I have also loved the pizzas at BOCCA but as is the Cape Town way we often don’t visit the same restaurant more than a handful of times. We’re a flippant bunch and we happily flock to the new without going back to visit our favourites. Near the end of last year BOCCA changed hands and was reopened with new owners, updated decor and a revamped menu. Don’t worry – the menu still very much represents what we have come to expect from BOCCA but more geared towards shared feasting. The BOCCA pizzas have become pizzette which pack the same flavour punch and the same chewy dough but with a 16cm diametre. The smaller sized pizzas are to encourage diners to order more than just one dish and I’m a big fan!

BOCCA is very much owner run with Adnana giving us a warm welcome as we arrived and Guido ran us through the menu and heads up the kitchen. I loved their passion and excitement for Cape Town and our great produce. Guido talked about his commitment to South African olive oil – a key ingredient in Italian cooking. Their meats, cheeses and veggies are all locally sourced and from top notch restaurant suppliers/ Guido believes that you can only serve the best food if you cook with the best ingredients and I completely agree.

BOCCA’s winter specials

For the month of June, BOCCA is running a “One of Us” special. If you order any four plates from the menu the cheapest one is complimentary. You’ve all heard my rant before about Cape Town winter “specials” but I truly think this is a great deal. If you’re two people and you order four dishes – one is free. If you’re four people and you order twelve dishes – three are free. There is no picking and choosing, it is the whole menu and the deal scales up and down depending on the number of dishes you order. I love it and I think you should get your butt there before June is over.

They’re also offering an afternoon recharge deal served everyday between 3-6pm. You can tuck into an assortment of cheese and cold cuts served with wood-fired rosemary focaccia from the pizza oven for R105. I love the idea of snacking on this with a great glass of wine and the hope of skipping the traffic!

Starting with some bites!

Guido recommended we order love in two stages – a few bites to start and pizzette for round two. I must say we ordered plenty and I want to go back for a double date where we can order even more dishes for sharing!

We ordered stacciatella, yellowfin tuna carpaccio, beef tartare and mussel fritters to start. The food arrived quickly and your table was suddenly home to a host of beautiful dishes! What a feast for the eyes!

The stacciatella with roasted cherry tomatoes, eggplant confit, basil pesto and crostino was an absolute highlight. This might have been my favourite dish of the day. I thought stacciatella was gelato with chocolate flakes so was surprised to see this dish on a savoury menu. After some under-the-table-googling I learn that stacciatella is a term used for three different Italian dishes one of which is a variety of soft Italian buffalo cheese. You learn something new every day! This cheese reminded me of burrata and was super creamy, rich and utterly delicious!

The yellowfin tuna carpaccio with olives, tomatoes, oregano, spring onions and micro greens wasn’t anything to write home about. But I don’t blame BOCCA for this one. I have noticed lately that the quality of tuna in Cape Town is just not where it should be. We regularly order tuna sashimi from Obi (our favourite sushi spot) and it has not been great. We tried Tomo and whilst their sushi was great the tuna sashimi was also not up to scratch. The tuna carpaccio was unfortunately a little boring but I think the quality of tuna available is to blame here. Skip this dish and eat more stacciatella!

The surprise dish!

I would never have ordered the mussel fritters unprompted. I would have scanned right past them. But when Guido said they were his favourite on the menu I was a little bit tempted. The mussel fritters are deep fried battered mussels, parsely, basil, spring onion and lemon zest. And they are insanely delicious! Super super delicious and I just kept snacking away! They were great dipped in the gooey stacciatella. But I do wander if they would pair well with an aioli of their own. These guys are definitely a must order dish!

The Pizzette

I love blanco based pizzas but then always get order envy for the traditional tomato based pizzas! Perfect solution? Order both! We ordered the Bocca which is a traditional tomato based pizza topped with proscuitto crudo, stacciatella, artichokes and thyme. And the Foresta with wild mushrooms, rosemary mascarpone, parmesan and truffle oil.

It is impossible to choose a favourite of these two. I think you need to order both! I love the Neapolitan style pizzas with chewy doughy crusts. You can keep your thin based or deep dish style pizzas – I want these guys please! The slightly sweet tomato base pairing with salty proscuitto crudo and oily artichokes truly transports me back to Italy. It is just an explosion of brilliant Italian flavours. The Forest is a little more reserved but I loved the generous flakes of parmesan, the meaty mushrooms and the luxurious drizzle of truffle oil. You have got to order both – and luckily with the “One of Us” special it’s a whole lot more budget friendly to do so!

We had such a fabulous lunch at BOCCA with great service, brilliant food at good prices and a really lovely wine list. I would highly recommend you order the Blacksmith Colombar if you’re looking for a white wine. It is truly the perfect white wine for food and will stand up to the bold Italian flavours.

DETAILS

  • Location: Corner of Bree and Wale Street, Cape Town
  • Opening times: Monday to Saturday from 12pm to 10pm
  • Contact details: or their website

Disclaimer: We enjoyed our dinner as guests of BOCCA. However, all images and opinions are my own.

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