Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog

Friday, 16 March 2012

Bodega Tapas Bar, Surry Hills

When people ask me "Hey, where should we eat today?", without a second thought I'll reply Bodega immediately. It's one of those places I've grown to love because how well they do their food. It's ability to get friends together and stimulate conversation is unparalleled and when you get a spot on top of the bar, you get to see how genius translates from kitchen to plate.

We started off with Sonoma bread and fruity olive oil. Key note: do save some of the bread because they you'll have something to mop up the deliciousness later on.

Mushrooms with Garlic

I apologise, this is the half eaten plate because in all my excitement I forgot to take a picture. I've had a lot of mushrooms in my days as a foodie, but none are done as brilliantly as this. These are done to perfection, garlicky, oily, nutty and just so bloody deliciously. Bread comes in handy to mop up the creamy sauce and oil. Be a little brave and pop some of the garlic out of their skins. Your taste-bud's will be rewarded.

Fried Spiced Calamari with Aioli

What separates this from other plain old fried calamari is a little spiking of paprika. Simple as that. What results is a heady intoxicating perfume that's just as delectable as it is aromatic. A generous blob of thick aioli does wonders to the dish as well.

"Fish Fingers": Kingfish Sashimi on Garlic Toast with Cuttlefish Ceviche and Mojama
This has to be one of the most intelligently constructed bites i've ever had. You get an intentionally blackened sour dough, generously rubbed with garlic and doused in olive oil. Layer that quality kingfish sashimi, a cuttlefish ceviche punctuated with flavours of coriander and acidity, just enough raw onion and mojama and you have a very scrumptious different version of your traditional deep fried "fish fingers".

Slow Cooked Lamb Loins with Criolla Salsa, Roast Garlic Miso and Olive Crumbs

I initially ordered something with salmon but I changed my mind halfway after seeing how these ribs were prepared. Pretty glad I did. Smoky lamb crackling hides a gorgeously fatty interior and tender meat. Give it traditional Argentinian flavours like eggplant puree, salsa and olive crumbs and that makes nearly everyone happy. Probably not the best ribs I've had (Refer to Lamb Ribs at Ms G's) but pretty damn close.

Cheesecake with Carrot Icecream, Crumbs and Blackcurrant Reduction
This was all sorts of wacky though not particularly in a good way. The flavours do go well together though it would seem they belong more on a savoury plate than a sweet. I've never been a big fan of Bodega sweets because of it's heavy handedness with certain flavours and this didn't change my mind.

Bodega is anything but flawless, but what does do right far outweighs what it does wrong. All dishes pleasantly surprise with whimsical and clever combinations, rustic and shareable. Some work, some don't, but that's half the fun; going through the menu and trying something just because another table ordered it, then figuring out whether that was a good idea. Be careful though, I remain adamant that you can leave with a relatively small $30 bill each but that aforementioned dish spotting enthusiasm can really make the bill shoot up. There's not an ounce of stiff pretension; loud music and and a lively modern appearance contribute to the bouncy and fun ambience. I'll be the first to say, chef hat or not, this place is one of, if not my favourite restaurant.

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No, we aren't the most amazing gastronomes or chefs. Heck, half our team doesn't even know how to cook... well. However, what we really love is eating. And lots of it. We enjoy that occasional freebie, filling up that craving for a midnight snack and finding a 20 in our pockets that we thought we never had, and using that as an excuse to go out eating. As we battle the ongoing war on uni student poverty, we'll bring you the most swoon worthy recounts of our latest foodie adventures.

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