Venues

Craft (Parkhurst)

Craft (Parkhurst)
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Cost
R100 avg main meal
Ambience
Hip & happening
Food
Bistro fare, Burgers, International, Pizzas
Payment
Amex, Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Thulisa Martins

Food
Simple, homely food. Generous serving portions for all the moreish food is just what one wants for the indulgence here.

There is not much of a starter option but the rest of the menu makes up for it, like with the homemade pasta. Also choose from ostrich mince bobotie or sticky BBQ spare ribs. The oxtail is the best, falling off the bone. It's full of flavour and lathered in a rich tomato sauce, served with mash. Notable is the pulled pork burger or their craft burger – massive 200g burgers. The smoked pulled pork is placed atop the 200g beef patty with Emmental cheese, greens and aioli. Banting guests could choose a cauliflower rosti instead of the bread bun.

If not choosing dessert from the display of treats, a dessert shake or a freak waffle, then try something from the short list of desserts, which include cheesecakes and ice creams. The chocolate truffle, a moist flourless Belgian chocolate cake served with a soft cream or vanilla ice cream and a berry compote, is pure indulgence.

Drinks
This is where you can have bubbles by the glass. Try Laurent Perrier Cuveé Brut Rose NV. The extensive wine list includes organic wines from Waverley Hills wine estate in Tulbagh, where no sulphites are added. Then there is a whole host of milkshakes, which includes spiked milkshakes like Ferrero Rocher and hazelnut. Or, if it’s a winter night, try the ‘freaking Hot Chocolates’ which includes the Loaded Hot Chocolate or the Loaded Salted Caramel. Artisan cocktails are also available.

Service
Service is friendly, quick and edgy. Well-informed waitrons recommend meals for those who need a bit of help choosing.

Ambience
It's a buzzing restaurant, with dark wooden tables and chairs that gives a vintage look, yet the pizza oven offers a warm homely touch. The kitchen is semi-open and there is a display of some treats, including homemade cupcakes. A true foodie hub.

And…
Looking out the window, the view shows the vibrant Parkhurst vibe of people going about their days, some vintage shops and other restaurants, making you remember with surprise that you are in the midst of busy Johannesburg.

(September 2016)

Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.

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  • Marie-Lais Emond

    Food
    Craft is a phenomenal success, sourcing fresh ingredients from producers with integrity (their stories set out on the menu), and using it to create heart-warming dishes. Dig right in with some thick, flavourful beef and onion soup to share at the table, with steaming rolls straight from the oven. The restaurant has recently acquired its own smoker and now serves beautiful home-smoked chicken – tender, tasty and served simply sliced with smoked bacon and fresh apple slaw. A burger is not just a burger here. The Craft lamb burger is exceptional: the pure ground lamb patty, nestled in its wood-fired pita, adorned with minted tsatziki, the whole placed artfully on bright steamed greens, and some sweet potato fries on the side, becomes a revelation of tastes. If you want a no-bread burger, ask for it to be served on the crispy cauliflower rösti. Every dish, big like the aromatic kleftiko or small, like their cheery chicken liver salad, is carefully made. Desserts are much more whacky, with a touch of nostalgia, like the homemade salted caramel Oreo cheesecake. Breakfast is equally interesting. Shaksuka is popular these days, but what about Scotch eggs and even a salmon version thereof? Then there’s that stack of coconut pancakes. Vegetarians, carnivore, fish lovers, there’s something for everyone at Craft.

    Drinks
    Top of the list are the Waverley Hills organic wines and then it goes on to include the funky, the interesting and the almost-garagiste. Prices are fair. Then of course there’s the craft beers, again the unusual, really crafty ones, fifteen in bottles and ten on tap. Even the spirits are crafted, coming from the likes of Inverroch and Jorgensen. Another draw card is the milkshakes in flavours like vanilla and marshmallow puff, Ferrero Rocher and lemon meringue. All that wheatgrass standing around in pots often goes into freshly squeezed drinks. The charming manager functions as the drinks adviser and sommelier.

