Bocado is a spanish place tucked smack in the middle of the FFC on a street more known for its night life. They’ve actually been around for quite a number of years, and is apparently super popular amongst the local chinese, despite offering some very authentic Spanish fare.
Many thanks to the owner, Charlie for the invitation together with a few foodie friends.
It is worth noting that apart from Bocado, Charlie also owns the restaurant, Husk.
The decor is rustic and very cozy. The place has about 40 seats, and are comfortably spaced. Warm lighting fill the restaurant while artificial cob webs adorned the walls that evening, I’m guessing in preparation for Halloween. 8/10
As always with invited tastings, an unbiased score of 7.5 is awarded. It’s worth noting that from my observations, service was efficient even when the restaurant was full house on a wednesday evening.
I started the evening with an espresso martini.
Assorted Cheese Board, 125 rmb
A variety of cheeses on a board, nothing outstanding as expected, but I always have a weak spot for crackers and cheddar. What’s important was that the cheeses weren’t stale and the condiments were paired quite well. 7.5/10
Galician Style Octopus, 75 rmb
The octopus was cooked perfectly such that it was very tender. The paprika and olive oil added flavours which complemented the octopus very well. Most of us at the table loved this dish. As a matter of fact, this dish opened my eyes to how good octopi can be, and inspired me to learn to cook and serve my own octopus dish at my own restaurant. 8.5/10
Spanish Tortilla, 38 rmb
This was like a fritata, and totally unrelated to the mexican tortilla. A Spanish tortilla is essentially an omelette that has primarily potatoes in it. Of course, simple dishes usually have a wide range of variations. The one at Bocado had some bell peppers in it too. Overall very pleasant, but nothing mindblowing. 7.5/10
Truffle & Mushroom Croquettes, 45 RMB
These were bursting with flavours of truffle and mushrooms as we bit into them. The filling was very creamy, a little too liquified for my liking. I suggested to Charlie that he could consider filing the croquettes with chunkier pieces of mushrooms, as opposed to a paste-like consistency filling. My impression of croquettes lean towards a firmer potato based filling. 7.5/10
Garlic Shrimp, 65 RMB
These were the star of the evening. Served piping hot with the aroma of garlic filling the room.
The garlic sauce was delicately seasoned and mellow tasting, which paired with the bouncy shrimp perfectly. I could eat 2 plates of this on my own. Simple, but good. 8.5/10
Paella Campera, 228 RMB
This was the paella with chicken, chorizo, artichokes and mushrooms. The paellas at Bocado are of the wetter variety, which is actually something new to me. Most of the paellas i’ve had in the past were dry and charred. This one actually didn’t have the taste of charred rice, and you could taste the melody of flavours orchestrated by the chorizo, artichokes and mushrooms in every grain of rice. Artichoke dishes are also quite uncommon in Shanghai, so i found this quite delightful. The rice was cooked to just a little bit past al dente, which was fine for me. A serving of this feeds 3 easily. 8.5/10
Paella Negra, 238 RMB
This was the seafood paella with squid ink coloring and flavoring the rice. Regrettably, this was served on the other end of the table and I didn’t get a chance to take a photo before the paella pan was raided. I did have a taste of it, and the umami taste was intense from the squid ink and also the scallops, prawns and mussels that were cooked together with the rice. I would say the flavours were well balanced and not overly rich nor light. It’s a winner for me. 8.5/10
Note that every Monday is Paella Monday, which means every Paella only costs 150 RMB!
Just typing this out made me want to visit them next Monday!
Platter of sweet bites, consisting of vanilla ice cream and brownie, banana cake, lime pie and a crepe.
I’m not much of a dessert person unless the dessert is truly outstanding. These tasted pretty run of the mill. Nothing fantastic but not bad. 7.5/10
In conclusion, Bocado is another welcome addition to my list of Spanish restaurants to visit. I love that the food here is very homely and unpretentious. True to home, true to flavours and true to the wallet. Some people find them expensive, but for what you get, I think it’s quite honestly priced.