Spanish-Italian Food Night in Exeter – El Bocado & Caramello

Sunday nights aren’t normally the time we choose to eat out. We would usually have a simple dinner and be lounging in the sofa before it’s time  to head to bed. Not this Sunday night, we have the chance to enjoy food and stay up a little later than normal.

Our German friends left us voucher to spend at El Bocado, they have been very generous. We ordered a feast; paella to share, 4 different types of tapas and basket of bread. Although we weren’t greeted by the sounds of flamenco which they often showcase (next is in 9th April) they have given us a very warm Spanish ambience through music. Most importantly, they offer a selection of food for all diets and tastes. This is a plus for me, because I may be a massive carnivore but my mother likes to eat fish and veg. This place can be a neutral ground for us and is going to be a favourite.

Our food were a bit of everything that I can say. We made sure we had a selection from veggies to meat. Therefore, we ordered:

Berenjena frita con miel (V) – wafer thin tempura aubergine deep fried and Drizzled in honey – just an amazing flavour

Tortilla con Espinacas (V & Gluten Free) – traditional spanish omelette

Albóndigas de Gamba y Bacalao – prawn & cod balls cooked in a light tomato sauce

Panza de cerdo (Gluten Free) – slow cooked pork belly served on caramelised onions with a little paprika

Paella de Pollo y Chorizo (Gluten Free) – chicken and chorizo paella

Out of the food listed above, my favourite and I recommend for you to try is (it’s not even meat) Berenjena frita con miel! It’s what it says on the menu description. Very thinly sliced aubergine and crispy fried drizzled with honey – yum!


I was a bit disappointed with a few things, the slow cooked pork is not soft enough to be slow cooked. For me slow cooked is simmering, the act of getting the pork so soft it falls off the bone, this one didn’t have that characteristic. Maybe I just have a different description of “slow cooked – correct me if I’m wrong. Another thing was, we did not manage to finish our paella, you can see on the photo above it was attacked but the pan is actually deeper than it seems. Initially, we thought we could finish it but having  the tapas beforehand we were full before we know it. I know it was not the restaurant’s fault we eat too much tapas but I thought they would have a “doggy bag” for me to take my leftovers home. I mean, life is tough you know, I don’t like leaving food unfinished and I paid for it (sort of). They offered to wrap it in foil, I agreed. I got my take home food which I planned to eat the next day. Yayy!

I have a sweet tooth, I like puddings (desserts) after a hearty meal or should I say I always make room for dessert after each meal. We didn’t have dessert in El Bocado instead we went to Caramello (just across the road). Caramello is new in Exeter, according to my research they only opened in March of this year. I tell you now, this place will have a special place in my heart, I love gelato!

We weren’t expecting them to be open by the time we finished our dinner because it was already late, just a few minutes to 1opm. We manage to get to the shop before they closed. They already took the name tags on each ice cream ready to close up, but as they are a very friendly and hospitable bunch they did not turn us away. It was probably because of my over eager self, like a little kid after ice cream. After us there was a group of students who were salivating for ice cream too, somehow I did not feel bad keeping the shop open.


All in all it was a great night, I have my “doggy bag”, I had my favourite gelato flavours (Stracciatella & Oreo) and I was in great company. We very much enjoyed our night. I hope you visit these restaurants when you’re around our beautiful city.

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