Let me just start by saying this, the meal I had at La Boqueria is hands down the best meal I’ve had in Johannesburg in a while. I know that even by raving about it in this post it won’t do it any justice, so I’d strongly advice you pick up the phone and book yourself a table ASAP!
La Boqueria is the brain child of the same owners as The Foundry and is inspired by their favourite market foods from around the world. They cook on live fires and wood ovens and while the menu may seem vast it seems like they’ve hit the nail on the head with every single item on the menu. Other than the incredible smell of fish on the grill the first thing that took my breath away when I first visited La Boqueria was the incredible decor. So many of the pieces in the restaurant are from Retrend on of my favourite furniture stores in the city. Retrend is know for their impeccable taste when it comes to antique mid-century furniture…which as you know I can’t get enough of. La Boqueria is mammoth to say the least with a bar/lounge section a restaurant section a deck section and a upstairs loft with a private function room.
When Craig and I went for lunch we decided to go the full mile and do starters, mains and dessert, something we pretty much never do, mostly because I have a stomach smaller than a three year old child. For starters we had the Baingan Fries aka crusted zucchini and aubergine fingers drizzled with whipped feta and Agave nectar (R65). Firstly I didn’t know whipped feta was a thing and I’m wondering why they don’t serve bowls of it straight, secondly I’d never had Agave nectar on food, it’s usually in a drink of sorts. The fries were by far one of my favourite things on the menu and I’d recommend you get at least fifty plates every time you visit! Our second starter was the Don Ceviche, which was white fish ceviche in chilli lime Tiger’s Milk with onion and fruit (R85). Craig had never tried Ceviche before and in his words it’s better than most things he’s tried, I loved how the fruit complimented the chilli in the dish.
As if we hadn’t stretched our stomachs enough we ordered two main meals, one hot one cold. From what I could see from the tables around us, the main meals at La Boqueria are almost always huge and wholesome. Two people could easily share a Poke Bowl or a Paella…or maybe that’s just my tiny stomach talking again. It was also Craig’s first turn trying out a Poke Bowl, which at La Boqueria is done with spicy salmon and tuna marinated poke with edamame, avo, pickled carrot and cucumber, rice and nori (R140). We’ve already made lunch plans to go again to have the Poke Bowl we loved it so much!
Paella also seems to be a firm customer and staff favourite as we saw pan after pan being whipped up in the kitchen, you’ll have a choice of three different Paella’s all as delicious sounding as the next. We opted for the Paella Marisco, which is a traditional dish served with chicken, snails and chorizo in saffron Bomba rice (R155)…or as I call it a pan of happiness incarnate!
You may be getting a little tired of me talking about food by now but I promise I’m almost done! I hardly ever have dessert after any meal but I’d already gone to far gorging on the La Boqueria menu that I had to try their Whoopie Pie, think homemade cookies, marshmallows, Nutella and ice-cream (R54)…enough said!
I really can’t wait to see how La Boqueria grows (my waistline will probably grow along with it) and brings even more life to my lovely suburb of Parktown North, according to the owner there are big plans for summer cocktails on the deck!
Address: 17 3rd, Parktown North, Johannesburg 2193
Contact: 011 325 0011