We arrived to be greeted and seated by the charismatic manager Don, and settled down with a Mojito to the gentle sounds of a spanish guitar.
Delighted to be promptly joined by some warm bread and huge juicy (home-marinated) olives, we also tried a shot of complimentary creamy tomato and herb soup. Calling it a ‘shot’ wasn’t a slur on portion size, it was literally served hot in a shot glass. It may have been unconventional, but definitely a fun way of trying something so tasty and starting the evening!
We sampled 6 dishes from the wide range of tapas available, from a menu that covers most tastes, from meat dishes to fish, seafood, cheese, vegetarian and even caters for the gluten free.
First up was the chorizo in melted cheese. A student’s dream, simple and effective! Alongside was a fresh zesty chicken in white wine, and some melt in the mouth, tender pork belly with caramelised onions.
The vegetarian options provided some delicious roasted peppers stuffed with cream cheese, and the perfect side dish proved to be sautéed potatoes with a garlic mayo, sprinkled with paprika.
But the show was stolen by the garlic and chilli king prawns, on a bed of shredded mouli (a tasty root vegetable I had never heard of either). Sure, they have a definite ‘kick’ but wow, these are seriously good!
Somewhat stuffed, we thought it would only be rude not to try a desert with such tempting choices on offer. And as a result we can definitely recommend the chocolate tart, and the red-wine poached pears with vanilla bean ice cream.
Don was a charming host and is clearly very passionate about his food, (and it certainly comes across in the cooking!) and assured us that he only sources his ingredients from other local independent business so he knows it’s all very fresh and sustainable. The kitchen produce everything themselves in-house, nothing is bought pre-processed, and they are proud to say there are no colourings or additives or preservatives in their food.
Though we missed it on our visit, be sure to look out for El Bocado’s regular spanish guitar nights, and visits from flamenco dancers to really add the latin feel to your evening.
Emma Brisdion, Lifestyle Online Editor
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