I have dreams of the Magherita pizza at Bocca. The first bite I took reminded me of the first pizza I shared in Italy: gooey, cheesey, and perfectly layered in tomato with just the right crunch as you take the last crusty bites. Bocca on the ultra-hip Bree Street is an upmarket taste of Italy, and boy do we love it.
The bustle of Bree Street is infectious. Go for one drink and leave having had more than a few, dinner and coffee to follow. Such is the life of a Capetonian city dweller and Bree is the place to be. Bocca is no exception, and the food, vibe and wine list will keep you hanging around a lot longer than intended.
Start with a selection of Italian antipasti, shared in a group being the optimal choice. At Bocca, it’s all about sharing. Choose to use spoon or fingers – we ordered the perfectly cooked and delicately presented arancini with garlicky aioli (R45) and lamb meatballs with marinara sauce, grana padano and piadina (R57). If you’re hungry for more or are in a bigger crowd, the spinach and artichoke risotto is absolutely mouthwatering (R64), as is the zucchini fries to pick at between courses (R28). This can pave the way for large bowls of homemade pasta that come ready to share.
For mains, well, the Neapolitan Magherita is a given, among an ample selection of pizzas that range in price from R75 to R118. Regular bacon lovers will rejoice at The Commercial (bacon, feta, avo) while seafood aficionados can delight in a decadent Di Mara. The pizza menu is varied ensuring option for everyone, while offering diners something significantly more authentic than Panarottis (no contest).
But if you’re in the mood for something more – robust – the slow cooked pork belly tenderly disintegrates as it meets your fork. Although we didn’t order it, the grass fed beef sirloin that we eyed from our neighbours’ table was sizzlingly beautiful. Next time for sure.
At Bocca it’s all about the shared ambience, and the decor, dull lighting and general cosmopolitan finishes makes it feel so. Emphasis is placed on eating together, drinking together and sharing in the ultimate delight that food and good company bring. The wood panelled walls, low ceilings and banquet dining tables make an evening (or afternoon) at Bocca something special. And although I dream of that margarita pizza, I dream too of returning for this unmatched atmosphere.
Photography Bernard Myburgh Words Lisa Wallace