This goes for everything on the menu, from the moreish meat, vegetarian and seafood dishes, to the desserts and more.
On the menu find smoked tuna, cured and served raw with a beetroot and horseradish slaw, goat’s milk chevre and seaweed caviar; a fire-grilled beef fillet with smoky aubergine, bone marrow and za’atar; and quail with harissa sweet corn, tamarind puree, roast garlic and sweet potato ‘vetkoek’. End things on a decadent note with chocolate custard tart set with crispy pastry, pistachio ice-cream and Turkish delight; or strawberry and balsamic frozen yoghurt with vanilla shortbread crumb, macerated basil strawberries and a strawberry gel.
Lounge 55, adjacent to the Workshop, is ideal for a pre- or post-dinner libation. The decor, inspired by 1930’s Miami glamour, features luxurious Christiaan Lacroix wallpaper and bespoke furniture that add a touch of whimsy to the already beguiling interiors. Owners Gary and Julie Soalheiro, formerly of Cabelo Interiors, designed the interiors themselves and sourced the wallpaper from CP Décor.
The bar’s curated menu prides itself on its Champagne offering, including Laurent Perrier and local bubbly hero Le Lude, not to mention a considered whisky and wine menu for the serious connoisseur. Mostly, Workshop 55 has become synonymous with its interesting gin infusions, allowing guests to savour rare flavours and a selection of high-quality tonic. Whatever your choice, the experience at both Workshop and Lounge 55 is designed to be memorable.