Workshop 55

Workshop 55
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R200 avg main meal
Groups, Quick meals, Special occasions
Modern, Tapas
Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Steve Steinfeld

Small plate dining meets gin bar at this quirky eatery on Parktown North’s bustling 7th avenue.

This interesting take on small plate dining offers a choice of 3 dishes off the menu for a set price, encouraging an exploration of the different plates and styles of cuisine on offer. The menu from which one chooses is concise yet well considered ensuring there’s something for everyone (including an extensive array of vegetarian options) and allows for a good balance of not only flavour but also portion sizes when ordering your meal. Worth including in your order is the lighter style “starter” dishes which include the likes of gorgeus aparagus spears topped with a perfectly poached egg lathered with a whipped hollandaise, or the creamy duck liver pate with shavings of duck ‘ham’ and a granola crumb adding a lovely contrast of texture. The 2nd dish of your order may call for pasta with both the mushroom tortellini or confit duck gnocchi proving worthy options. Next move onto the heartier dishes such as the 30-day, fire grilled, dry aged sirloin with a chilli & herb pesto which really packs a punch or the middle eastern inspired quail– also fire grilled – with textures of aubergine and corn and a flavourful za’atar spice. Dessert calls for a dark chocolate fondant, perfectly gooey in the centre accompanied by a spiced biscuit crumb, honey comb and elements of summer berry.

Gin and tonics are order of the day at Workshop 55 and their extensive offering of gins are best enjoyed when infused with a selection of ever changing seasonal fruit, berries and herbs. If wine is more your forte, the list reads as a respectable selection of top local producers – think the likes of Mullineux, Alheit and Crystallum – at very competitive prices. It’s advised to order by bottle rather than the glass as the by-the-glass offering is small and quite limited.

Friendly yet professional, waiters are efficient and attentive without being over bearing. Well versed on the menu and happy to offer suggestions and recommendations.

As the name suggests, the eatery has the appearance of a makeshift workshop combined with a Victorian era twist. The open kitchen with its wood hewn countertop brings the cooking into the restaurant, allowing guests to watch the chefs in action preparing the dishes. In contrast the “55” bar area ramps up the glamour with floor to ceiling pink Lacroix wallpaper and elegant finishes creating a vintage salon of sorts.

Best for...
Date nights, drinks with friends, celebrations.


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  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food

User reviews

  • Workshop 55 does things a little differently, which can be strange at first - you pay a set amount for a total of three dishes off their food and dessert menu - these are tapas style dishes, portioned so that you can enjoy the selection rather than eat a huge heavy meal. The food is quirky and delicious, with my absolute favourites being the ostrich, which melts in your mouth, and the decadent seafood gnocchi. The deserts are all stunning, (I can never say no to the rich, creamy dark chocolate tart, it's my weakness) and I'll admit to being tempted once or twice to skip the main meals altogether and indulge in a dessert-only feast. Workshop 55 is also known for their gin and tonics and they have a huge variety of local and imported gins. I'm clueless about gin but the waiters are pretty good at recommending a fruit infusion and tonic water that will give you the flavours you prefer. I do like the crisp, refreshing taste of a G&T, especially on a warm summer evening but I can't drink too many (and they can be a bit pricey) so luckily they also have a good wine list that includes some bubbly if you are in the mood. I have been to this restaurant several times with friends and family and we always have a great time. The service is intuitive and attentive, and the chef is happy to accommodate guests with stringent dietary requirements (one of my friends cannot eat gluten, dairy, eggs or beef and she still had a fabulous meal). It's one of my go-to places when you want an extra-special meal.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food


  • Accepts credit cards
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways

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