It was a rhetorical question.
Did you want to eat at Bodega or somewhere else? I didn't hear the rest of the question.
For a tiny tapas bar, the menu is extensive - 22 different dishes and all of them so tempting.
"Fish fingers" $16
Sashimi kingfish on garlic toast with cuttlefish ceviche and mojama
The sashimi kingfish "fish fingers" is one of Bodega's signature dishes, and with good reason. It's like a seafood version of bruschetta, thin crunchy planks of garlic-rubbed toast topped with firm slices of sashimi kingfish and garnished with a liberal handful of mild onion. Tiny cubes of white are not the onion you initially presume, but a cuttlefish ceviche that is wonderfully tender.
Mojama, a salt-cured tuna, has been grated to smithereens that are sprinkled over the dish. It's a dish that is a little bit different with every bite, a party of textures and flavours in the mouth.
Jamon serrano $12
Five slices of paper-thin Jamon serrano are best eaten with fingers. And slowly. I like to tear it apart gently with fingers and savour its salty satiny softness, letting the fat melt slowly on the tongue.
Salad of fried cauliflower, chickpeas and silverbeet $16
The salad of fried cauliflower, chickpeas and silverbeet was a dish I'd neglected to order on my last visit. I don't make that mistake again.
A dish is visually striking, the florets of the cauliflower deep-fried to a golden sun-kissed brown. I can feel myself sit up straighter in my chair as soon as it arrives. The smell is incredible and it tastes as good as it looks, the nutty sweetness of the cauliflower complemented by the tender wilted silverbeet and creamy buds of chickpea.
Salad of Crystal Bay prawns $22
with veal sweetbreads, speck and lentils
Salad of Crystal Bay prawns is another great combination of flavours. You wouldn't think that prawns would go with speck and veal sweetbreads, but it's a hit here. Chunks of sweet prawn seem to have their flavour enhanced by the saltiness of speck and beautifully delicacy of sweetbreads. I love the earthiness of the lentils, satisfyingly al dente, the dish lifted by crisp and faintly bitter spiciness of radicchio.
Corn tamale with black beans and avocado $20
Corn tamale is a riot of colour. The tamale tastes like a pudding made from sweetcorn, soft and sweet and cheesy. A scattering of red capsicum on top glisten like jewels. We alternate between dipping the triangles of deep-fried tortilla into the huddle of slow-cooked black beans or the pale green dollop of avocado mash dusted with paprika.
Beetroot, witlof, labna and orange salad $16
A salad of beetroot, witlof, labna and orange is another picture of happiness. The deep crimson cubes of sweet beetroot are a lovely contrast to the chunky dollops of creamy white labna.
Chocolate yogo, Earl Grey tea ice cream and whiskey cumquat $14
We give in to dessert, chocolate yogo, earl grey tea ice cream and whiskey cumquat layered into a glass. The chocolate yogo is nothing like the supermarket variety from your childhood. This is a silky smooth chocolate mousse that plays off against the citrus flavours of boozy cumquat and the bergamot Earl Grey tea ice cream.
The highlight of dessert is the jumble of freshly made popcorn on top, each kernel coated with a pale sugar toffee. It's fun and playful and tasty. Much like Bodega Tapas Bar.
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Bodega Tapas Restaurant and Bar
216 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9212 7766
Lunch: Thursday and Friday from 12pm
Dinner: Monday to Saturday from 6pm
No bookings accepted. All diners must be present to be seated.
Closed on public holidays
Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Bodegas Tapas Restaurant and Bar (Apr09)
Spanish - Encasa Restaurant, Sydney
Spanish - Miro Tapas Bar, Sydney (Dec 06) and (Aug 04)
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9/14/2009 12:01:00 a.m.