(BOCA has since ceased operations at the Bukit Pasoh location and has moved to Ann Siang Hill. Updated address listed below.)
BOCA is a restaurant along Bukit Pasoh which serves authentic Portuguese fare.
Stepping into BOCA, it is indeed an experience as you are greeted by the sight of chefs working in the open concept kitchen at the ground floor, whilst being ushered to the second floor. The first half of the interior at the second level is rather dark, but as you reach the seats by the window, it is decked in bright colours and pretty well-lit, exuding a classy yet lively environment decked in splashes of white, blue and yellow. Different menus are being served for lunch and dinner, with the dinner menu being more extensive featuring starters, meats, seafood and dessert. BOCA is also recently awarded as one of the Top 5 finalists in the 2016 World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence as SanPellegrino’s New Restaurant of the Year in Singapore.
(Bolo Do Caco)
Bolo Do Caco is a traditional sweet potato bread with garlic butter. It is said that the sweet potato bread comes in two colours; a slightly more orange version and a yellower version, depending on the supply of the sweet potatoes that day. The one served to us that day was the yellow version. This is a rather dense bread, though it seemed to lack the sweetness of sweet potato; still pretty good to order if you need something to mop up the juices of the saucy dishes. We have heard from someone who had been here before that the orange version was more palatable, lighter in texture and bore a stronger sweet potato flavour than the yellow one.
(Pasteis de Bacalhau)
Pasteis de Bacalhau are cod fish fritters described on the menu as “cured cod fish, potatoes, onions, parsley, tartar sauce”. It is the first time that I have tried cod fritters, but these were really sublime. A classic Portuguese dish, flesh from the cod fish is cured and shredded and mixed with potato and onions before being fried in a fritter form. We took quite a while for the photos, but the crust remains crisp. What was amazing about this dish was even despite being filled with potato, there is a distinctive fresh cod fish flavour the exudes within the fritter, accompanied with just a small hint of saltiness to flavour the fritter. Pretty amazing.
(Ameijoas a Bolhao Pato)
Ameijoas a Bolhao Pato are clams being simmered in a white wine broth with extra virgin olive oil, coriander and garlic. Yet another classic Portuguese dish, the white wine broth was indeed flavourful especially from the garlic, though not overwhelming with fresh that did not carry any fishy stenches along. One thing I particularly found interesting for this dish is how the coriander managed to carry its flavour so evidently through the whole dish, which makes it a little refreshing from similar dishes I have had at other places which usually lacks the flavour of fresh greens.
(Bochecha De Porko)
Pork Cheek slow-cooked for 12 hours, the Bochecha De Porko is also served with a mashed potato that contains traces of parsley and ham. The savoury flavours of the dish, in general, especially for the meat and sauce, worked out well, and I did enjoy the mashed potato which comes with a hint of savoury flavours from ham. One thing I felt lacking about this was the leanness of the meat in general which affected the dish textually by being a wee bit dry.
(Bife a Cafe)
Bife a Cafe is one of the newly introduced dishes after a recent revamp of the menu before our visit. Tenderloin Steak served with a Coffee, Cognac, Cream Sauce and almond rice on the side, the steak itself was done to medium-rare perfection that is melt-in-the-mouth with a pinkish centre. What I personally liked was the coffee cognac cream sauce, which although subtle on the coffee part, was immensely savoury perhaps from the juices of the beef which make it so intriguing with every sip. While it can be a little salty for some, I enjoyed it so much that I decided to throw in the remaining rice left in the pan into the plate of sauce to mop up every drop of that sauce, which works pretty well with the lightly nutty rice served with toasted almond flakes to enhance its flavour.
(Polvo a Lagareiro)
I have had octopus before, but the Polvo a Lagareiro was pretty much a first for me when it comes to just have one of the legs. Served with paprika, garlic chips, spinach, baked potato, Kalamata Olives and extra virgin olive oil, the octopus leg was grilled to perfection. So well-executed, the octopus leg did not ever had a moment where it felt too rubbery nor too mushy, and the ends of the tail even comes with a little crisp. Baked potatoes were pretty on point, well-seasoned and just of the right texture without being too soft so it still carries a good bite while the olives were fresh and along with the olive oil, helped enhanced the flavour of dish overall. One of the crowd favourites at the table for the day.
(Pastéis de Nata)
Having read many raving reviews of the Pastéis de Nata ever since they have opened, we have decided to try the Authentic Portuguese Egg Tarts to see if it is worth the hype ourselves. Coming at $6 per pop, these might not come cheap especially considering the fact that they are egg tarts, but these were certainly on-point. Coming with a hot centre, the egg tarts were jiggly and was just aptly sweet even with the cinnamon atop which also adds an interesting spiced flavour to the curd within the flaky pastry. Definitely worth trying once in a lifetime.
BOCA is a place that we did enjoy ourselves with both the food and the company. Service was sublime here, and that despite the severe shortage of staff the service was still responsive, friendly and sincere, with the waiters making small talks with us now and then. While there were a few misses with the food, the number of hits definitely surpassed the misses, and we still left the place feeling impressed by what we have had. A place suitable for both dates or group meals, be it a small group of colleagues or a small family gathering, this is the place to hit if you would like to experience some authentic and traditional Portuguese fare.
6 Bukit Pasoh Road
Singapore 089820 Telephone: +65 6221 0132
8 Ann Siang Hill
Web Page: http://boca-restaurant.sg/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Boca-Singapore-424998484314105