First ever Zomato meet up and first time having Argentinian food made this dinner last night super exciting! I actually had an exam the following morning, but couldn't give up such a good opportunity to meet up with some foodies and try new food, so no regrets (test ended up being alright). I was too excited throughout the night, so don't remember the exact ingredients in drinks/methods of cooking.
La Boca is actually located inside a hotel near Mascot (next to the airport). It's a 10ish walk from tha station, but they're doing construction around the area, so it's a bit muddy...Got there alright in the end.
I love an open kitchen! Shows they have confidence in their cooking, and also gives some entertainment (: You're not supposed to go up on the stairs, but we ended up taking a closer look at the food. Almost everything is grilled/cooked and plated there on the spot. The have sides prepped and their meats on the side ready to go.
side wall murals
Loved how it was a selection of their main menu, since it meant more variety to try.
Good hit of alcohol in it and some fruitiness. Would prefer it to have more fruity pieces in it, but it's fancier with a slice of lemon.
Head Chef: Nicolas Arriola from Adelaide, explaining the cured meats
Cold Picadas: Homemade dry chorizo, prosciutto, home cured pork scotch slices with cheese
Picadas Nick explained how it was all made, which I unfortunately forgot (should have taken notes haha). Their chorizo isn't spicy like Spanish one, definitely not as salty but well seasoned. The prosciutto was actually the least saltiest, and the flavour mainly came from the sliced cheese, which was soo creamy and delicious. The other cheese in a block was average. The pork scotch slices which were apparently from a pig's head and compacted down to be cut up, was surprisingly delicious. Hard to explain the flavour, just one of those weird things you have to try. The bread was very hard to cut up, didn't eat much of it since too much carbs...
Fresh oysters w/ criolla sauce
Smoked scallops with sweet tomato pesto
Grilled prawns with garlic and lemon sauce
So they not only do meats, but the seafood was amazing. The stand out was definitely the pesto sauce, which have similar ingredients to a pesto sauce, but not as green or herby. The tomato definitely brought out the sweetness, and completed the scallop perfectly. Could it spoonfuls of that sauce if I knew how to make it...The prawn was a bit tricky to eat since the sauce covered the shells and hard to cut the prawn out of the shell even though it was butterflied open. Sometimes you would eat a piece of the shell, or end up weirdly trying to get it out of your mouth...Oyster was filled with toppings, and definitely fresh. For those who don't like the 'seafood' taste (I don't mind it), you'll find the toppings cover that taste, and slightly reduces the 'slimy' oyster feeling.
Cocktail with mains: ginger beer, lime, rosemary, other stuff, alcohol
Yes, I forgot what exactly was in it, but it tasted like a not as sweet and more sophisticated version of ginger beer. There were more flavours, and not too fizzy either. First time having a sprig of rosemary in a drink. Maybe I should pop some fresh ones at home the next time I have ginger beer...
Mains: Mix of Asador cooked meats
Woodfire beef, suckling pig, lamb
The pork was my favourite, such a lovely crackle to it. It's not your normally crispy pork belly with the bubbled up orangery skin, but it achieved the same effect. There was quite a lot of fat on it though, which is expected since they cook it for so long. Most meats are put at around 9am without marinating, and just slowly cooking it in their wood fire. The puree of pumpkin was nice and smooth. The beef was unfortunately way too dry and didn't have enough jus on it. I guess it was very lean, hence the dryness compared to the pork. Also wished the lamb had more sauce on it, but it was served pink so it was alright. Never had such a long wooden board before.
Dessert: traditional chocolate and coffee cake.
I love my desserts, and this cake was mind-glowingly good. On the menu it sounds boring, but once it arrived it's a whole different story. It's not too sweet, rich, heavy, creamy or dense, yet still encapsulated a bit of everything. The texture reminded me of tiramisu combined with some mousse and moist cake. The dulce de luche definitely made a difference in terms of flavour depth, kind of like condensed milk but not as sweet. I'm not a big chocolate fan, so was so happy with it wasn't the milky chocolate type of flavour, rather it had a good dark choc flavour. Biscuits in the cake were finely blended, so the cake went down your throat smoothly. It was balanced with some bitterness from the coffee powder and the reduced slightly alcoholic, berry sauce. The berries on the side gave it good acidity and made it real refreshing. Normally berry sauces are just sugar, but this one had more alcohol than sugar, so can't complain (: I wish I could have taken my unfinished piece home...I couldn't finish it since I was that full, which is saying something...It was a massive piece though, as warned by the chef.
Dessert wine: some alcohol and other ingredients shaken up with egg white
This drink reminded me of some medicine, definitely has a unique and interesting taste. Again, I was too full so couldn't even finish the dessert wine.
We also got to take home some of their homade chimichurri sauce, which is jam packed with herbs and other flavours. Excited to eat it with my bread and meats.
Such a delicious and fun evening! The staff there were super friendly. Hope to have the opportunity sometime to attend another of these events. Going to places I would normally never go to, and trying food from different cuisines!