For anyone familiar with Parkview, the village has long been home to some of the nicest and quaintest eateries in Johannesburg. Not too fussed with pomp and pretension, Parkview attracts the middle to upper class of the surrounding Parks, who are more interested in good company, good food and a laid-back setting – which is why Franco’s, Scusi and Croft & Co. have endured for so long. However, Croft & Co. has not always been an eatery.
A few years back, Grant, the owner of Croft & Co owned Scusi – one of the most popular breakfast places in Johannesburg, attracting the rich and powerful who reside in the Parks. It was not uncommon to see CEO’s and high level politicians enjoying a good breakfast in their board-shorts and golf shirts. Grant then decided to open Croft & Co, which offered a den of goodies for men, ranging from Cuban cigars and Jack Black grooming products, to Mont Blanc pens and crystal decanters. But with the recession, all that changed, and Grant went back to his roots as a great host and restauranteur, changing the men’s store into a breakfast nook, but retaining the name, and some of the interior design elements.
Croft & Co is small, so while you are assured of relative peace and quiet, you may also be assured of a queue if you wake up late on a Saturday or Sunday morning – after all, you are competing with Parks people who wake up at 06:00 and are already working their dogs by 06:45.
The setting is definitely reminiscent of New York village restaurants, which carve out an existence in narrow buildings, but offset this space restriction with a modern, relaxed setting, with quality finishes. Croft & Co succeeds so well in the setting, possible because of its evolution from the men’s den into an eatery. While you may not notice it at first, what makes Croft & Co so attractive is its quality finishes yet minimal approach. It is not a traditional restaurant, no, its more like a friend’s kitchen – an unpretentious friend, who has an eye for quality, and has possibly been to New York too many times.
The food follows this standard, and while I have only been there for breakfast, I can recommend that if you are looking for simple, yet delicious scrambled eggs, Croft & Co should certainly be considered.
For me scrambled eggs is one dish that few get right, and even fewer consistently right. There are so many factors that influence the outcome of scrambled eggs – from the metal of the dish and the heat of the plate, to the aeration of the raw scrambled egg and the point at which the chef removed the eggs from the heat. The chefs in the kitchen have got it right, and since I have visited Croft & Co a number of times for breakfast, they know what they are doing as the scrambled egg dishes are consistent. The outcome is a scrambled egg which is not too moist, not too dry, cooked throughout, and fine (not chunky). So whether you enjoy it with superbly tender and well-herbed bangers, or fresh salmon slices, your eggs will be perfectly suited.
Overall, Croft & Co is a great place for a breakfast – if you are looking for good food in a quiet setting; perfect for a relaxed entry into the morning reading the Sunday Times, possible while sitting next to the person featured on the front page.
But don’t make it too obvious that you know who they are, after all, the reason he or she is there, is the same reason you are.