Years at a culinary school and the brightest ideas in the world do not equate to patience. It’s a skill that is valuable and at Bocca, it’s something that makes magic.
Here, you get fall-off-the-bone Angus brisket, ribs that punch flavour and a leg of lamb that evaporates as one brings it to their mouth. This is thanks to a smart use of the wood-fired pizza oven at Bocca.
Once the last pies slip from the opening at the end of the day, the residual heat is put to good use when these larger cuts of beef, pork and lamb are seasoned and slow-roasted overnight.
This is thanks to Guido Brambilla, new owner of the Bree Street hot spot, who decided to keep the oven on. This use is part of the Italian traditions Bocca blend with urban cuisine and style, creating a modern and fresh spot in Cape Town where everything is well-thought-out and nothing is wasted.
That duality serves Bocca well because here, Italian dishes are on the realm of sharing. The menu includes a variety of food that’s bite-sized or ready for more than one fork in each plate.
Stand-out pizzette is the Foresta and it’s a favourite for Brambilla as well. Foresta is a white pizza with sauteed wild mushrooms, rosemary mascarpone, Parmesan shavings and truffle oil.
All the pizzettes at Bocca are traditional Neapolitan-style, and have a signature bite.
Bocca is famed for its pizza and the imported Acunto oven which cooks pizzas in 90 seconds, at temperatures topping 232°C, with the dough respecting the Verace Pizza Napoletana process of slow fermentation and extended proving.
“Right now, if you order a pizza in a restaurant, that’s it. You have no more appetite to discover other flavours,” explains Adnana Brambilla. “With a pizzette, you can order a few different flavours for the table.”
Heartiness is also part of the menu; try the Angus beef tripe with white beans and sausage, or opt for mussel fritters. Smaller meals are made to share and one can get a good idea of what is on offer from the kitchen.
The respect Brambilla and his wife Adnana have for Italian cuisine and introducing it to Cape Town has made Bocca exciting. The pair relocated from Bermuda before taking on Bocca’s revamp in a new venture.
The restaurant is also making use of low-season in the Mother City by offering the locals better deals and access to Bocca’s flair. This month, it’s the One of Us special where one gets a free plate after ordering four.
There is also the new Afternoon Recharge promotion between 3pm and 6pm where one is served a selection of cheeses and cold-cuts with focaccia.
Bocca is situated at The Block, corner Bree and Wale streets. For more information, visit bocca.co.za