From small plates and paella to wine and more, La Boqueria offers authentic Spanish cuisine that captures the flavours of the sun. It’s worth bookmarking this swanky Spanish joint for the last Saturday of every month, when you can take advantage of its Gin & Jazz Lunch.
Whether you’re out for a day of group dining at one of the City of Gold’s best tapas restaurants or looking for a first-date restaurant to cosy up with charcuterie plates and G&Ts, we recommend booking a table at the next Gin & Jazz Lunch. There’s no entrance fee, but you’ll get to enjoy discounted gins and laidback tunes along with the normal menu. Bombay Sapphire goes for just R20 per shot and Musgrave Pink for R30 per shot. Bombay Sapphire Infusions are also available at R25 per shot – think blueberry and rosemary, grapefruit and sage, orange and cinnamon, and coffee and vanilla.
We suggest starting with a round of G&Ts made with Inverroche Classic and Fitch & Leedes sparkling rose and cucumber-flavoured Pink Tonic or Blue Tonic with whiffs of juicy blueberry and hints of cardamom. We love this clean, dry gin with upfront green, grassy and juniper notes that blend seamlessly with a bouquet of soft flowers on the nose. Then order some of the Hispanic small plates to share – the freshly shucked oysters, salmon tiradito and beef short rib. The oysters are either served ‘naked’ or with champagne-marinated strawberry, crushed black pepper and crispy basil and we recommend both. The salmon tiradito is cured and served Peruvian-style, featuring sashimi-style fish in tiger’s milk and a punchy chilli-citrus sauce made with ponzu, fresh granadilla, chilli, jalapeño, red onion, avocado and coriander. It has an incredible floral aroma and a decently spicy kick. The beef short rib is another great option: Smoky and delicious sweet chipotle beef short rib with a true potato mash and chorizo salsa verde. Trust us, it’s going to become a firm favourite for your Saturday lunch!
For mains, you’re spoilt for choice with options ranging from the 300g Butcher’s Daughter matured rib eye steak and the artichoke and fennel baked fish, to the jalapeño and paprika chicken thighs and citrus-marinated pork fillet. Of course, there are also sharing plates for two or three that were made for feasting: Paella with either smoked pork neck and chipotle pepper chicken thighs or paprika and chilli prawns, line fish, mussels and calamari as well as fresh whole line fish, coal-grilled beef rump picanha, sweet and spicy glazed pork ribs, and chipotle-spiced chicken nachos. You can’t go wrong no matter what you order, but we highly recommend the 10 coal-grilled queen prawns finished off in the wood-fired oven and the chimichurri lamb picanha coal-grilled on the parilla. The gorgeous prawns are a standout dish – cooked in smoked paprika, garlic, chilli and fresh lime and served with caper salsa fresca, they’re spicy, flavourful and go down a treat with a glass of chilled wine for maximum Spanish effect.
Meat-eaters will love the skewer made with cubes of lamb with sherry, cumin and paprika. Served with , roasted red baby , fresh mint, pomegranate and whipped feta, it’s meltingly tender and the juices double up as a sweet glaze. If you can manage dessert afterwards, go for the honey and whisky drunken with custard and almond praline or the Whoopie Pie – white chocolate hazelnut gelato sandwiched between two cookies with Nutella, almond flakes and toasted marshmallows. ¡Comamos!
17 3rd Avenue, Parktown North
011 325 0011