bocca
Image: Hein van Tonder

Bree Street’s BOCCA restaurant is back with an energetic decor update, new owners and a fresh take on urban Italian sharing food. 

After eight years in Bermuda, Guido and Adnana Brambilla were looking for a change and a passion for Cape Town prompted them to look for a business opportunity in the Mother City. With decades of hospitality experience, Guido as an Executive Chef and Adnana as a sales and marketing specialist, the pair are the perfect partners to take the already popular BOCCA to new levels of service, experience and taste.

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Cocktails Image: Hein van Tonder

The Brambilla’s vision for BOCCA, which means ‘mouth’ in Italian, is a place where you are always welcome to stop in for lunch or dinner and enjoy a relaxing apertivo and/or a few small plates – whether you’re a solo diner or with a group of friends. As Adnana explains:

We wanted to create a space where people can experience a taste of modern Italian cuisineYou can come by yourself and sit at the counter for a glass of wine and a few small plates, or arrive as a group and experience a selection of dishes. It’s really a place for people to connect over food.”

With the introduction of shimmering green tiles, a bold organic wallpaper and elements of wood and leather together with glowing yellow neon interior signage and hanging plants, the space has a renewed energy and a sense of warmth.

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Image: Hein van Tonder

This relaxing atmosphere is reinforced with the menu which is geared towards sharing. The menu is broken up into six parts, namely Bites, Grains, Crispy, Pizette, Arrosti and Last Stop.

Bites is made up of small plates with uncomplicated authentic flavours – try the local Stracciatella with roasted cherry tomatoes, eggplant confit, basil pesto and crostino or the yellowfin tuna carpaccio with olives, tomatoes, oregano, spring onions and cape micro greens.

Grains covers pasta dishes which are made with imported Rummo “the best durum wheat pasta you can get in South Africa,” says Guido. Be sure to try the Cassiopipa a seafood pasta ragu with Asian spices that native to the Spice Route trading port of Venice.

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Grains dishes Image: Hein van Tonder

In Crispy you’ll find delectable fried treats such as potato wedges, zucchini, meatballs and calamari and as Guido says these “work so well when you’re dining in a group, with a selection of plates to share around the table.”

If you’re wondering about pizza, BOCCA has introduced the Pizette – a 16cm wood-fired pizza which mean you can now enjoy more than one pizza flavour. We highly recommend the Foresta with wild mushrooms, rosemary mascarpone, parmesan shavings and truffle drizzle.

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Pizzettes Image: Hein van Tonder

When visiting BOCCA prior to purchase Guido and Adnana noticed the pizza oven was still warm in the morning. This gave them the ingenious idea to slow cook some of their Arrosti meat-based meals overnight in the pizza oven. The leg of lamb and Angus brisket are both tender and bursting with flavour.

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Arrosti and Crispy dishes Image: Hein van Tonder

To end off your meal, Last Stop has sweet temptations plus a cheese offering. Try the Pineapple Carpaccio with muscadet marinade, pineapple fritters and pineapple merengue or the authentic Tiramisu.

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Pineapple Carpaccio and Tiramisu Image: Hein van Tonder

Guido intends to change the menu seasonally working with a select group of local suppliers, saying “I have tasted so many olive oils and meats and cheeses, and I don’t see any reason to use imported Italian products when there is such wonderful produce made right here in Cape Town.”

BOCCA is situated at The Block, corner of Bree St & Wale Street, Cape Town City Centre. For more information visit www.bocca.co.za. For bookings call 021 422 0188 or email info@bocca.co.za

For more dining inspiration read 6 New Local Eateries to Try This Weekend6 New Dining Hotspots to Try This Week and Indochine Launches New Afro-Asian Menu next.