Celebrating its identity as an eatery and social house, Bocca delivered on both counts on our recent visit. Looking for an upbeat experience to set the mood for the coming weekend, a late lunch on a sunny Thursday was high on our agenda. Check out more photos of cuisine and the venue at the end of our review!
Type of cuisine: Bocca offers a very diverse and interesting range of International dishes, ranging from starters, salads, soups, sandwiches and feteer, all the way to main dishes and desserts. Vegetarians and vegans will also find plenty of options to keep them happy, as will young ones with the Kid’s Menu.
Signatures Dishes & Dishes Sampled
Everything we tried was superb, but we learned that hot favorites are Steak and Fries, Bocca Burger, Loaded Potato and Cheese Balls, Sojouk and Cheese and the amazing Pizzokie for dessert.
We needed something cool to help us beat the heat, so we sipped on large fresh juice combos while we perused the menu. The Kiwi and Banana and Mango, Strawberry and Banana did the job perfectly. For starters, we couldn’t pass up the Loaded Potato and Cheese Balls. Hot and gooey, with a melted cheese interior and crispy casing, they came with a Thousand Island dip. Although we can be wary of fried food, these were light and not oily at all. The Grilled Shrimp and Quinoa Salad came next, and will be a ‘must have’ on any future visits as well. Beautifully presented in a sculptural silver bowl, the delicate Rocca leaves and edible flowers combined well with the grilled shrimp, quinoa, edamame, pomegranate seeds, sautéed marinated vegetables and sundried tomatoes. Drizzled with an Asian dressing, the end result was pure genius.
Our main dishes came promptly and we knew we had chosen well the minute they were placed on the table. It became clear Bocca is about creating a feast for your eyes as well as your palate. Our Lime Shrimp Risotto arrived in a signature cast iron skillet and looked inviting. Hats off to the chef; the rice was al dente without being undercooked, the creaminess of the sauce held the dish together without any stickiness, the generous amount of juicy shrimp gave a distinctive fresh seafood taste which worked alongside the subtle citrus element of the lime and slight sweetness of finely sliced leek. The freshly grated Parmesan and garnish of wafer-thin sun-dried beetroot created an ultimate finishing touch.
Our Pan-Seared Greek Chicken also came on its own skillet, accompanied by traditional zucchini fritters, corn on the cob, fresh vegetables, grilled Greek cheese and a refreshing yoghurt dill sauce. There is an art to getting the right crispy finish to chicken breasts with the skin intact and Bocca nailed it. The breasts were succulent and juicy, and the skin was flavor-packed with the right amount of crunch.
Portions are generous, so we hesitated at the thought of dessert. But our sweet tooth won out, and we shared the massively popular Pizzokie. In Bocca’s own words, it is a ‘decadent skillet-baked chocolate cookie topped with vanilla ice-cream’. We would add, ‘hot from the oven, melt in the mouth chewiness that sends you straight to paradise’…
Other Menu Options that Appealed & Beverage Available
To be honest, based on our experience, everything. The Artichoke and Spinach Casserole looks great, as does the Wild Mushroom Soufflé.
All soft options with a good range of fresh juices, smoothies and hot beverages. The shisha range is said to be one of the best around, just saying…
Stylish and contemporary, with green walls full of plants giving a fresh, attractive feel to the space. Seating is arranged on two indoor levels in addition to a generous courtyard area at the entrance.
Ambience at Bocca is lively but refined. Music is kept discreetly in the background so conversation is not a challenge.
Clientele mix: On our visit, Bocca filled up rapidly, predominately with effortlessly chic ‘ladies who lunch’. Maybe their hubbies were all away in Russia for the World Cup? It seems a spot for a 25+ group, with families popping in on weekends.
Price range: Prices are slightly above mid-range, understandably when you consider the quality, service and presentation.
Tip: Takeaway is available and delivery service is planned for the near future.
Opening hours: 10 am – 2 am.
Address: The Promenade, Sheikh Zayed
Tel: 0155 477 7777