    Service
    Charming, with a lot of personal attention to every patron; and though nothing that arrives at top speed, customers seem very content.

    Ambience
    It’s a very big, busy and well-designed space, with a retro feel. Dark wooden tables and chairs find their place on parquet floors, and there is one large, round community table. Nothing intimidating here, even the bar area has tables in it where families could dine in comfort. So good is the food and vibe that you seldom see anyone on their phones, which is phenomenal in itself. Outside, the menu is propped up on a Remington typewriter at a table.

    And…
    There’s some crafty stuff for sale, including leather-smith aprons, cast iron teapots, and organic coffee.

  • Hennie Fisher

    Craft opened in trendy Parkhurst late in 2013, aiming to please crowds at the height of the craft beer and casual eating craze, with the additional draw of a pizza oven and extensive drinks menu of innovative milkshakes, homemade soft drinks, coffees, and an impressive wine list. Hennie Fisher takes a closer look.

    The food
    Craft is a great drinks-and-snacks spot, offering a number of plates to share, such as the cured meat board or a vegetable board including artichokes, marinated courgettes, dolmades, and falafel. Sitting down to a hearty meal will prove equally satisfying. The large, wood-fired pizza oven looming in a corner delivers items like the delightful fig and brie pizza – an excellent starter to share – which comes to your table piping hot. Even the breakfast menu has a number of items that fly out of the pizza oven, such as the breakfast lasagne (layers of mince, scrambled egg, spinach, hickory ham and cheese) and the breakfast pizza (a Margarita with bacon, eggs and fresh herbs). For lunch, order some easy-going dishes like hake goujons in a batter (made from the house ale) with potato wedges and aioli. The burger on the dinner menu features a juicy, handmade beef patty and a bun loaded with seeds. You could also order hearty, old-fashioned bobotie and yellow rice, an ale rarebit rump or a pretty nifty chickpea burger. One off-note, however, was the dish of large pasta shells with a lacklustre meat sauce; it needed a whole lot more oomph to put it in the same class as the rest.

    Someone in the kitchen has a deft hand with desserts and pastries. Although the desserts might sound slightly mainstream, they are made with great care and are utterly delicious. A salted caramel cheesecake, flourless chocolate truffle cake, and a perfectly wobbly panna cotta with caramel popcorn are some examples of the wider selection.

    The drinks
    The drinks list is comprehensive, with the wine list highlights four wine farms – Babylonstoren, Lords Winery, Lynx Winery and Gabrielskloof – with background information on the location and owners. The rest of the wine offering is unfussy, with a mix of well-chosen, well-priced options such as Mount Babylon Pioneer Brut Reserve, Ataraxia Chardonnay, Crystallum Pinot Noir and JD Initial Red, to name but a few. There are many craft beers on tap, including the 11 Shillings, a craft beer apparently exclusive to Parkhurst. Other niceties include hand-paddled milkshakes in flavours such as candy floss and Ferrero Rocher chocolate; a spritzer made with pomegranate, rose and raspberry cordial from Kuhestan organic farm in Magoebaskloof; and an old-school lemonade. Just give one of the passionate staff the opportunity and before you know it you’ll be doing a tequila tasting.

    The service
    Waiters are young and sassy, while managers are always on hand to make suggestions about the particularly large collection of beverages or urge you to order a single-origin Kenyan AA Karimikui cappuccino – they’re darn good, too. All staff members are well trained; our waitress was careful to mention that the chocolate ganache cake was made with alcohol.

    The ambience
    The restaurant takes up a corner in one of Johannesburg’s most famous foodie streets, across from other landmarks such as Coobs, YuMe, Melissa’s and a lovely little late-night grocer called Urban Spaza. Happily, Joburg appears to be coming into its African identity. Craft’s tables spill out onto the sidewalk and at around 7.30pm there were no unoccupied seats. Even a table in the cosy bar area makes you feel part of the buzz, once the office-folk have departed after their post-work drinks. Neutral colours, a wall tiled entirely in black (behind the grill section), and some trendy lighting make for a casual but simultaneously smart atmosphere. Tables are bare, in keeping with the quick-paced bistro vibe, but perhaps slightly more substantial serviettes or cloth napkins would not go amiss, since much of the food warrants eating by hand.

