B: After finding out that we couldn’t get into Porteno until 10pm, Mr.K and I decided to go Bodega, one of their sister restaurants. We still had to wait for 40 mins or so for an available table but that was half the time waiting for Porteno. Booking via the phone is only available for groups of 5-10 people, for everyone else it’s walk-ins. Bodega specialises in Spanish and South-American tapas. Bodega chefs Ben and Elvis had recently won the title “The 2013 Sydney Morning Herald CHEF OF THE YEAR”, so there is a lot of hype and high expectations.
It was a Saturday night and it was very busy and loud inside. This place has a clean and simple interior with an impressive wine collection. It was hard to find service because some of the staff were dressed very casually and blended in with the crowd. However when we got hold of one of them, they were really attentive and had a huge knowledge of the food and the wine list.
Fish Fingers, Hiramasa, Charred Toast, Cuttlefish, Mojama ($22) was the first to come out. It contained four small pieces, with great intense combination of flavours however it would have been flawless if it wasn’t for the overly burnt toast which overthrew the balance.
Pork Sausage, Chilli Sofrito, Lettuce, Pickles ($18). This dish sounded like a meaty dish, however when it arrived we were disappointed knowing we had to share four small pieces of sausage. You eat this dish with your hands, wrapping the sausage and pickles within the lettuce. It was a very nice dish where all elements complemented each other.
Steamed Milk Bun, BBQ Tongue, Crab, Salsa Golf ($12). The bun seemed a little dry and there was no depth and barely any acidity. I think this dish was the most disappointing dish of the night because I had something similar to this at a food truck and it was delicious for a quarter of the price and twice the size!
Pork & Sweet Bread Cabbage Rolls, Grapes, Dried Olives, Creamed Cucumber ($22). This was the last dish to arrive, as the previous one was sent back because it was wrong. The succulent pork with its sweet, rich juice made this dish the highlight of the night. The creamed cucumber was very refreshing and complemented the pork.
Overall I think this place is over-priced and didn’t reach my expectations. We stopped my McDonalds on our way home.
216 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010
(02) 9212 7766
Operating Hours: Friday lunch from 12pm; Dinner Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm