Review: Bocabar, Glastonbury
PUBLISHED: 11:29 18 December 2018
Joseph Hunwick 2012
At the heart of a community-owned old factory building there's a thriving restaurant, as Catherine Courtenay discovers
Think you need to be in a town centre or beauty spot to make a go of a restaurant?
Bocabar is on the busy main road between Glastonbury and Street; it’s at the far end of an industrial estate and it’s not even that easy to access – it’s right beside that busy main road, but you have to drive around the estate in order to get to it.
Despite all this, you walk into the Red Brick Building which houses Bocabar, through the doors into the restaurant and it will be buzzing. What a great atmosphere! The well stocked bar (22 gins no less) faces you, the eating area stretching off to the left and the kitchen is visible through an opening in the wall.
There’s lots going on, lots to draw the eye - posters for gigs and DJ nights (of which there are plenty), aerial yoga classes, salsa and comedy nights; the Red Brick Building is a thriving community-owned centre, or hub as the word is these days, a social enterprise set in an old factory building. The urban industrial look adds to the very laid-back and modern feel and needless to say there’s a strong sustainable and ethical strand running through.
Bocabar offers a modern dining experience. Food is fast, very fresh and of course very seasonal. There’s a long list of producers, many coming from within 10 miles. Dishes are packed with exciting flavours and they come in styles to suit all dining needs.
New-ish chef Matt Brooks is clearly enjoying himself. There are elegant dishes, like sauté fillet of plaice with creamed leeks, potato, pancetta, sauté spinach with a red wine and mushroom jus; then there are hearty favourites like a Brixham fish stew, but there’s also a tantalising array of veg plates. The veg on this occasion comes from Barrington Farm at Ilminster, Plowright Organic at Nether Stowey and Radford Mill at Bath. The plates include roast cauliflower with chimichurri, chargrilled broccoli with baba ganoush and dukkah and a roast beetroot with a black olive tapenade. You can try just one dish for £4.50, or simply get the whole lot on a mezze plate for £11. With added houmous, olives and foccacia it’s a feast and absolutely zinging with flavours.
The Red Brick Building is entwined in the local community and Bocabar is at its heart – a hugely appealing and cosy spot to indulge in lovely food, along with a cocktail or two.