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Restaurant Review

Gin + tapas = great night out in Joburg

Workshop 55 and its sister bar, 55, are the ultimate date night destinations in Parktown North

08 July 2017 - 00:01 By Lucy Sarah Heaney
The drinks menu at 55 is a gin lover's dream.
The drinks menu at 55 is a gin lover's dream.
Image: Supplied

Hidden among the bustling shops and beautiful houses that line 7th Avenue, Workshop 55 is one of Parktown North’s brightest gems.

If you love great food, adore beautiful decor and are excited by South Africa’s gin revolution, you’ll want to make a booking right away.

The first thing that you notice when you arrive at Workshop 55 is the chic decor, quickly followed by the delicious smells wafting from the kitchen which opens directly onto the restaurant’s primary dining area.

Bare brick, copper piping and the remnants of old painted signs all give the space a distinct “workshop” feel inspired by a 1900s Victorian warehouse, but which sits in stark contrast to the plush furnishings and chic character of the space.

 The ordering process at Workshop 55 is simple and guarantees that you’ll get to taste a variety of dishes, which is useful when knowing just how many mouth-watering options there are available. 

Each guest pays a set food price of R240, which gets you three tapas dishes to enjoy and, if you love something so much that you desperately need more (or if something you didn’t get to try catches your eye), you can always pay R70 for an extra plate.

With favourites like smoked tuna, lamb shoulder ravioli, baked Camembert and smoked pork knuckle on the menu, you’ll want to make sure that you visit Workshop 55 with a friend – with all the amazing options available, it would be a shame to only taste three of the incredible dishes when you could share six with a friend.

Workshop 55 opened in September 2015, but towards the end of last year it upped its game with a quirky bar adjacent to the restaurant called 55.

In this decadent space, inspired by 1930s Miami glamour and featuring pink Christian Lacroix wallpaper, you’ll find what can only be described as a shrine to the gin gods.

From local gins to imported delicacies and an impressive list of complementary tonics, the possibilities are endless: just take a seat in the beautiful velvet chairs, place yourself in the hands of the capable barmen – they’re guaranteed to make you a gin infusion that you’ll be dreaming about forever.  

Image: Supplied

This article was originally published in one of the Sunday Times Neighbourhood: Property and Lifestyle guides. Visit Yourneighbourhood.co.za, like YourNeighbourhoodZA on Facebook and follow YourHoodZA on Twitter.