    And…
    Take home the super-tasty Karimikui coffee, Aceh Tengah organic tea, and the very chic and utterly desirable leather aprons worn by the waiters.

    (April 2014)

User reviews

  • Having only visited Craft once before for a brief stint over a year ago, it was incredibly encouraging to find that not only was it open until late on a Sunday (apparently very rare in the Johannesburg food scene!), but was also quite busy! Regardless of the many patrons however, I was welcomed and directed to a seat immediately. The ambience of the restaurant is very homey and welcoming with the indiscernible buzz of conversation actually being quite comforting. Despite the setup not having changed since the last time I had visited, I was still quite happy with the "vintage" but casual appearance. To drink the Gin-Inspired Cocktails section of the menu immediately caught my eye and I ordered the Mango and Mint G&T which did not hold back in terms of not only size but also flavours. For the main, I opted for the braised pork chops over butter mash and was not to be disappointed. The portion was incredibly generous, which I loved, especially considering how great the meal was and the flavours of all the elements of the dish came together to provide an overall tantalizing palate experience. And then of course for dessert, I had to choose from the drool-worth selection of hand-paddled dessert "freak" shakes. The Chocolate Overload was the absolute indulgence of all indulgences with all forms of chocolate goodies clambering to be noticed and working incredibly well together at the same time. A sweet and satisfying end to the hearty Sunday night feast. Throughout the evening, our lovely waitress remained attentive and was always nearby in case we needed something. Overall, One thing is clear, Craft does not shy away when it comes to presentation, whether it be in their drinks, meals, or dessert! A great experience and definitely recommended for some hearty, homey food and a vibey night out.
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  • Craft a place synonymous with over the top milkshakes and burgers.I came here for breakfast and service was so friendly, breakfast of huevos rancheros was deliciously prepared and hot chocolate was so decadent.Gets packed very easily so book ahead
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  • This place is nice and vibey. Service is excellent, ambiance is fantastic and food is absolutely DELICIOUS! 10 out of 10 if it were rated out of 10!
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  • Great service and great ambience. Desserts and milkshakes are definitely ther forte but their main course offering isn't anything out of the norm.
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  • Pleasantly surprised by their vegetarian variety. I had the veg pizza which was a good size for sharing and there was no skimping on the toppings! Great coffee and good service. I'm a happy customer that will be back :)
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  • Decided to finally go and taste the delicious milkshakes that I have heard people raving about. We had a seat. The person who helped us did not seem interested at all. Anyway we placed our order and 40 mins later the table next to us got their order. We sat down 30 mins prior to them sitting down. When we asked about our order, the waiter went to check and said our waiter was on his way and that he had not placed our order as yet. That is when we got up and left. I am really disappointed in the service and lack of looking after your patrons!
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  • We were given a birthday gift from our best buds to go out for a nice dinner at a restaurant of our choice...and we chose Craft based on some great reviews and delicious photos on their Instagram page :) You are only permitted to book large tables in advance and since we were a small group of 4 we were informed that we would have to arrive and book on the night and perhaps wait for about 45 min for a table to become available. We arrived at about 7:15 and took a seat at the bar which was very vibey and we ordered cocktails that were really delicious! We were seated in about 20 min which was great! The restaurant is very trendy and was very busy which gave it a nice vibe. The menu is interesting and a lot of the dishes have "smokey" tones to them which you can actually smell coming out of the kitchen. I had the mac and cheese with chorizo which was absolutely delicious! I had a taste of each persons meal and they were all great! One of the dishes was a "no bread" burger which is perfect for a Banting friendly yummy dinner! Our waiter was very attentive and the manager on duty was also very friendly. The show stopper for our table was most definitely the amazing salted caramel popcorn waffle! It is HUGE both in appearance and taste. We shared it between 4 of us and there was more than enough to go around. Great spot for a good night out with friends! One note...they burn citronella candles on the tables which has a very overwhelming smell and we eventually moved ours off our table...
