Getting to Bodega in Surry Hills was slightly challenging. I was running late, Roxy was running later and she didn't like what she was wearing (I thought she looked FABulous), and Sonia was meant to meet us in front of Devonshire St, but was on the other side of Central Station. It was also INCREDIBLY cold, and Sonia's heels were too high for the slopes of Surry Hills, but we were in front of the take-no-bookings restaurant at 6 on the dot, and as the doors opened we shuffled in from the cold with the rest of the people lined up.
We were one of the last groups let in before people had to start being turned politely away - the restaurant was at full capacity within 5 minutes of opening.
Dinner service was just starting and there were a lot of people, so it took a little while for our orders to be taken, about 15 to 20 minutes, but the man who took our orders was fast and efficient, and in no time we had food at our table:
The calimari was served super-hot and coated in a deliciously crispy batter, dusted with mildly spicy paprika and served with a cold alioli that was redolent with garlic. A cheek of lemon was supplied for some freshness.
Jamon Iberico and Cheese Croquettes - $4.00 each
This dish was an all around favourite and very easy to devour. The rich, savoury taste of the jamon iberico contrasted well with the light, melted mozzarella (i think) cheese, and the crumbed coating was cooked to golden-brown perfection. The only blemish was that Roxy got one that was hollow until the very last bite.
This was my first experience with pulled pork, and after my first bite I was in lust. It was sweet, it was tender, it was amazingly moreish, and it came with a mayo, corriander and carrot mixture that lifted it to glorious heights. With a steamed bun that was very similar to a thick dumpling skin, and ultra-cute presentation, this was definitely my favourite.
The lamb rib was a special, and it came highly recommended by our waiter, so we decided to give it a go. It came on a wooden board, accompanied by a delightfully refreshing tomato and onion salsa. I found it very fatty, but the actual meat was tender and fell off the bone.
Corn Tamale with Black Beans and Avacado - $20.00
The black bean in this dish were soft, mushy and absolutely divine - my favourite part of the dish. They were also spicy with chilli and paprika. The avocado was, in contrast, mild and completely smooth. The corn tamale was served in a corn husk and was sweet. The consistancy was that of a very firm paste, studded with whole corn kernals. The corn chips were made in house, and were much thicker and crispier than what I'm used to.
Glass of Rincon Famoso - $13.00
We had a good time at Bodega - the service was fast and friendly, the food was very well executed, and the ambiance and atmosphere was very relaxed and chilled out. It was a great start to a girl's night out, but I would get Stephen to take me here for a romantic dinner as well. It's a great restaurant and bar in the restaurant scene of Surry Hills, and we'll definitely be back.
Bodega Tapas Bar
216 Commonwealth St
Surry Hills, NSW
Phone: 9212 7766