Boqueria – sounds like ‘Book-e (for elephant)-ria (roll the ‘r’ a bit)’
From first impressions this place is really impressive! The decor is quirky and original and you feel drawn inside.
Its Mexican meets Asian and the menu stumped us all at first. Everything sounds so delicious and rather unique when compared to the standard selection many places offer.
After ordering some wine (they have an okay selection that ranges from R185 upwards) we opted to start with 2 tapas dishes – hot fried olives (R46) as well as roasted potatoes topped with tomato salsa and cream cheese. The caper, parsley aioli that accompanied the olives was delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed the dish. The potatoes were nice but from the description we expected them to be crispy and they were not.
The room filled up steadily and there was a tangible buzz in the air. There is a private function area upstairs that seats 24 people and was booked out that night too. For the amount of people and the size, the acoustics are very good and at no point in the night did we struggle to hear one another. The service was generally good but definitely started off better than it ended. Our waiter got busy and small things were overlooked (I did not get given a knife and fork when my meal arrived and we eventually poured our own wine).
The dish that stood out for everyone was the Wonder Bowl (R115): the smokiness and flavour of the stock caused some major food envy. Unfortunately though that is where the magic ended. Our husbands shared beef (R150) and pork belly kebabs (R145) and although the portions were generous and the meat was tasty, it felt like pub grub rather than artisanal dishes that one would expect, considering the appearance of the restaurant and descriptions on the menu. The meat is accompanied by pita bread which cannot be seen since it is hidden beneath the kebab (becoming soggy from absorbing the juices) and a portion of chips which was HUGE but totally took away from the presentation. In a moment of madness I decided the rock shrimp burger (R160) sounded interesting and regretted my decision the minute it arrived at the table.
In my head I would be getting some crispy battered prawns that would be served in some ‘burger’ with a twist. Instead I got mushy, bland prawns that were doused in mayonnaise from the soggy bun surrounding them. Just a sheer let down in all aspects.
The food in my opinion, lacks the all-round goodness and sophistication that one looks for when paying this kind of money. They need to focus on their meal’s presentation and practicality, keeping in mind that less can often be more.
This restaurant has all the potential in the world to be great, it just unfortunately missed the mark for me.
- Food 3/5
- Value 2.5/5
- Service 3.5/5
- Atmosphere 4.5/5
- Overall Rating = 3/5
Contact: 011 325 0011