It is a sunny Sunday afternoon and spring has certainly sprung. There is a seemingly endless flow of traffic on the street on which Espresso is located. As it has been the case in virtually all my previous visits here, there is hardly an empty table. Not that is in any way surprising. What is surprising, however, is just how effortlessly unpretentious this bistro is.
There is just enough branding for you to know where you are, everything else is as pragmatic as it gets. Menus are nothing more than purely informative, table setting very basic and functional, talk about zero frills. Espresso is modest about everything except the all important business of consistently making great food!
Boasting a fairly wide menu of cafe, grill, seafood and pizza cuisine, at what they do, Espresso is as good as you are likely to get. The waitrons are usually engaging and the food is always reasonably quick to find its way to your table. Talking about the food, they sure do know how to make it really delicious and memorable. This has consistently been my experience over the numerous times I have visited. This time around I decided to go for the cubed fillet peri-peri served with chips and a salad. In no time my food arrives, the plate arrangement is simple but not plain, the emphasis around here is strictly on good service and quality food. Boy is the quality amazing!
Apart from the great food, there is something charming and inviting about Espresso’s casual and effortless vibe. Whether you rock up dressed up or down, there is no reason to feel intimidated nor out of place. Not at Espresso, despite the place being almost always packed. Though evenings generally have less traffic, Espresso is hardly the place for a quiet afternoon meal. Right on the side of the road on Parkhurst’s 4th Avenue, more often than not the only thing matching the energy and activity inside the restaurant is the high traffic volume on the street. Cars and people alike are always criss-crossing on the street, giving the place a nice buzz. This is especially so on weekend afternoons.
In warm weather, patrons fancy sitting on the outside tables, right in the street where they take in the unmistakable Parkhurst energy and unique vibe with all of its colour. This is in my view one of Johannesburg’s greatest culinary hub, and Espresso is a bistro like no other.