Sunday nights are always my excitements! With new challenges at work coming every Monday, it’s a good time to wrap up the week and to check out some dining places. Last Sunday saw me and Tina venturing down the streets of Adelaide and headed to the newly opened Argentinian restaurant, La Boca Bar and Grill, located on North Tce within the Stamford Plaza Hotel.
The site used to be the old Swish and has now been fully renovated all over to create a bar environment. The restaurant has the only Asador, a special “barbecue” at events in Argentina, in Adelaide. The Asador was like a huge charcoal barbecue with the meat being grilled on there slowly and it was such an enjoyable experience to watch the process at the table. When we walked into the restaurant, Chef Nicolas was paying special attention to his toy and we were greeted by our lovely waitress from Ecuador.
The restaurant, since with a new decor, looked much better than before and certainly welcomed their diners with an South American atmosphere. With several long communal tables at the window and a large number of smaller tables at the back. Even the toilet was fully redesigned with all the funny cartoons which showed a way how the owners care about their business.
The menu has an extensive amount of meat and an introductory offer for $59 per person with three courses and drinks. The “Fire Pit Asador” is only available at night for dinner. The restaurant also has a number of desserts, ranging from $12-$14.
The drinks for the night for me was still my standard lemon lime bitters. Over the years, I’ve been to many Argentinian restaurants in Adelaide, both traditional ones and modern ones, but I think a bit of new flash can create such a great dinning experience. While at the table, our waitress explained the menu to us while the relaxing music and songs were on and this really helped us to dive into the Argentinian food culture.
We started the food journey with complementary bread with three salsa dips. Although I can’t remember all the names for the salsa, the chimichurri on the right bottom of the picture was our favorite. The bread was very soft with a texture very close to a nann but with extra thickness. The three dips were all very tasty but the chimichurri was the top for me and it was used to accompany all the meat dishes.
The entree for me for the night was the assorted empanadas ($12), which consisted three of these world famous Argentinian delicacies. The beef variety (the bottom one) was with well minced beef. Tina who is a part time vegan, enjoyed the empadana a lot and said the beef mince was the highlight. The “ham and cheese” variety (the top) was filled with a cheese that showed transparent color even when just being warm and it was very creamy on the palate. The good side was that the chewing texture of the cheese, which indeed tasted like a soft jelly, if this is a good description. The middle “sweet corn and cream” empanada was standard but with extra creaminess. All three varieties were served with rocket, carrot and a piece of preserved mushroom, which completed the creamy texture to a greater extend by providing refreshments.
The next entree did not show up until 20 mins later with all the mains. It was quite understandable as this entree was also cooked with grilling.
Chorizo Y Marcilla, $14
The entree was the grilled meat and blood sausages in traditional style. IT was a true surprise for the night. Normally, I tend to eat a lot of blood sausages and offals while Tina still prefer the normal steaks etc, but for this dish, she almost finished all the blood sausage. It was that good and we just can’t stop eating! Both of the sausages was grilled to be fully cooked with a crispy shell on the outside and strong chargrill smokiness when first served. The blood sausage, after cutting, can be found some minces and no blood flavour can be tasted. Both of them was well seasoned and even more surprisingly, the chorizo was extremely moisture and tender with the juices running all over my plate. A must order dish!
The mains came out together with the sausage entree. We ordered the “Fire Pit Asador”, which is the specialty of the restaurant and contained a number of meat straight from the asador grill.
Fire Pit Asador, $33
If you are here to experience the only asador grill in Adelaide, then this dish is a must. The meat was grilled on the asador and was cut straight from the block. The dish contained beef, lamb as well as pork from the grill. All the meat was extremely tender and juicy while the fantastic smoky flavours were fully infused into the meat. The lamb was even better and truly provided us with a melt in your mouth experience, with no biting necessary because the fat literally liquefied on the palate. The accompanying potato and shallot was well cooked too. However, I used the chimichurri sauce to complement the dish and this did not only made the meat to be more flavourful by contributing to the spiciness and saltiness, but also reduced the oiliness of the meat. Highly recommended dish!
Costillas De Codero, $30
Another main was the grilled lamb rack which was cooked to perfection with medium rare. The meat was subliming and very delicious to go down the throat while the pink color inside made me really wanting to eat more of this meat. A very tasty and flavoursome dish to order!
150 North Tce
ADELAIDE, SA 5000
P 08 8461 0860