It’s a brave outlet that tries to compete with the established award-winners littered across DIFC, and Boca has come, seen and conquered. Predominantly a European tapas restaurant, the island layout of this sleek venue allows for the crowd to slip comfortably between food and drink without feeling like one is upsetting the ambiance of the other.
A funky, atmospheric soundtrack – delivered by an in-house DJ – encourages plenty of toe-tapping but stops short of becoming intrusive, so conversations can still be held. The same goes for the buzz of the open kitchen that fills the room. It’s the sort of place you go to for a post-work catch-up that becomes a nice dinner and finishes with discussing the vast range of signature drinks – and their curious names – with the showmen staff. Don’t Beet Root, or Monkey & Peanuts, anyone? The extravagant names are fitting for the complex combinations that are available; from chocolate bitters to banana infusions, the drinks menu is one of the most intriguing in town.
The food menu, split into four sections – Deli, Original, Market and Finale – is compact and has clear representations of Spain, France and Italy. Portions are somewhere between traditional tapas and a full plate, so one item can be all you need when at the bar. Be warned, you won’t want to stop there.
The bottom line A shining light in an area full of stars.