When you get invited to an Argentinian feast, there are certain methods you take in preparing your body for such deliciousness. It all began hours before the event, and involved forgoing lunch. Then we ensured that we were wearing appropriate feasting attire. A kaftan, stretchy pants or moo-moo all seemed like sensible options. Feeling fully prepared, we ventured to La Boca at Stamford Plaza, and amazingness ensued.
It is one of those events that we just knew would be all kinds of incredible, especially when it started on the 18th floor of the Stamford Plaza in the Presidential suite. We were escorted up to the recently revamped suite, greeted with a cocktail (always a good start) while overlooking our amazing city. The canapés of lime, quinoa and avocado salad in mini cones, corn empanadas and mushroom croquettes with the tastiest aioli soon followed.
But the real fun started in La Boca Bar and Grill, the signature Argentinian restaurant at the Stamford. Walking in, the first thing that grabs your attention is the asador grill- the heart of La Boca. Hand-made by the uncle of Head Chef Nicolas Arriola in Argentina, Nicolas uses his skill, passion and love of asador style cooking to create culinary magic. With whole animals grilling over open fire from early morning, it’s quite eye catching (but Vegetarians, look away!) and we couldn’t wait to tuck in.
The cold picadas were house-cured charcuterie with a selection of cheeses (and our fave blue made an appearance) served on a house made rye slab. Eating out as much as we do, we see A LOT of charcuterie boards served, but the presentation and deliciousness of every element on the board was very impressive. Great work!
The hot picadas were seafood-based. Think fresh oysters with criolla sauce, smoked scallops with sweet tomato pesto and grilled prawns with garlic and lemon sauce. Matched with a sweet Argentinian white wine, yep, we were very happy.
We had all been hanging out to try this slow cooked meat though, and when the trio of asador cooked meats (pork, beef and lamb) were whipped off the grill, carved in front of us and served up on the signature wooden board with a pot of house made Chimichurri to have on the side (and an offer to take the rest home, which we gladly did), we were not disappointed. When it is done right in front of you, it is easy to see why cooking in this way is responsible and ethical with the whole animal used and involving minimal wastage. We might never eat a BBQ the same way again.
By this point, we were settling down in the chair and planning where to curl up to have a nap. But then dessert was served. A bowl of creamy traditional chocolate and coffee cake served with an equally creamy and decadent cocktail, yes we had to undo a button or two, but it was totally worth it.
Now there are no optical illusions in this photo. Our bowl of cake really was that big. And we ate. Every. Single. Spoonful. And we would do it again.
We love it when our work is made easy. Out we rolled, but we will be back.