There’s a hot new spot on uber-hip Bree Street… Bocca (which means ‘mouth’ in Italian) is a vibey, contemporary space that makes the transition from quick lunch stop to after-work drinks and dinner effortless. Wooden stairs lead visitors up from the street to the small but stunningly designed interior: a bright orange pizza oven, straight from Naples, dominates the space which is accented by blonde wood and industrial features.
Upstairs boasts banquette seating and an attic vibe with low ceilings and good use of chunky wooden screens and mirrors.
Sharing is the name of the food game here, with everything from tapas to mains served in beautiful bowls or platters to be shared. Zucchini fries with herb mayo are perfect to order with a glass of wine (and the list is an interesting one with decent by-the-glass options) while perusing the menu.
Highlights are definitely arancini (risotto balls) served with a zingy garlicky aïoli, while the roasted aubergine with goats’ pecorino is oozy and delicious. Lamb meatballs in tomato sauce are tasty and tender, or simply go for a salumi platter.
The big plates of home-made pasta, slow-cooked pork belly and grass-fed beef sirloin are delectable, and sharing these makes the experience feel very homely.
Pizzas deserve a special mention: the yeasty bases, perfectly charred, come bianco (no tomato base) or rosso, with a fresh and chunky red sauce. Toppings are inventive and the quality superlative: think ricotta, peas, pesto and prosciutto; seafood with garlic and coriander; or ginger pork sausage with kimchi, spring onions and sesame seeds. For those who prefer the more traditional, the Margherita is simple perfection.
If you’re popping in for lunch, fresh salads and inventive paninis hit the spot.
It should be noted that food comes fast, really fast, so order as you go unless you’re in a rush.
Where Corner Bree & Wale Streets, CBD
Contact +27 21 422 0188, bocca.co.za