Photos by Florence of Make Your Calories Count
Nestled among the many restaurants in the Outram Park &Tanjong Pagar area, BOCA was set up by a group of Portuguese friends working and living in Singapore collectively for over 20 years and launched earlier this year in January.
BOCA, which means "mouth" in Portuguese, offers classic home-style dishes using specially imported ingredients from Portugal, which include olives and extra virgin olive oil from Southern Portugal and almonds from the Douro region.
The Portugese national food, bacalhau (dried and salted cod), is said to have inspired more than 365 recipes. Fishermen would sail to Newfoundland and fish for the cod. It was then dried and salted on the long journey back to prevent it from spoiling. This beloved ingredient is widely used in many dishes nowadays.
1st floor features "tasca" bar seating by the open kitchen for "petiscos" little plates of Portuguese snacks and nibbles. You get to see chefs in action!
Furniture, decor and light fixtures are specially imported from Portugal to provide that dining culture.
Welcomed by this lovely bread made of squid ink and other flavours, they were so addictive especially when it was paired with the imported olives and extra virgin olive oil! We had to stop ourselves from getting full before the meal even started!
ENTRADAS | STARTERS
One of the popular ways to cook bacalhau is to fry the batter mixed with potatoes and parsley. Fried till perfect golden brown - crispy on the outside, flavourful on the inside, it was complemented well with pickled mayonnaise.
My favourite starter of the day! While it looked simple, it required long preparation time as the octopus was blanched several times to achieve tenderness. Another violent way to do it would be to beat it against a hard surface to stretch the fibres. The octopus was thinly sliced evenly and adorned with crunchy capsicums, crispy garlic, red onions, cilantro, vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and smoky paprika. Couldn't resist the delicate texture and enjoyed that it was not too rubbery!
Another common dish and a must-have at any Portuguese restaurant, the sausage made from pork, wine, garlic, salt and paprika was flambéed with brandy. For gimmick purpose, it sat atop a lattice earthenware, it was flavourful but the only let down was the skin which was a bit tough to slice over.