Black food had a bit of a moment last year, but in some cultures and cuisines it’s been around for centuries. In Dubai, you’ll find few uses of squid ink as classy as this one from Mediterranean eatery BOCA.
The DIFC restaurant is well-known for its creative menu, and it now includes some fresh new offerings that we can’t wait to try.
“Local products, value and creativity” are central, with which the team aims to produce “hearty and healthy” plates, including vegetarian and vegan dishes, too.
Ingredients including fish, seafood, fruit and vegetables are sourced from The Waterfront Market in Dubai, and the restaurant now is “proud” to serve up local Dibba oysters, which are grown in Fujairah.
The updated menu comes from newly appointed head chef Matthijs Stinnisessen – who was previously in the kitchen at Marina Social. He’s kept the BOCA classics, but reworked some of the favourites.
New dishes include sweet potato hummus (which promises “earthiness in a bowl”) as well as soft shell crab burgers and beef tartare starring hidden oyster for saltiness, sweetness and creaminess.
But it’s paellas we’re here to talk about. There’s the fideua – paella made with pasta instead of rice, and this attention-grabbing arroz negro. Made with squid ink, it’s packed full of veg and seafood including squid, langoustine, mussels and clams. With a hint of chilli and a squeeze of lemon you’ll be chilling out on a beach in Spain (as far as your taste bud are concerned, anyway).
Dhs280. Gate Village 6, DIFC (04 323 1833).