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  • Fun and Vibey place with excellent choices in drinks, food and yummy milkshakes. Their cocktails are very fun and innovative. The food all looks fabulous, but personally I love the burgers- Craft burger or Lamb burger is amazing. Now, the Milkshakes... there is a variety but go for gold and choose one of the specialties. I just love the Salted Caramel one, but you have to share- it is just that good and that decadent. The little touches like the iron pizza oven, the bar, the leather booklet for the bill, all adds to a great ambiance and atmosphere. Even ordering a cappuccino we were asked for blended or single roast. They take the details seriously! Be warned that they get packed and don't take reservations so go early in the evening or on weekends.
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  • Never in my life have I recorded such amazing service like I have at Craft! The moment you stand outside their restaurant you are greeted with a warm friendly smile and someone wanting to seat you. The atmosphere is fun and busy, with waiters serving customers with out of this world gourmet milkshakes or scrumptious meals. I always have the difficult task of deciding what to eat from their menu and what to drink! I personally love their craft ciders and platters! I have been there numerous times with my busy toddler and every time they welcome her with open arms even though they are busy. My family make a point of going often, even if it is to just have a cider or beer. I am a craft tart!
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  • After listening to my friends rave about Craft (and seeing it listed on the Eat Out Top 500 for 2015) I was determined to try it out. My boyfriend and I were not disappointed. Even though we had to wait 40 minutes for a table (it was a busy Thursday night and they don't take reservations) it was well worth the wait. The craft ciders on the menu (and, in particular, the house craft cider) were some of the best I've ever tasted. Although pricey, our dinner was delicious and the portions were so large that my lunch for the next day was also catered for. Service was friendly and quick. I'd recommend Craft to anyone.
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  • What a great find I have been hearing about this place from all my friends and so we decided to head out there last night We were seriously blown away by the Staffs product knowledge The manager spent some time with us explaining the menu and the concept and how they only use the best ingredients that is ethically sourced. They specialise in Craft everything not just beers but the food as well. The presentation of all our meals was insane. I was drooling looking at the food arrive all around me. When our meals came out they actually tasted even better than they looked! I had the Mussel pot which was really a great recommendation from the Manager (Thank you) It was creamy and disappeared before my eyes as my wife kept stealing mussels from me. She had the Fillet on the bone (cooked to perfection) in a wood fired copper cladded pizza oven The drinks selection is also a vast one with cocktails to die for, the Craft Tequila and Mescals were fantastic I am not sure if I will be able to drink a normal tequila again. Then the waiter explaining the different coffees that they sell knew exactly what he was talking about. We had the Single Origin coffee they had on offer. I ended up order some beans to take home with me. And do not forget to try the Pop Corn Pana Cotta drizzled in a salted caramel sauce MMmmmMmmmMmmmmm... All in all a really really great night out. I'm looking forward to my next visit....... Thinking of planning a dinner party soon
