We were sitting at the bar and considering the dessert menu at Boca, an Argentine restaurant in Sydney's Darlinghurst, when my friend Ute exclaimed loudly.
"Dulce de leche! That stuff is disgusting!” she said, accidentally booming her words across the bar. As in in slow motion I watched as the sound waves travelled across to the chefs standing behind the bar. Their eyes widened and their mouths fell open in shock.
"Oops!” she says covering her mouth. I laugh and whisper to her under my breath "maybe you should bring up Maradona’s Hand of God goal next and then we’ll get chucked out?”
I was first put onto Boca by the lovely Deb that I worked with on the Discovery Channel’s food show. She is Argentine and knowing that I had recently visited Buenos Aires, asked me if I had tried Boca. She told me that it was authentic Argentine.
They’ve taken great pains to recreate the feeling of La Boca, the soccer mad, working class area of Buenos Aires where tourists pay to pose in front of cut outs of tango dancers. Upstairs, the decorating scheme is blue and yellow vertical stripes, the colours of the soccer team Boca Juniors.
Pictures of Maradona line the walls and the bar, in front of the parilla grill (pronounced parisha in Argentine) is where the action is. The chefs are very friendly and offer us morsels from what they are preparing which is nice considering what Ute had said about dulce de leche!
I felt like I should order something to drink as I wasn’t driving that evening and was sitting at the bar. The sangria comes with wither white or red wine and has strawberries and mango in it. And yes, that’s a penguin shaped jug!
The feta with toast was a complimentary course because the parmesan fritters were taking a bit longer than usual. That was a nice gesture and we top the crunchy melba toasts with creamy feta cheese, olives and pickles.
The torta frita are fried parmesan fritters served as a long crispy triangle. The pointy end was a bit dry but the further into the fritter was the better part and it reminds me of those moreish parmesan cheese biscuits.
I recall having provoleta, below, at a traditional Argentine steak house in Buenos Aires. Provoleta, which is a grilled Provolone cheese, is grilled until it melts, caramelises and blisters.