Tuesday, 7 May 2013

La Boca Latino Bar, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

La Boca Latino Bar, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur
La Boca Latino Bar

La Boca Latino Bar and Restaurant, Pavilion

Words by Polly Szantor
Photos by The Yum List


When you walk into La Boca, you can’t help smiling.  The walls have been painted by local graffiti artists to evoke the vibrant streets of its namesake, a barrio of the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires that is home to a profusion of immigrants and artisans. The primary colours are bright and cheerful, a perfect preparation for the fiesta of flavours to come. In addition to offering Mexican favourites like Nachos Rancheros and Fajitas, La Boca’s menu pushes further south to explore the wonders of cuisine from Central and South American countries.

La Boca Latino Bar, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur
La Boca Latino Bar
We began with Peruvian Salmon Ceviche (RM25++), fresh salmon cured in lime juice bursting with the fresh flavours of coriander, sweet corn, onions and chilli served with homemade cassava chips, and Ceviche de Camerones (RM28++), sweet prawns marinated in lime with tomatoes, onions and coriander served with homemade tortilla chips.  Both were excellent and next time I visit, I’d like to try the third Ceviche, an interesting combination of scallops, mussels, strawberry and mango; it sounds tempting doesn’t it?  

La Boca Latino Bar, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur
Peruvian Salmon Ceviche RM25
La Boca Latino Bar, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur
Ceviche de Camaraones RM28
From the Tapas menu we tasted the vegetarian, chicken and beef Empanadas, served with a mildly spiced, chunky tomato dip. The baked pastry was authentically light and crisp, making these little Argentinean pasties a perfect snack for any time of the day (RM21++). There are five salads on the menu, and you can choose a topping of Grilled Chicken Breast, Crispy Fried Calamari or Cured Salmon Slices. We tried the Ensalata Latina (RM20++), a delightful combination of salad greens, avocado, palm hearts, kalamata olives and beetroot.

La Boca Latino Bar, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur
Beef, Chicken and Vegetarian Empanadas RM21
Next came a Venezuelan classic, Reina Pepiada (RM20++), a soft corn arepa filled with shredded chicken, avocado aioli and onions. The result is crispy on the outside but creamy and buttery inside; served with Tapioca Chips and Glazed Red Pepper this dish would make a lovely lunch. Then how about Seafood Moqueca for dinner (RM42++)? Salmon and prawns are served in a Brazillian style creamy coconut curry, which come with Jasmine Rice and Honey-glazed Butternut Squash. It’s reminiscent of Malaysian coconut curry, differently spiced but equally delicious.

La Boca, Latin Restaurant, pavilion
Venezuelan Arepa Reina Pepiada RM20
La Boca Latino Bar, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur
Seafood Moqueca RM42
La Boca also offers an Argentinean-style Barbeque, and they are planning to expand this part of the menu. A variety of meats (Spring Chicken, Lamb Rump, and Black Angus beef from Australia) are turned on a rotisserie until they reach a divine level of tenderness. We were impressed by the Tenderloin (RM88++), a whopping 250gm of lean, tender, juicy meat, that was well done on the outside but still medium to medium rare inside; this has to be one of the best steaks in town. The meats are served with a choice of sauce and two side orders: grilled vegetables, steak fries, mustard mash, palm heart salad or mixed green salad. 

La Boca Latino Bar, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur
Solomillo with chimichurri salsa, steak fries and palm heart salad RM88
We finished our meal with La Boca’s crispy, chewy Churros. Once you start dipping into the chocolate and caramel sauces you’re doomed; it’s practically impossible to stop. If you can get past the Churros, there are several other tempting desserts including Cuban Bread Pudding, Aztec Chocolate Fudge Cake and Argentinean Tiramisu – more reasons to return.
La Boca Latino Bar, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur
Churros, Strawberry Daiquiri, Cappuccino 

La Boca is known not only for its food, but also for its selection of rums and its creative cocktails. Brazilian mixologist Felipe Sant’Anna insists on using only genuine liquor and there’s no watering down here. If you like your cocktails strong, this is the place to be. We tried a few, and I’m eager to sample more.  The Karioca is fruity with a good kick while the Jalapeno Margarita is perfect for sipping and creates a wonderful buzz in the mouth. The Caipirinha packs a punch and on Thursdays you can get 4 for the price of 3. If you prefer no alcohol, the Virgin Caipirinha is a tangy concentration of passion fruit, pineapple, and lime.

La Boca Latino Bar, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur
Virgin Passionfruit Caipirinha RM18
La Boca Latino Bar, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur
Karioca RM28
La Boca Latino Bar, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur
Jalapeno Margarita
La Boca Latino Bar, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur
Caipirinha RM28
Here’s a quick run-down of special prices and events: breakfast is served from 9am to noon with an ever-expanding menu of Western and Latino choices; there’s a lunch set that changes monthly, soup, main and a beverage for RM29++; Happy Hour is from 3 to 6pm with 30% off beer and wine, plus any three Tapas for RM29++; on Fridays there’s a Cuban band playing with salsa dancing from 8 – 11pm; for Tango, visit on Sundays from 5 – 8pm.

La Boca Latino Bar, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur
Coffee's good too! Cappuccino RM9
Reason to Visit: to sample dishes you won’t find elsewhere in KL, to sip fantastically strong cocktails and to enjoy the warm, friendly atmosphere.

La Boca Latino Bar and Restaurant
Lot C3.10.03, Level 3
The Pavilion
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
+6 03 2148 9977

12 comments:

  1. Oooo...everything looks so good! Wanna try 'em all!!!

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    1. I'd love to introduce you to some excellent Latino cuisine. :-)

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  2. i love everything about this latino placee! the cheerful fun ambience, the interesting looking food, and the cocktails!! have been eye-ing to give it a go, thanks for the introduction!

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    1. You're welcome. Hope you get over there soon. Loads of fun in the evenings too - especially Friday night when they have live music.

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  3. gosh, look at that delicious platter piled high with churros! i think my waistline would increase by an inch if i gobbled it all up, but could i resist? probably not! :D

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  4. wow, the platters here looks huge and tempting! I like empanadas and churros too... never knew I can even get Moqueca here in KL...I have only seen this dish at the food channel... :D

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    1. Ooh, you must come and try the Moqueca here then... see if you fits what you're imagining from the food channel. ;-)

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  5. Oh, I love the cheerful theme of this place! So colourful!

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    1. Yes it has such a happy vibe :-)

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  6. I never realised there was such variety in South American tastes and flavours. La Boca is getting my stomach as soon as I make a trip down town!

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  7. it's my fav place to go at the moment! :)

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