Bocata, simply meaning sandwich and derived from the word ‘boca’ (mouth) in Spanish, opened its doors late last year, bringing a new set of flavours to Danks Street, Waterloo in the process.
Perched alongside the likes of the original Italian providore, Fratelli Fresh (and its hidden treasure, Cafe Sopra), not to mention the fantastic slow food cafe and bar that is Danks Street Depot, Bocata is a little Spanish senorita with an impression to make.
Though it hasn't been open long, it already feels well at home on the strip, with full seats, plenty of foot traffic and lots of satisfied faces. The staff are all Spanish – well, some are Argentinean and Mexican – but they speak in their native tongue. So if you know Spanish or want to learn, this is a great place to get your skills up. And, it’s always nice to eat at a cafe where the people making the food hail from where the food does.
The venue offering an assortment of bocatas, available in their pure and simple form of two fillings – jamon y queso (ham and cheese)– as well as a range of empanadas, including beef or tuna, accompanied by a grilled capsicum salad.
Speaking with owner Miguel Cajias, his philosophy is simple. “In Spain, bocata is a slang word for sandwich. Here it is a great artisan sandwich. We make bocatas from scratch using the best locally produced cured meats and the best imported cheeses combined with our in-house baked bread.”
Adding to the list on offer are ‘pintxos’ (pronounced ‘pinchos’) for $1 each. “Pintxos, meaning ‘spike’, are a typical snack of the Basque country and consist of small slices of bread upon which an ingredient or mixture of ingredients is placed and fastened with a toothpick, giving the food it’s name, ‘spike’,” says Cajias.
To top everything off, this little trove of Spanish goodness also operates as a deli, offering up an assortment of imported produce ranging from ‘conservas’ (tinned products) to sauces, cheeses, beans, breads and plenty more Spanish alimentos to fill your pantry.
Bocata comes with extremely reasonable prices in this thriving gastronomic neighbourhood. Boasting a timber theme throughout, the atmosphere is relaxed, friendly and unpretentious, and although the menu is still relatively compact, Cajias has plenty more planned for his new business. Head along and fill your boca!
Shop 1A, 207–229 Young Street, Waterloo
(02) 9690 0558
Mon to Sat 7am–5pm