IT has to be a pretty special restaurant to be fully booked on a cold, wet, miserable PE Monday night.
But that was the case at Bocadillos when we popped in to sample some of the new menu items introduced by new owner Abel Esterhuysen.
Despite being told there were no tables available, tempted by the welcoming atmosphere and the smell of good food in the air we took up the offer to wait at the bar, where we would also have been quite happy to eat. However, a table opened up literally minutes after our arrival and we settled down to peruse the ample menu.
We asked for wine – a glass of Ken Forrester rosé (R25) for me and a glass Flagstone Merlot (also R25) for my dinner partner – and were served promptly, the rosé perfectly chilled.
And so to the menu. There’s a wide selection, from light bites to pasta, from burgers to steak and a wide range of pizzas with a difference.
Sides include oven-roasted vegetables, onion rings and pumpkin fritters, all at R22.
While we dithered over our mains we ordered a vegetarian focaccia (R39) from the starter menu. Topped with garlic, rosemary salt, extra feta and caramelised onions it was promptly served and very, very moreish.
So much so that my dinner partner eventually entertained the idea of a pizza for his main course, debating toppings which include bacon, avo, feta and banana; parma ham, green figs and rocket and Thai beef.
But it was the new addition to the menu which really caught his eye: lamb shank with caramelised onions, mushrooms, cream cheese, mozarella, cranberry sauce and rocket. A little bit pricey at R90, but absolutely delicious and well worth every cent was the proclamation.
I also plumped for a newcomer to the menu – beef canneloni, which was served piping hot with a side salad and two slices of delicious, home-made bread.
The canneloni (R59) looked a little bit dry at first sight, but this was far from the truth. It was moist, succulent and bursting with the combined flavours of beef, bechamel sauce and cheese.
Although by now we were both pretty full, dessert at Bocadillos is a treat in itself, with an array of pile-the- calories-on sweets temptingly arranged on the bar counter and in the fridge.
Having had it before, I could not resist the pavlova, which is layers of soft meringue and cream with a delicious strawberry centre (R30).
My dinner partner settled on the pecan pie (R22) and was also more than well satisfied with his choice.
With a menu to die for, free Wi-Fi (although why you would want to be online while enjoying a great meal in relaxing surroundings is anyone’s guess) and live music Thursday from 6pm, Bocadillos is a must visit restaurant.
Bookings, which are advised, can be made by phoning (041) 5811523.
Restaurant visits are unannounced and all meals are paid for in full. Our bill, with two glasses of wine each, came to R305.