Home > Syd: Surry Hills, Sydney, Tapas > Reunited with my love, Bodega, Surry Hills

Reunited with my love, Bodega, Surry Hills

This place really requires no introduction. Owners Elvis Abrahanowicz and Ben Milgate were voted as ‘Best New Talent 2009’ and I have to say, they are absolutely brilliant!

I can’t believe it took me this long to come back after my return from Hong Kong. I dreamt about this place whilst in Hong Kong and finally, I took ‘The Mother’ here and one week later, I came back with my brother, F, and my sister-in-law, O. They all haven’t been before and I was more than happy to come back twice in two consecutive weeks!! It used to be a regular eating spot for my girlfriends and I and for those who have been, you can understand why.

‘The Mother’ and I rocked up at about 6.45pm and thankfully we didn’t have to wait too long. We got the last table for two by the bar which suited me fine! Open kitchen, I could see the chefs in action!

Whilst ‘The Mother’ and I perused the menu, we were presented with some bread and olive oil, the bread, soft and fresh, the olive oil, a great compliment.

I couldn’t go pass two things on the menu, ‘aioli’ and of course, ‘pork belly’! We started with the fried spiced calamari with aioli. The deep-fried calamari smelt absolutely incredible. It was crunchy and slightly spicy. The aioli was deliciously creamy, smooth and oh my gawd, utterly heavenly! The spiciness really gave it that extra kick and flavouring.

Next came the “Fish fingers”: sashimi Kingfish on garlic toast with cuttlefish ceviche and mojama. The kingfish sashimi super-fresh, the cuttlefish ceviche was a little chewy, sweet and lemony. It was served on a garlic toast which had a charcoal-y scent, which complemented the dish. It was just sensational. ‘The Mother’ loved it, I could see from the corner of my eye that he was eye-ing the last piece! I didn’t argue when he asked, I knew how much he loved this dish.

Last but not least, the pork belly, steamed pork belly with warm salad of onion and shiitake mushroom. My word, thinly cut pork belly, it glistened and looked absolutely divine. It was DIVINE with a capital D! It was so tender and succulent that it just melted in your mouth. It was a little on the fatty side, but I couldn’t help but eat it all as it was just amazing! The warm salad of onion and shiitake mushroom was a great compliment, it was just DIVINE!

Unfortunately, ‘The Mother’ wasn’t too hungry hence we passed on dessert. The meal was just absolutely fantastic! It was one of the best meals I have had since I got back from Hong Kong. All the good memories came back… it was good!

I took F and O here a week later. There aren’t many restaurants that I would go back straight away, but Bodega… I LOVE! F was craving for tapas, and I had to take him here. After all, it has been listed as the best tapas restaurant in Sydney.

F, O and I arrived precisely at 6pm and we were 7th in line. Five minutes and we were seated. We ordered the above meals, plus more!

O absolutely loved the deep-fried calamari. She claimed it was the best calamari she had eaten for a while.

F loved the pork belly and the fish finger. He too was eye-ing for the last piece of both!

Here is a close up of the fish finger from that evening.

I had to fight him for the last piece of the pork belly, but I was more than happy to give him the fish finger!

We ordered the Bodega chorizo with sofrito paste. It was deliciously meaty, packed with tender chunks of pork and flavour goodness of fat. It seemed to be a simple dish but it was blardy delicious. The sofrito paste was mildly spicy (I would have loved it to be spicier) and had a wonderful smokiness flavour to it.

Last but not least, kurobuta butifarra (white sausage) with perfect poached egg and chicharrones. This dish took a while to come, and by a while, I mean 20 mins plus! However, it was definitely worth the wait! For all of us, this was the highlight of the evening. The white sausages were succulent and full of flavour, the chicharrones, fried pork rinds, were just sensational.

The poached egg was cooked to perfection, oozing yolk, my gawd, it was outstanding. The combination of the flavours, it was just incredible, no words can describe the utter deliciousness of this dish. It was just mouthwatering!

We were full, but we couldn’t help but order two desserts, the chocolate pudding with liquorice strawberries and yogurt sorbet, and the banana split, which is really not a banana split but a cream flan with ginger biscuit and salted caramel and peanuts, banana cream, dulce de leche ice cream and toasted banana marshmallow.

The banana split was amazing! The flan was wobbly, creamy and silky smooth! The bitterness of the caramel provided a lovely contrast between sweet and salt, it was just fantastic. The banana cream tasted like mashed banana and the dulce de leche ice cream was deliciously sweet. The saltiness, the sweetness, the smoothness, all mixed together – I had to pause and absorbed it all in, it was THAT good! It was a perfect dessert after a long and hard week at work!

The chocolate pudding was interesting to say the least. F thought it was a little funky, especially the liqourice after taste. O said it reminded her a little bit of herbal medicine that she used to drink in Indonesia. I have to admit, it was a little weird. The chocolate pudding wasn’t dense and it didn’t ooze with chocolate. It was good, but nothing special I thought. The strawberries were warm which was fine, and I love strawberries, but I think the liquorice ruined it for me. The yogurt sorbet was incredibly sour. I can understand the different flavours but it was just not for any us that night. The banana split was a definite winner!

F could not stop saying how delicious each meal was. Neither could my sister-in-law, O. I can happily say that they both enjoyed the meal, as much as ‘The Mother’.

Each dish was absolutely fantastic, however, for me, there were three outstanding dish, the fish fingers, the pork belly and the white sausages. Oh, and of course the banana split, that was seriously awesome!

I loved the atmosphere of the restaurant, it was a little loud but the service was quick and friendly. Come early if you would like to get a table, however, they are more than happy to give you a call if you decide to have a drink at the pub next door once a table is available.

I have to say, I am so glad to be reunited. This won’t be the last time I go to Bodega.

Here’s a little rule to Bodega waiting game I found…

Rules to the Bodega waiting game

They open at 6pm sharp. No early arrivals.
No Bookings – First in, first served.
Be well-mannered when they are ready to seat people.
The person waiting the longest should be seated first.
Always ask who arrived first, before barging in.
They do not seat you until your entire group arrives. They are strict about this policy.
You are welcome to wait at the bar.
It doesn’t help to whine and complain about the policy, they do not budge.
Being persistent about being seated is embarrassing.
Dress it up when dining here. Casual dress is under-dressed at this super-trendy establishment.

GA’s ratings: 9 / 10

216 Commonwealth Street

Surry Hills, 2010

Ph: +61 2 9212 7766

Bodega on Urbanspoon

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