For a former Cape Town resident like me, the hip and happening Gleneagles Road in the leafy suburb of Greenside is a real treat. Why, you ask? Well, you see, Capetonians tend to delight in having eateries of all kinds jam-packed on the same street, meaning that you don’t have to get in your car and drive around from one part of Joburg to the next to satisfy whatever kind of foodie craving you’re harbouring.
One of the newest additions to this strip, The Artisan, is a social and trendy restaurant and bar that’s just the place to sip on something refreshing after a long day of work, enjoy a relaxed dinner and a couple cocktails with good friends, or simply tuck into a simple breakfast after your morning cycle. I popped in on a Friday night for a light dinner with my boyfriend, and we’re ever so glad that we finally got around to trying this stylish new spot!
We arrived in the early evening and were both instantly impressed by the eclectic décor – imagine a combination of brick and dark painted walls, chalkboards boasting their tantalising light meals and snack platters, and handcrafted wooden light fixtures. The place has a really modern twist to it, which makes for a chilled out, yet somewhat sophisticated ambiance. On the night that we visited, the place was packed, and the atmosphere was vibrant as can be – perfect for unwinding after a long week of work!
My boyfriend and I took a seat at a high table in the courtyard out back. This small and cosy area is comfortable and probably quieter than inside. Our friendly waiter accompanied by Matt, one of the owners, quickly attended to us and made some drinks suggestions before letting us peruse the extensive menu.
On the menu at The Artisan, you’ll find a delectable selection of simple, uncomplicated light meals matched by a super-impressive list of drinks. Their food options consist largely of salads, gourmet sandwiches and burgers. They also have a number of finger foods on offer, including jalapeno poppers, nachos, sliders, kebabs and potato skins. You’re even given the option of building your own snack platter.
On the drinks side of things, you can expect a pretty cool list of cocktails that are reminiscent of the 1920s… think classic concoctions like an Old-Fashioned and Gin Martini, to more adventurous mixes like the Sidecar To Work (a premium brandy cocktail enhanced with vanilla maple syrup and lemon) and Gentlemen’s Jack (a Jack Daniel’s blend with Triple Sec and Coke). They also offer number of local craft beers that are changed up every month. Upon Matt’s recommendation, I ordered the Sidecar To Work, while my boyfriend ordered a beer.
To start, we then ordered the Doritos jalapeno poppers, which are a crunchy twist on your beloved chilli poppers. They arrived quickly and were delicious! For mains, we then ordered the beef burger and chips as well as the chicken nachos to share. Those dishes too reached our table in good time. The burger was succulent and juicy, and the potato chips on the side were fantastic. The nachos, on the other hand, were top-notch… the kind you’d expect at a traditional Mexican restaurant… just better … and probably cheesier, too (drool!).
To end off our meal, we then decided to try one more cocktail each. I opted for the Caipirinha and my boyfriend had the Old-Fashioned. Both drinks were beautifully presented and wonderfully refreshing – the perfect ending to our meal. I’ll certainly be back to try some of their other colourful concoctions, such as the Pear Pressure Mojito, Cinnamon Berry Crush and Peppermint Crisp – I mean, how divine do those drinks sound?
Overall, both my dinner companion and myself had a great time at The Artisan. If you’re a believer in the artisanal lifestyle, you’re sure to love this spot! The food is tasty, the service is enthusiastic, and the concept behind the brand is trendy and exciting. Oh, and whiskey drinkers take note: On the first Wednesday of every month, they host a whiskey tasting evening. You can find out more about that on their Facebook page. Enjoy!
by Candice May