Authentic Portuguese Restaurant BOCA @ Bukit Pasoh Street (Media Tasting)

BOCA opened in January 2015 and is probably the first authentic Portuguese restaurant here in Singapore. The restaurant is owned by a group of Portuguese and helmed by two young (and good-looking) Portuguese chefs Luca and Francisco. The two chefs who had graduated from the renowned Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies in Lisbon, Portugal, have 10 years of cooking experience under their belts. Thus, you can expect truly classic and home-style Portuguese dishes here.

BOCA is nestled in a three-storey shophouse and each of the floors has their own names and “characters”. The first floor features bar seating by the open kitchen and is called Pesticos which means ‘small bites’. The second floor is the main dining area and its called BOCA, which means ‘mouth’. The top floor is still undergoing renovations but it is meant to be a wine cellar and it is called Adega. As the name suggests, we dined on the second floor, but the lighting was so much better on the first floor.

The first thing you will notice about the interior are the ceramic black swallows adorning the walls. There are a total of 700 of these birds and they are famous for their migratory journey to Portugal every spring where they nest with their life-long companions. The decor of this restaurant was carefully curated and many of the fixtures were specially imported from Portugal.

This is a basket of amazing homemade bread. The flavours depend on the ingredients of the day. We had plain, strawberry, Japanese taro and squid ink. The squid ink was superb! It was so good we asked for some to take home ;).

Pasteis de Bacalhau de Alfama aka Cod Fritters ($15) is made with bacalhau, potatoes and parsley. Bacalhau (dried and salted cod) has been a staple in Portuguese dishes since the 15th century as Portuguese fishermen would sail north to Newfoundland and fish for cod. In order to preserve the fish on the long way back, they would dry and salt it. This is now known as the “national ingredient” which in incorporated in many dishes.

Salada de Polvo a Marinheiro aka Octopus Salad ($24). The octopus is blanched quickly several times to ensure that it remains tender and not rubbery. Then, it is thinly sliced and dressed with crunchy capsicums, garlic, red onions, cilantro, vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and smoky paprika. The olive oil at BOCA is imported from Southern Portugal.

Chourico em Chamas aka Flamed Chorizo ($36). Absolutely stunning presentation as the sausage is flambéed at tableside! The dish is served with homemade bread which is used to sop up the tasty oil left on the plate.

Bacalhau a Braz aka Braz Codfish ($28), another dish featuring bacalhau. The cod is mixed with crisp deep-fried shredded potatoes (kind of reminiscent of rosti), caramelised onions, confit cherry tomatoes and a beaten egg. The taste of fish is more prominent here than in the starter.

Acorda de Bacalhau ou Camarao aka Shrimp Porridge ($28). The porridge is not made with rice or oats, but bread. The bread is aged for two days before immersing it in shrimp stock and then simmered and stirred over a low flame until the bread is soft like porridge.

Bife a Cafe aka Coffee Steak ($48). 200g medium-rare Australian tenderloin, served with coffee sauce which is made with a shot of expresso with mustard, cream and a dash of cognac. It is accompanied with rice cooked with almonds, garlic, onions, herbs and butter.

The steak was paired with Monte de Pegeguina, Alentejo, 2012, which was awarded Bronze- International Wine Challenge 2014, UK. The wine is from the south of Portugal and the characters on the labels are drawn by the three daughters of the vintner.

For desserts, we had the extremely limited and exceptional Pasteis de Nata aka Authentic Portuguese Egg Tart ($4.50). The chefs used to make 17 tarts a day, now they make about 25, which is still very rare!

The tarts are dusted with cinnamon and icing sugar before being served, just like how they are like in Portugal. Some patrons actually call ahead to reserve these tarts because they sell out very quickly.

Mousse de Chocolat com Praline de avelas aka Cognac Chocolate Mousse ($13). Smooth and extremely rich valrhona chocolate mousse topped with cognac macerated red berries, lemon cream and crunchy hazelnut praline.

Last but not least, we had Leite Creme com Farofias Flutantes em Nuvem de Caramelo aka Floating Island ($15). A light egg white quenelle “cloud” on top of slightly sweetened vanilla custard dusted with cinnamon. The sugar nest is delicately spun by the dessert chef. It is hard work as the sugar is melted and it molded by the chef barehanded.

We ended the dinner with a group shot in the kitchen with the chefs.

BOCA
6 Bukit Pasoh Road,Singapore 089820
Tel: 6221 0132
Opening Hours:
Monday to Saturday 1900-0000hrs

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s