The Awesomeness of Gin (at Carbon Bistro)

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Noble Savage – he said:

We’ve been wanting to check out Carbon Bistro in Brooklyn, Pretoria for some time now. We’ve heard of their impressive craft gin selection, and decided that maybe it’s worth popping in for lunch. Also, it was fucking hot on the day, and what can be better than a G&T to chill ones disposition.

Walking in, we were greeted by Vincent (and a lot of gin in display cases).

The restaurant itself has a laid-back, yet classy feel to it. Minimalist, without being bare. The place has a very bright and airy feel to it, with light pouring in through the massive open windows all along the front. I learned that the chairs they use are called “ghost chairs” – in other words, made of clear plastic. Over-all, very impressive without being ostentatious.



Obviously, they specialise in gin.


I stopped counting after the fourth one, but that’s mainly because I used to be a drummer, and drummers can only count to four. I wasn’t really in the mood for gin, but the wife wanted some. And that’s where things got a little problematic – there’s simply too much to choose from (if you had to have one of each, you’d end up in casualty). Luckily, Vincent was on hand to assist. He was very knowledgeable on their variety of gins, and helped her out with one to suit her taste (which she has a lot of – she married me, after all).

The menu is not huge, and has just enough to keep most people happy. They even have veggie burgers, for those who take the bible literally. As far as I know, they specialise in Kobe beef, but steak for lunch is a bit too much me. I decided to go for The Big Ben burger: blue cheese, pastrami, red onions, and balsamic mayo.

And to wash it down, one of my favourites: Glen Carlou Cabernet Sauvignon.

And the burger was awesome! I would have preferred a stronger blue cheese, but also understand that for some unknown reason, not everyone likes their blue cheese that strong (I was once asked by a waiter, after ordering a gorgonzola pizza, if I know there’s blue cheese on it).


Overall, it was quite a pleasant afternoon out. The restaurant was almost empty options (could also just be that it was a quiet time of the month), which is a shame, because they do have really nice lunch options. And what could be better that a gin and tonic on a hot summer afternoon? So just go there already!

Boozy Foodie – she said:

As mentioned previously, Carbon Bistro has been on our radar for a while.  The main attaction – the selling point of being Pretoria’s first (and largest?) gin bar.  So firstly, the evolution of the ‘craft gin’ movement has been interesting to watch (it seems as if, only a couple of years ago, there were only the ‘usual’ (bigggg brand) subjects around, but nowadays the variety is astounding.  Exciting indeed!  And secondly (yes, stay with me people) we are always keen to frequent the restaurant and entertainment options in Pretoria, because – as mentioned previously, we firmly believe that we have a LOT to offer this side of the Hennops.  Or the Jukskei.  Or Midrand.  Foodie and tendy hotspots like Melville and Parkhurst is great fun to explore and have some fantastic eating spots – but I firmly believe that the offerings this side of the valley is even more exciting, it just needs to be explored 🙂

Anyway – to recap – Gin bar – Pretoria (Brooklyn) – and a freaking hot ‘spring’ day.  Here we go!

A beautiful venue indeed – loved the big open windows, the wooden floors, the impressive bar area and the interesting and wide variety of colourful gin bottles on display.


The wide variety of gin available blew me away, so much so that – for a brief moment (or longer, according to Noble Savage), I was just a tad indecisive.  I think my problem was that I wanted to try it all at once.  Which will of course, not fly, for various practical reasons!

With some guidance from Vincent, I settled on Bloedlemoen (blood orange).  And how gorgeous is this drink?


Apart from the fact that it was almost too pretty to drink, it was really good!  So refreshing – a good G&T is without any doubt the ideal cure for a warm summer day.  And this little beauty did that job very well.  Really delish!  From what I’ve seen, every drink is prepared with the same care and finesse.  And that says a lot – with how much ‘respect’ the barman treats the beverages on offer.

Almost 1/2 way through,  I realised that I better get something to nibble on, so we ordered a starter to share.  The Jalapeno Poppers (stuffed with cream cheese and peppadew) was really delicious.  I like the fact that it was served with some tzatziki – it worked great with the spicy flavours of the poppers. And the presentation was stunning.


Despite Noble Savage’s warped opinion of vegetarians – and vegetarian burgers, I decided to try “The Stormy” – seriously the best vegetarian burger I’ve ever tasted.  Like ever.  No plastic soya patties, no soggy slices of aubergine (I can’t tell you how much I hate aubergine.  And spinach.  And celery. And a vegetarian burger with non of the items on my s*&t list – a real bargain!  Roasted butternut, onion marmalade, pesto, mango chutney – and few delicious slabs of soft and creamy halloumi.  Not halloumi that goes ‘squeek, squeek, squeek’ as you chew.  Served with a bit of super creamy coleslaw, a fresh side salad (it was one of my ‘good’ days). – a delicious lunch indeed!


Ignore the tomato sauce in the photo – it was just a ‘prop’!  I promise – we know better 🙂

After that super satisfying and tasty meal, we didn’t even look at the dessert menu  – but I did notice a cheese platter, that we will definitely go back for!  It was a quiet and peaceful lunch – with great company (always an fun adventure with my dearest Noble Savage), fabulous food and the awesomeness of gin….  I would suggest following Carbon Bisto on Facebook – they often host wine or gin tastings or other fun events.



Carbon Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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  1. Pingback: Carbon Bistro: A Flight of Fancy – Social Savage

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