Whilst I often eat out by myself (and am happy to do so), the menu at Bogeda really is designed for sharing a meal, rather than solo dining. Sharing = caring and also means there's a chance to try more of the tempting items on offer. Win win.
I'd booked a seat at the bar overlooking the open kitchen and it's a prime spot for spying on all of the action happening in the kitchen - such as watching the chef peel the skin of newly boiled ox tongue!!! This is always my favourite place to sit.
We start our lunch with a piping hot, cheesy Empanada ($6.50). These were great! Hot, melted cheese wrapped inside of a crispy pastry. YUM!
The fish fingers ($22.00) surprised me as I was not expecting them to be fresh fish on toast. I was thinking we'd be presented with something more along the lines a pimped out version of your good old Birds Eye frozen fish fingers. Thankfully, Bodega's fish fingers were a flavourful medley of hiramasa (kingfish), cuttlefish and mojama (filleted salt-cured tuna) on charred toast. Really delicious, and such fresh flavours!
I'd spied the roast pumpkin salad ($22.00) being assembled by the kitchen as I was waiting for Bob to arrive. The liberal handful of manchego cheese confirmed for me that we'd certainly being eating this for lunch. The roasted pumpkin was piled high and topped with pieces of crispy zucchini flowers, toasted pumpkin seeds and ranch dressing. The overall flavour was sweet...like honey...and delicious!
We decided to buck the current trend for all things pork and ordered the lamb ribs ($26.00) which was definitely a great choice. The meat was so tender and flavourful with a great layer of crispy "bark" almost like crackling. The lamb came served atop a bed of marinated eggplant, with padron peppers and anchovy mayo. I'd happily order this dish again (and not share)!
I was willing to forgo dessert (being on a 'diet' and all) but Bob had heard that the “Banana Split” ($16.00) was worth a try. This was a soft cream flan topped with torched banana marshmallow and served with dulce de leche icecream. I didn't want Bob to feel sick eating this all by himself so I had a little try...very nice, quite sweet with a definite "real" banana flavour.
Bodega was a great spot for a Friday lunch and I'm glad I finally got to try it. I thought the food was great and the service was friendly and attentive. The music was perhaps a little loud (and the bar stools a little low)...but perhaps the young-uns out there won't think that.
Bodega is at 216 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills. Phone them on 9212 7766.