If you regularly travel for work, you probably dread eating in hotels. The food seems drone on, the staid, beige environment and the same old wine list is not enticing. But, not at La Boca Argentinian Bar and Grill at Stamford Plaza in Mascot. No, instead, this place is filled with burning hot BBQ excitement and delicious food offerings.
This is both a hotel restaurant and a destination. For sure, no harbour views, no lush country gardens, but a care and passion for BBQ that you can taste in every single mouthful. It’s also worth mentioning La Boca Bar and Grill offers with some of the finest tasting Sangria in Sydney.
La Boca Bar and Grill offers a traditional asado (roast) that includes beef, pork, lamb and chicken, cooked on a parilla, or an open grill. At La Boca this is the impressive open BBQ standing proudly on a raised platform at the back in the restaurant.
The meat is cooked on the bone to keep the flavour in. It’s a proper BBQ but instead of burnt tasteless sausages bought in bulk, there’s artfully cooked produce, honoring the cut and natural flavours of the meat.
We started with the provolone and sun-dried tomato croquettes, olive dust and jalapeno mayonnaise. Total perfection (I must confess it’s been more than a week since my last provolone croquette, and I’ve rarely thought of anything else). The beef and also the lamb empanadas are light and made in house, along with everything else on the menu, but it’s the grilled squid with lime, capers and chives that stands out. Perfectly cooked, fresh and also slightly miraculous to think that squid was cooked on the BBQ grill.
To whet your whistle, the sangria, combined with shiraz, house made mango syrup and fresh fruit, is artfully combined in front of you. It’s dazzlin theatre that results in the right amount of sweet. At $25 a litre it means you should catch an Uber.
We also had the sausage sampler (keep it clean, please readers), which includes blood, pork and fennel and lamb sausage. The standouts here were really the pork and fennel – a classic combination, along with the blood sausage. An unusually generous serving means, if you’re a fan of blood sausage, you won’t go wrong at La Boca.
The La Boca Bar and Grill’s signature fire grill includes free range pork belly, lamb asador, skirt steak (which has been sous vide for eight hours and then BBQ’d for mere moments) traditional pork sausage, saltbush lamb sausage and chicken thigh. This could also be called a mountain of meat and shared across four moderate eaters. For $85 it’s great enjoyable value.
There’s Argentinian wine on the menu, and some fine Malbec for an all consuming authentic experience.
The vine tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad ($9.50) and the grilled vegetables ($9.50) are a welcome addition to remind us that vegetables make a complete meal.
Since La Boca Bar and Grill is relatively close to Sydney’s domestic and international airport, the menu, while focused heavily on Argentinian BBQ also includes vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. So when flights are delayed there is a restaurant nearby to service all dietary requirements. La Boca Bar and Grill is also a place not just for tourists and business travellers, but also for locals, and anyone who loves good quality BBQ.
La Boca Bar and Grill 241 O’Riordan Street (under Stamford Plaza)
Lunch 12.00pm – 3.00pm, Dinner 6.00pm – 10.00pm