Sunday, July 22, 2007

Cafe Rocca, Bong Bong St, Bowral

Cafe Rocca, Bong Bong St, Bowral
Sunday 22 July, 2007

After a leisurely stroll through Bowral shops and a great find (the local Cheese shop stocks my all time favourite cheese - Clarines - which I had to purchase) we were in need of lunch.

Next door to the fabulous & highly awarded Gumnut patisserie, spilling into the Grand Arcade and outside into the paved courtyard is Café Rocca. Inside it's a wood lovers paradise with large wooden bar, wooden floor boards and wooden chairs and tables - it's very relaxed and we decided to sit inside. It's not that large inside but the staff have to stay across three dining areas so you can appreciate that it took a while for them to realise we were seated and to get some menus.

The local publicity machine promotes Cafe Rocca as, "Michael and Raye Abouchabake have owned Café Rocca in Bowral for the last 10 years. The corner location at 299 Bong Bong Street is an ideal location to sit back and watch the world go by whilst enjoying a well made Belaroma coffee. The 70 seats are spread throughout the cosy interior, the fabulous sidewalk area and the air conditioned arcade. The funky and alive atmosphere of the café is well patronised by locals and visitors alike so don’t be surprised by being involved in tables banter!

There are also some cosy little corners for that quiet and intimate latte with someone special. The menu is extensive, with The Rocca Breakfast being a standout feature for those who are hungry. All the items are prepared fresh daily with stylish salads and superb pastas. It’s not difficult to see Michael’s Mediterranean influences throughout the menu."

The menu is also written on a large chalkboard but the staff had daily specials to share with us and these sounded much more appealing. Our waitress was engaging, cheerful and rattled off the specials with ease. Two of us ordered the chicken, bacon and mushroom pie and two ordered the chicken crepes.

Our food arrived and looked great - the pies came in a oval shaped ramekin filled with chicken, bacon and mushroom and topped with light, flaky pastry. The crepes came folded on half a round plate and was served with a side salad. The food looked great but was average - the pies were edible but lacked the heartiness of a good country gourmet pie. The filling was almost soup like in consistency with a few chunks of chicken, bacon and mushroom thrown in for good measure.

Overall, the food was priced well and commanded a good crowd - maybe we should have opted for the blackboard menu instead?

Café Rocca - Shop 8, Grand Arcade, 299 Bong Bong Street, Bowral - (02) 4861 6036

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