Shenzhen Restaurant Review: La Boca

By Bryan Grogan, June 1, 2019

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The Place

To paraphrase a line from a famous TV show, ‘Chinese spring is rainy and full of terrors.’ In an effort to flee the rain this past month, we made our way to La Boca in OCT, a South American-style bar that provided us with a few hours of enjoyable escapism.

The Food & Drinks

Image via La Boca

This being a bar, we tucked into La Boca’s drinks menu first. The ‘Mano a Mano’ (RMB98) is a delicious combination of rum, slow-cooked pineapple and lemon zest. While the fruity nature of the drink led us to expect something sour and overpowering, we were pleased to find that the beverage was creamy and easy on the palate.

La Boca’s food menu is much less substantial than the drinks list, and a little bit scattered. While you can grab Latin fare like tacos and tapas, you can also snag some bites from Japan, Yunnan and the Middle East. We decided to try their pork knuckle tacos (RMB78), which come as two well-packed and savory bundles. We were somewhat disappointed by the taste, as the pork knuckle was a bit too fatty, and, in fact, overly savory for our taste.

Image via La Boca

Finally, we finished our evening with the outlet’s ‘Coco’ cocktail (RMB98), a Mexican-themed drink made especially for Cinco de Mayo. Combining tequila, black pepper, cherry liqueur and pineapple, Coco is a floral, fruity delight and swiftly dispelled memories of our less than satisfactory food.

The Vibe

Image via La Boca

We arrived on the evening before Cinco de Mayo, and basked in energetic songs like Santana’s ‘Maria’ (as played by their live band for the evening) beneath green, red and yellow lightbulbs, which helped to establish a shady, tropical atmosphere.

Price: RMB200
Who’s going: folks with Latin fever, expats from South America
Good for: tequila cocktails, live music
Nearest metro: Qiaochengdong (Exit A), 15 minutes walk

Open daily, 5pm-2am; see listing for La Boca.

[Cover image via La Boca]

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