We’ve all been there; you head to a new restaurant with mates and when the food arrives your heart sinks when you realise that your friend Susan’s food looks much more appetising than yours. Besides yelling; “look an eagle” and then stealing Susan’s food when she looks away to view said eagle, there’s not much else you can do in this situation. Yes indeed, food envy is real. If you’re the type of person who suffers from food envy on a regular basis then sharing restaurants are probably your best bet – there’s none of this “my food” nonsense and you get to sample everything at the table without having to fool your friends with the promise of imaginary eagles. Sharing restaurant, Workshop 55 in Parktown North is Johannesburg’s latest answer to food envy and we can’t wait to try it out.

But before you think; “oh great, yet another tapas restaurant,” Workshop 55 in Parktown North is a little different to other restaurants you may have visited. To kick things off, there is a R210 ‘entrance fee’, which allows you to choose three different dishes to start; from there, you order individual dishes. With locally and internationally influenced food and drinks, in a laid-back setting, this new spot is gearing up to be the ultimate place to share an out-of-the-ordinary foodie experience with friends in Joburg.

Head Chef, Alex Webber (previously of Cube Tasting Kitchen) likes to use locally sourced, seasonal produce whenever possible. “Our food has an element of surprise, yet with a hearty, hit-the-spot quality,” he says. This goes for everything on the menu, from the various moreish vegetarian dishes to the desserts and more.

Workshop 55

Not sure what to try? For something on the lighter side, try the Smoked Tuna, cured and served raw with a beetroot and horseradish slaw, goat’s milk chèvre and seaweed caviar. There’s also a fire-grilled Beef Fillet with smoky aubergine, bone marrow and za’atar, which will not disappoint. For a mix of cuisines with a local twist, try the Quail with harissa sweet corn, tamarind puree, roast garlic and sweet potato ‘vetkoek’. End things off on a decadent note with one of the scrumptious desserts. Highlights include the Chocolate Custard Tart, a set chocolate custard with crispy pastry, pistachio ice-cream and Turkish delight; or the Strawberry and Balsamic Frozen Yoghurt with vanilla shortbread crumb, macerated basil strawberries and a strawberry gel.

But it’s not all about the restaurant at this spot. the bar at Workshop 55 is soon to become renowned for serving the very best finely crafted drinks. The quirky lounge adjacent to Workshop 55 is perfect for after-work drinks. Think Miami 1930’s glamour, with luxurious Pink Christiaan Lacroix wallpaper and a touch of whimsy, thanks to the resident parrot. The select cocktail menu boasts the best champagnes, including Laurent Perrier and local bubbly hero Le Lude. The bar also stocks whiskies and wines, which have been sourced from far and wide to create a unique collection for the serious connoisseur. Mostly though, Workshop 55 is set to become synonymous with delicious and interesting gin infusions, allowing you to savour rare gin gems and a selection of high-quality tonic waters.

Find Workshop 55 at 55 7th Ave, Parktown North, Johannesburg. For more information on the menu and special events visit the Workshop 55 website.

Please note: WomenStuff is yet to review Workshop 55. Stay tuned to WomenStuff for a full review on the spot soon.

Images: Quintin Mills – www.quintinmills.co.za