Bochinche is our new favourite restaurant. And not just because of their $10 Happy Hour offers. The hearty Argentinian cuisine is a meat-lover's dream; the convivial atmosphere buzzy and lively; the personable service warm and welcoming - overall, a winning formula for the full-house most nights.
Argentinian cuisine may not be known this part of the world, but it's really just Mediterranean-influenced South American fare. The typical Argentinian diet is beef-centric, with lots of Spanish flavours, and the grill being the favoured style of cooking.
Reservations at boCHINche are advised, especially if dining in groups of more than 2 persons. If possible, try to hit up the restaurant before 7.30pm on weekdays, the wines are $10 a pop till then - an excellent (and extremely affordable) way to unwind after a hard day's work.
We've been here twice in under a week, so you can tell we really like it here. Another thing I appreciate about Bochinche - the chef always apprises the market price of the fish-of-the-day BEFORE confirming our order for the same.
A fantastic nibbler, the Iberico Cold Cuts ($21) comprises slivers of lomo, chorizo, and 30 months' shoulder charcuterie, freshly baked bread, and vegetable pickles.
The amuse bouche was a duo of fried tapioca balls sided by a spiced aubergine dip. Think giant bubble tea pearls, just deep fried. These were wonderfully chewy, and its plain simplicity was contrasted with the subtle sweetness of the stewed eggplant.
A must-try starter, the Caramelized Pork Belly & Grilled Prawns ($18) with sweet potato puree, pork crackling, and chorizo, was robust and flavourful.
Argentinian steak is a bit of a cross between Australian beef and USDA Prime; the grass-fed, free-range, perfectly medium, Ojo de Bife Ribeye ($55) was so sumptuous it rendered the mustard-tinged peppercorn sauce redundant.
The melt-in-your-mouth Malbec Braised Ox Cheeks ($23), was paired with a velvety truffle mash, succulent house-made chorizo, and a luxurious malbec sauce.
The meaty-but-juicy Iberico Pork Chops ($42), glazed with mustard and honey for a sweet-salty finish, was simply accentuated by a caramelized apple chutney.
For a meat-oriented restaurant, their grilled market fish is awesome. We've had their fish twice, and twice now, we've been blown away with their treatment of fish. The first Catch-of-the-Day we had was a whole Flounder ($45), burnished with rosemary, sea salt and blistered lemon.My only gripe, strictly as the world's laziest bum, was in respect of the fish's bones.
Another Catch-of-the-Day, a Seabass Fillet ($50) was a massive slab of perfectly grilled fish, also simply gilded with rosemary, sea salt and lemon.
The French-originated Malbec is Argentine's best-known wines, and you can't go wrong getting a glass or two (or three) of their Happy Hour Malbecs. Between the Circus 2014 Malbec ($10), a medium-bodied berrylicious red, and the Rutini Trumpeter 2014 ($10), a lighter velvety red, I thought the Circus was most complementary to the beef.
22 Martin Road #02-01
Tel: 6235 4990
Open Tuesdays to Thursdays from 5.30pm to 12midnight for dinner;
Fridays from 5.30pm to 1am for dinner;
Saturdays from 11am to 4.30pm for lunch; 5.30pm to 1am for dinner;
Sundays from 11am to 4.30pm for lunch; 5.30pm to 12midnight for dinner;
Closed on Mondays