Saturday, 14 April 2018

Food: New menu at Bodega


Style: South American Restaurant     Price: £ (Around £20 for a small plate, large plate and cocktail)

Location: Bennett's Hill, Birmingham City Centre

The Venue

It's been on Bennett's Hill for over five years now and has a loyal following. Bodega, part of the well-known Bitters 'n' Twisted group, is a South American restaurant and bar; home to Birmingham's Best Nachos and the place where many a young person tried their first sweet potato fries. Perhaps their first tequila too.

It's always busy, always buzzy, I've had some great times there. I can't say I've visited enough times to have a favourite dish but I've always enjoyed the tacos.

A couple of months ago, I headed to a preview night to sample some items from their new menu.

Drinks

The evening began with the always delicious nachos and a Pornstar Daiquiri (£7)- rum, pineapple and lime juices, topped with prosecco.


With the food, a G&T made with Bombay Sapphire (£8).


At the end of the evening, the head barman demonstrated how to make a Caiprinha (£6.50) by muddling Cahaca, sugar syrup and ice. It's a strong, simple drink, I like it.


This is pretty easy to knock up at home too, just muddle the ingredients, shake and pour into your glass.


Food

I tried two types of tacos: mole chicken (£4.95) and mole mushrooms (£4.75). I really liked that they'd used traditional blue corn tortillas and the mole seasoning on each was tasty. I could have done with some more texture, perhaps from some crunchy pickled cabbage.



Next up, a controversial dish of Quinoa Chifa (£8.50). Having read into this Peruvian dish a little, I've learnt that Chinese cuisine is so popular in Peru that they've integrated it into their own food, with meals like this one. A teryaki stir-fried dish of veggies, quinoa, tofu and spring onion, this dish is very tasty but rather light for a main. Lots of us thought it would be nice to add chicken or seafood but it is supposed to be a vegan main.

While it may need a bit of tweaking, I'm really pleased to see Bodega introducing more unusual dishes like this and not just sticking to the favourites. I'd definitely have this to share along with some quesadillas or chicken wings.


Another controversial dish was the Xim Xim (£11.95) which has been a firm favourite with diners for some time. I remember trying this at a previous event and I actually preferred it this time: it was less saucy and more peanutty. Others preferred the original. I agree that the chicken seemed over-cooked but I assume that was due to how busy the restaurant was.



A new side dish was Sticky Agave Sweet Potato (£4.50)- again, opinions were mixed but I loved this! Soft sweet potato was soaked in syrup, topped with queso fresco, a soft, mild South American cheese and sliced black olives. This was really unusual, sweet of course but I loved how the olives added a savoury edge.


Overall, I really like that they're trying hard to add some unique touches to Bodega with lesser known dishes. I'll be back soon!

Bodega

Food and drink were complimentary, I wasn't required to write a review. 

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