If you’re a Gen X born and bred in Joburg, you’ve heard of Ba-Pita, the…
It doesn’t matter if you’re a local or an out-of-
READ MORE ON FOOD & DRINK HERE.
Parkhurst Saturdays are a thing amongst my friends, and we usually end up squeezing into one of the last available tables at Espresso weekend after weekend. I get it: along with Rockets, Espresso is the vibiest place on the strip. But when it comes to other dining-out criteria – you know; food, drinks and service – Espresso leaves a lot to be desired these days.
The first thing you’ll notice upon stepping into the busy restaurant is how loud it is (read: it isn’t the ideal place for an intimate gathering). The second thing you’ll notice is the dated black and white décor. Whether or not you pass the holes in the black tablecloths that are draped over the white ones as part of the décor is totally up to you.
READ MORE ON ENTERTAINMENT HERE.
Moving on to the menu, you might want to bring along some hand sanitiser in case you’re handed one of the extra-grubby ones. On the upside, the food and drink offering is extensive – think ‘Landmarks’ like halloumi sticks and snails, ‘Trademarks’ like the chicken prego and peri-peri prawns as well as pasta, pizza, salads, desserts and breakfasts.
The first problem I have with the food and drink at Espresso is how they serve my favourite Saturday sip, the Aperol Spritz, in Martini & Tonic glasses. I love this unmistakably orange drink because its vibrant colour lights up toasts, but how am I meant to take a cute Boomerang when it’s served in its competitor’s branded glass? Come on, guys – you know most of us are out here doing it for the ’gram!
READ MORE ON DINING OUT HERE.
Then there’s the food. Oh, the food. While the prego rolls might sound appetising, they sometimes taste like the chef was applying salt with a snow blower that day. And, let’s be honest: a restaurant that trips over its signature dishes is as hard to trust as a person who misspells their own name! Most other things I’ve tried may as well have stayed in the kitchen, except the prawn pasta tossed in a peri-peri cream, which should’ve been sent back to Italy. I thought it tasted like chicken, but a more acute observer said the flavour was like pork sprinkled with fish food.
You have to give credit where it’s due though: the
Other than all this, I can totally see why Espresso remains a Parkhurst hotspot of note.
23 4th Avenue, Parkhurst
011 447 8700
Hello Joburg was first published in April 1980 as a monthly restaurant and entertainment magazine. Over the years we have developed a network of patriotic Joburgers that love nothing more than sharing their experiences in this beautiful city!