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  • Craft Restaurant in Parkhurst was at the top of my list of restaurants to visit, before heading to the Mother City! I finally tried it out & it was worth the wait :) Very dear friends were out here for two weeks from the Gold Coast (Australia) & on the eve of their departure, we met for a breakfast at Craft. Parkhurst is an incredibly trendy, alive & colorful suburb in Johannesburg - the perfect spot for a restaurant such a Craft. No bookings are allowed so when I got there I was impressed at how quickly we were accommodated by the manager. Our table of 7 consisted of 6 adults & 5 year young Zoe. Zoe despite her age, is quite a discerning eater - much like her parents - ordered quickly & was very satisfied with her kids breakfast. There were times when I had to stop myself from taking a sip of that delicious marshmallow milkshake she ordered! Milkshakes have no age limit :) Before ordering we tried out the light medium roast coffees & they are certainly recommended if you enjoy coffee. The comprehensive menu left us all spoilt for choice. There were various orders of omeletts, the Craft Breakfast, Breakfast Lasagne & healthy alternatives which my mates certainly enjoyed. I tried the Salmon Rosti & thoroughly enjoyed it! The portion was sufficient & it tasted as good as it looked! My friend Katia tried the coconut flapjacks & raved on about how good they were. I sampled my partner Sean's choice which was the Scotch eggs & yum - definitely my next try! Banting breakfasts, Eggs Florentine, French toast, Shakshouka, to name but a few, are all on this colorful menu list! Without the sour, one can't appreciate the sweet which brings me to negatives...parking in Parkhurst requires a great degree of patience! The prices are a bit on the steep side. Due to the popularity of this hot spot, service was very slow - we waited close to an hour for our breakfasts. And lastly...I didn't try the CandyFloss Milkshake or a slice of Oreo Cheesecake :(
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  • Still very shocked after our meal at Craft in Parkhurst last night. R65 for a half pint of Steph Weis!!! Also only 3 choices of red wine available. Babylonstoren Shiraz at R250 (and that being the more reasonable priced of the three). When I questioned the billed amount for the beer I was told &union charges them a fortune for their products... Not so! Spoke to &union this morning and they told me what their products are supplied at, NATION WIDE! (to double check I called the Foundry in Parktown and they charge R53 for a pint!) Then after calling Craft today, I was told that they had more wines available. Our server (conveniently) "forgot" to inform us... They don't have a wine list as they are "launching" a new list on Thursday??? Can you say: RIP OFF ?
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  • We went on New Years' day as it was the only restaurant that was actually open that looked worth trying (also based on other reviews) - their service was really good. We were there for breakfast and their breakie menu is really extensive and caters to all sorts of tastes and preferences, from the adventurous to the fussy. I had the Shakshuka and it was delicious. My boyfriend had the Craft Breakfast and was disappointed by the amount of food (perhaps the pan it was served in was too big and made it look like very little food for the amount you pay for it). I am looking forward to returning for their day and night time menus
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  • A wonderfully exciting addition to one of the most vibrant little streets in Johannesburg. We went there for a late Wednesday lunch and had everything from their crisp craft wine, superbly made fresh cocktails and numerous dishes with stand-out ingredients such as a chickpea coriander breadless burger and succulent pulled pork sliders. Everything fresh, 100% handmade (even a homemade tabasco) and met with a vibrant atmosphere and great service. Loved it.
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  • I honestly wanted to like Craft- vibey atmosphere,attentive staff, great interior and promising and comprehensive menu. All the trappings of good restaurant. Yet, the food is awful. Overpriced and awful. Alas, an unforgivable combination! After returning my meal twice in the three times I have been there, I will not be returning to dine there. But for a drink.....yes.
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  • Craft has the perfect position - it is always busy and vibey. Love going there for drinks though I find the food lacked taste. I had the chicken pita which was nice enough but the tzaziki was terrible - lacked thickness and taste. Lovely vibe for drinks and snacks on a warm Friday after work.
    Their 'craft' milkshakes are amazing - definitely a must try for non-dieters.
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  • Last night was one of my very best restaurant experiences, i have never felt the need to actually write a review until now, Craft has managed to inspire me into becoming a world class foodie.

