Don’t tell the other Spanish restaurants in Sydney, but Bodega is putting out tapas that is putting everyone else to shame. In fact, don’t tell anyone. Because once you experience Bodega you’ll want to keep it to yourself.
Arrive at 6PM On The Dot because you don’t want to miss out on a table. And this isn’t like Spice I Am where you can wait and be assured that they’ll push someone out the door as soon as the final bite of food enters the throat. No, the staff at Bodega will actually let you linger (digest) for a few minutes.
You can sit at the bar and watch the chefs show off their knife skills, pretending you’re at a local tapas bar in Spain; You can snare a table and try to create your own world amid the chaos around you; Or you can perch yourself on a stool in front of the window and watch the Surry Hills hipsters parade their new t-shirt by, wearing gruff expressions because they left their run to Bodega too late.
Wherever you sit, you have to order the scallops, morcilla (blood sausage), cauliflower and cabbage. With some brick pastry providing the crunch, this dish is a perfect blend of texture and flavour. It may be a subtle dish as far as ingredients go, but the subtlety explodes in your mouth. This is a dish that would find a home at any restaurant. So to would the steamed pork belly with onions and shitake mushrooms. The pork belly is so soft you could eat it with a spoon. Pork fat sliding down my throat has never been so appetising; so sensual.
Fish fingers is an interesting dish. Kingfish sashimi and cuttlefish ceviche on garlic toast. Modern, fresh, robust, perfectly balanced. Australian tapas as it’s best. Slamming home that point is the butifarra (white sausage) with a soft-poached egg and chicharrones. Texture and luxury fill the mouth with every bite.
While other (inferior) tapas places in Sydney may be fun with sangria, the wine at Bodega can’t be missed. A concise but excellent selection of mid-range Spanish and Argentinean bottles.
This is eating and drinking for grown-ups.
If the food and wine wasn’t good enough, the staff are fantastic, the restaurant is funky as all hell and the prices are quite good (considering the quality).
Just don’t tell anyone.
RATING: Will constantly return to [?]