Spanish Restaurant in Surry Hills, Australia: Bodega Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Bodega HeartHeart
Restaurants and bars
Open: Lunch Thu - Fri, dinner Tue - Sat
Price: Moderate

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +61 2 9212 7766
Address: 216 Commonwealth St
Surry Hills, New South Wales, 2010
Country: Australia
Food Style: Spanish

Bodega is a lively 'small plate' bar and restaurant in Surry Hills in Sydney. We always enjoy our visits here because the service is slick, the wine selection interesting and the food cooked with considerable skill and flair.
Bodega is a cool venue. Whether it is the special lighting, the huge mural on the end wall, the large shared table the waiting staff or the strains of soulful Beck emanating from the roof-mounted speaker block - Bodega exudes class.
But all that would be for nothing if the food and wine didn't stack up.
So, it shows promise when you order mineral water and the Cabreiroa Unica appears at the table. This lovely, soft, naturally sparkling mineral water with a fine bead is sourced from Galicia on the Atlantic shores of Spain not too far from the border with Portugal. And then there are some interesting wines from Spain and Argentina such as the Molium Malbec from Mendoza and the Capcanes Mas Donis Garnarcha rose from Monstant which is a great accompaniment for the style of food, particularly on a warm summer's afternoon.
You can start your experience here with some small dishes such as a bowl of marinated olives or the wonderful eggplant 'en escabeche' which sees marinated eggplant that is cut into ragged chunks and served in a rectangular white bowl with a hint of chilli to ensure that your palate isn't completely seduced by the soft, luscious vegetable.
The salad of fried cauliflower, chickpeas and silver beet shows the Moorish influence on Spain. This dish would be at home in an up-market Lebanese or Turkish restaurant and shows the influence that the Middle East has had on Spanish cuisine. We love deeply roasted cauliflower. It develops the nutty quality of the vegetable. In this dish the chickpeas added body and the silver beet softened the flavours. A hallmark of the cooking here is the deft combination of acid and oil. In this dish it was judged with absolute precision rounding out a perfect dish.
Another dish that came close to perfection (once again with a perfect dressing) was the grilled veal tongue with a bed of shredded red cabbage and red beetroot and slices of yellow beetroot that had been pickled in rice wine and then finely sliced. Tossed through were torn leaves of flat-leaf parsley and mint.
A modern interpretation of Spanish dishes comes in the form of miso-cured Ocean Trout topped with finely shaved blades of fennel. At the table, a refreshing bowl of cucumber and apple gazpacho is poured over the dish. And of course, one of their most photographed dishes is the morcilla topped with thin batons of apple and radish. We love this dish and have tried it on each occasion we have dropped in here.
Make sure you save some room for the cream flan with fresh figs or the luscious dulce de leche with chocolate ice cream and ginger biscuit.
The coffee is also worth trying at the end of your meal.
Bodega is a special place that we enjoy visiting.
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