    They have set a bench mark for all to follow, and i feel i need to congratulate them on a job very well done.

    We arrived and were greeted by an enthusiastic young manager, all staff were friendly and smiling as if we were the only customers in the store, you wouldn't even realize that they were full and running a waiting list for tables.

    Looking around the store noticing all the attention to detail, from the choice light bulbs to the hand stamped serviettes and even a copper cladded pizza oven breathing a warmth of light onto the store in the heart of a cold winters evening.

    We started with a Fig & brie pizza Bianci, which was all kinds of perfect, followed by a Mussel Pot (pan lol), and a huge Craft Burger which didn't need any extras everything was divine have never had such hearty, almost passionate food.

    And then came dessert OMG, Salted Caramel Baked Cheese Cake to share just when i thought i couldn't fit in another bite, i just couldn't help myself almost licking the plate clean. That was a Fantastic night out complemented by some of the best staff i have ever encountered they were friendly and knowledgeable.

    The amount of information available from the staff regarding their Huge Craft Beers and Spirits range was outstanding.

    a Very Well Done is in order


    Thank YOU for That
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  • We discovered this delightful restaurant last Saturday and returned today. Such lovely honest food and wonderful ambience and service. It is such a pity that we left feeling ripped off. If you are going to offer such honest food then it would be a good idea to offer honest prices.

    We were charged R20 for a blooming onion when on the menu it was listed as R10.00. We were charged R50.00 a glass of Merlot when the one we chose was listed as R40.00 a glass. The R30 we were overcharged is neither here nor there as we can easily afford that. It is the uncomfortable feeling that we were "burgled" and taken advantage of.

    If we choose to return to the restaurant (the jury is out on this one) we will definitely check every item before we order or pay. We queried the onion and it was sorted but did not query the wine.

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  • Definitely a place to put on your brunch list - I love interesting menu's, and items like breakfast lasagne and Welsh Ale Rarebit!

    We had AMAZING coffee - Colombian and Kenyan blends - really good (they do Chinese teas as well). My partner also had a detox veggie juice that was quite nice. We had the breakfast pizza and breakfast lasagne - I was out-ordered on the lasagne, it was YUMMY! The menu is pricey, but it's worth it - fresh ingredients, lovely ambience, GREAT service from Cynthia. Definitely recommended.
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  • Jo'burgers are so starved for decent, value-for-money, interesting restaurants, that we tend to frequent the same spots time and again. When a new restaurant opens, we rush in droves, sheep-like, to give it a try and these places quickly become the "in hot-spots" in which to see and be seen. I enjoy a burger and a martini with a good friend of mine once a week. The Grillhouse in Rosebank is infallible... however, a change is as good as a holiday - or so they say. We decided to try Craft on 4th Avenue, Parkhurst 2 weeks ago... and what a mistake! Despite being heralded as the trendy new kid on the block, it was nothing short of pretentious, over-rated, overpriced and underwhelming... Without checking the menu (why would you?), we ordered 2 martini's. They were sweet and not up to standard. After studying the menu - we discovered that many of the dishes are incorrectly described. It may be that some patrons would not know the difference - but, for example, a pulled pork sandwich is not in fact a "gourmet" sandwich. Traditionally, this sandwich is served in the Deep South of the States on government-issue white bread accompanied by coleslaw - not with exotic relishes and artisan bread.... That said we were there for a burger. The burger is served with no toppings. HOWEVER, if you would like to add bacon, avo and cheese - you can pay the pricely sum of almost R140. I fail to understand how this burger could be as expensive as those you can order in 5-star hotels. Why would you order an average burger on a bun with no toppings - they know you're obliged to spend more and clearly people do. What a crying shame! As a result, I called the "manager", Wesley, to our seats. I asked him how Craft can justify the price - he began to argue with us and told us that he took offence to our query. After much debate, and asking him not to argue with us, I requested the bill for our drinks. I almost fell off my barstool - R158 for 2 martini's! Are they insane??? I asked Wesley if he is the owner of the restaurant, and he replied that he is "involved".... Based on his poor and extremely rude attitude, I would at the very least, have expected him to comp the bill in good faith. Instead as I got up to leave after paying the exorbitant amount - he chased me down the pavement screaming profanities and demanding my name. I made it very clear that I will never return and that I will make it my business that my friends do not either.

    Subsequent to this revolting experience, I learned that the "trendy" Craft - is in fact an "upmarket " new division of Mugg & Bean. I burst out laughing. M & B??? Quite possibly the most passe and dated franchise in SA - R158 for 2 drinks??? Like so many overreaching JHB restaurants, Craft will be a flash in the pan - here today and gone tomorrow. Those 'involved' in the running of Craft will soon learn that should a patron fancy a burger, a few steps down the road is the Wolfpack, Squires Loft, Espresso, Vovo Telo and others, serving exactly what you're looking for, and for the same money - you can have 2 martini's! Wish you luck Craft, you'll need it....
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Alfresco
  • Beer served
  • Breakfast
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • WiFi

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