Bocodillo: Hyde Park’s pop of tapas

The new pop-up restaurant on Jan Smuts Avenue will be open from Wednesdays to Saturdays

By Zola Zingithwa
Spanish tapas Ⓒ Shutterstock
Spanish tapas Ⓒ Shutterstock

It’s summer. It’s hot. The going-out season is once again upon us. And after the past two years of Covid-19 summers, many of us are ready to enjoy maskless evenings dining outside and enjoying city life. After all, what’s the point of living in a city like Johannesburg if not to experience the world at your fingertips?

To satiate those roving palates of ours, chefs and restaurateurs have been using pop-up restaurants and food experiences to introduce city slickers to different corners of the world. From Le Petit Chef’s entrance to the South African market to The Forum Company’s curated pop-up dining experiences, pop-up restaurants are thriving yet again.

And Bocodillo is jumping on that exciting train with a summer tapas pop-up restaurant. As the temperature heats up, Bocodillo aims to be Jozi’s hot new tapas pop-up restaurant. The brainchild of chef and restaurateur Glenda Lederle and renowned artist Kevin Collins, Bocodillo pops up in the courtyard of Glenda’s Restaurant at the Hyde Square Shopping Centre from Wednesdays to Saturdays every week from now until December.

Why tapas you might ask? “Simple, seasonal and ideal for sharing at sunset,” that’s how Lederle describes the tapas experience. “[It’s] the perfect moment in the day to unwind and the perfect accompaniment for doing just that!” Both Lederle and Collins share a love for the small savoury Spanish dishes, which are commonly served before lunch or dinner. Using their experience of travels through Spain and extensive research in the culinary history of Spanish food, they decided to set up Bocodillo together.

So imagine off-ramping from that Jan Smuts Avenue traffic to drop by the restaurant, settling in the courtyard, ordering an array of plates filled with grilled sardines and calamari, Spanish meatballs, chorizo sausage, pork belly with sides of spicy beetroot slivers or balsamic onions. Now, add a glass of Cava, or if sparkling wine isn’t your thing, Sangria. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect summer evening we all dream of?

And of course, what would a pop-up experience be without a memento to memorialise the fleeting? At Bocodillo you can buy the plates on which the tapas are served, which are created by Collins himself. Sold exclusively at the pop-up venue, the unique series of these small artistic plates honour the Spanish love of fish.

It’s exciting to see little corners of Johannesburg coming alive again with intriguing food experiences, which can only be enjoyed as we do in our incredibly hot, but breezy Joburg evenings.

Yet, why tapas on a weekday after a long workday? Well in Lederle’s own words, “eating delicious bites outside on a glorious summer evening while sipping a cool glass of vino – you just have to give it a try.“ What more could we want in this heat?

Bocodillo takes place in the courtyard of Glenda’s Restaurant, Hyde Square Shopping Centre at 285 Jan Smuts Avenue in Hyde Park. It is open until December 17 from Wednesday to Saturday from 4 pm to 8 pm. Bookings on 011 268 6369.

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