La Boca Bar & Grill - An Argentinean Experience

La Boca Bar and Grill - 150 North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000


On The Chopping Board (OTCB) were invited by The Stamford Hotel to an ‘Argentinian Experience’ hosted by the Head Chef at La Boca Bar and Grill – Nicolas Arriola.  All food and beverages were provided on behalf of La Boca Bar and Grill.

The Charcoal Grill
Adjacent to the Stamford Hotel, La Boca Bar and Grill has been around for a couple of years now and thanks to their success, have expanded to Sydney and possibly Melbourne in the near future. They clearly pride themselves on providing customers with a genuine Argentinian night out – the head chef, the Asador style of cooking (over charcoal) and the grill itself all hail from Argentina. There are exciting times ahead for La Boca as they had 3 special announcements for us over the night.

The Presidential Suite - The Stamford Hotel
The evening began in style as we were escorted up to the classy presidential suite of the Stamford Hotel to meet the other guests, and whet our appetites with cocktails and appetisers. We couldn't help but feel pretty special being there. The suite is roomy, full of elegant furniture and plenty of modern appliances (including a bathroom TV – as you do).

Aperitif 
Appetisers
The appetisers included adorable mini ice-cream cones filled with lime and quinoa salad topped with avocado, followed by mushroom, prosciutto and truffle croquettes as well as corn and banana empanadas. It was difficult not to stuff ourselves with the appetisers, particularly the corn and banana empanadas which were just delicious, but we knew we had to resist as there were plenty more to come.

The Charcoal Grill
We were then taken down to La Boca Bar & Grill and seated at the bar which overlooks the kitchen and, most notably, the charcoal grill. The grill is the first thing you notice when you walk into La Boca – it captures your eyes and your nose immediately.

Starter - Charcuterie
The chef started our meal with the Argentinian tradition of ‘picada’ – charcuterie (cured in-house), cheese and bread paired with a Caipirinha (a traditional cocktail made from sugarcane liquor, sugar and lime). The cocktail paired so well with the first course – an ideal way to start a meal.

We then discovered the first announcement of the night – that Head Chef Nicolas was going to appear on an episode of Food Safari (which has since been aired – but you can still catch it at http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/). He cuts up a whole lamb and cooks it over fire in a field – it’s pretty epic.

Entree - Seafood Plate
The second course was a seafood plate consisting of a nicely grilled lemon and garlic prawn in the shell, a well-cooked scallop with sweet tomato pesto and a fresh oyster with ‘criolla sauce’, which is basically like a salsa.  Everything was delicious but the oyster with criolla sauce was an absolute stand out – and that’s coming from someone that isn’t a huge oyster fan. As the chef pointed out, the Argentinian white wine served with the dish was probably a touch too sweet to pair with seafood, but it was a nice drop and when in Rome, right?
  
At this point we are eating purely for pleasure – not out of hunger. After a short wait the mains arrive and we learn the second of La Boca’s announcements – their Chimichurri sauce is going to be available for purchase (in jars as big as the one you can see below!). As I (Adrian) hadn't tasted their Chimichurri previously, I didn't know why this was a big deal, but having now tasted it I can see why they were proud to announce it!

Main - Meat Plate
Main course consisted of 3 delicious char-coaled meats – suckling pork, beef brisket and pulled lamb, covered in jus made from the leftover parts of the animal (no wastage here) and served with a glass of light Syrah. The pork seemed to stand out in this course as the crackling was perfectly crisp, the meat was juicy and tender and there wasn't a huge amount of fat in between which a lot of people don’t like (but I was a little bit sad about).

Dessert - Choctorta
After mains we somehow had to squeeze in dessert – ‘choctorta’, a.k.a. chocolate cake. However, this is no mere chocolate cake – this is a coffee, caramel and chocolate cake comparable to a tiramisu, but dare I say it, better. And that’s massive coming from an Italian. In fact, this dessert may very well have been my favourite of the night, which might sound insane coming from someone who definitely doesn't have a sweet tooth and just finished eating an enormous amount of well cooked meat and seafood. Call me crazy, but not until you try it yourself!

Once dessert was finished we finally learnt La Boca’s final announcement – the publishing of a book by their own Head Chef  - Nicolas Arrriola, titled ‘Stories & Recipes from an Argentinian Chef’.

Cookbook
OTCB would like to sincerely thank The Stamford Hotel and La Boca Bar & Grill for inviting us and for such a pleasurable evening.


La Boca Bar and Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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