ANOTHER beautiful day in Cape Town, another fabulous meal, this time with the famous Sexy Deborah. BOCCA – on the corner of Wale and Bree streets – has new owners, refreshed décor, and a whole new menu to bring you to your knees.

Individually and together, Guido and Adnana Brambilla are quite simply delightful and the most gracious of hosts. They bring to the table, not only many many delicious dishes, but charm and humour. Adnana, for example, says for someone who drinks a lot of wine, she only knows two things about it: wines she likes, and wines she doesn’t like. And really, it doesn’t have to be more complicated than that. There’s a good and reasonably priced selection by the glass, as well as interesting cocktails.

The Milano- Cape Town is a play on the Milano-Torino, made with Campari, Caperitif and soda. Not sweet, it goes down a refreshing treat on a hot day.

Guido came out to talk us through the menu and its different parts – bites (small plates enhanced with different local olive oils), grains (pastas), crispy (fried morsels), pizzette (pizza, I’m sure you could work that one out), arrosti (12-hour slow roasted meats done in the pizza oven), and “last stop” being the desserts.

The local olive oils are part of Guido’s spirit of using good locally sourced produce rather than expensive imports from Italy. The menu is a testament to simple, uncomplicated classics; a few great ingredients and not too much messing about with them. “It’s everything we love to eat, things we would have at home,” he told us.

To begin, I had stracciatella, served in a jar with eggplant confit, roasted cherry tomatoes and pesto – utterly divine with the salty triangles of pizza bread which made me think “screw low carb for today”. Sexy Deborah had polpo (octopus) with new potatoes and pesto.

From there we moved on to our arrosti choices: Angus brisket slow cooked with red wine and bay leaves, served with salsa verde; and leg of lamb with wild mushrooms, thyme, bay leaves, and garlic. Underneath the meats are two slices of sourdough bread which are there to soak up all the delicious juices. As a side vegetable dish we had ortofritto from the crispy section – zucchini, asparagus, artichokes, spring onions and rocket leaves – and finished with a  sweet and tart “Lemon Lemon” to share, which is lemon curd with chocolate crumble and strawberries.

A return visit is definitely on the cards, not only for the fab food and all the other things we need to try, but to bask in the warmth of Guido and Adnana’s hospitality.

Open for lunch and dinner Mondays to Saturdays, noon till 10pm (last orders are taken at 9.30pm), BOCCA is at The Block, corner of Bree St & Wale Street, Cape Town city centre. For more information, click here, and  for bookings call 021 422 0188 or email [email protected]

Connect on social media via @BoccaCT on Twitter; @boccaCT on Facebook; and bocca_ct on Instagram.


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