Monday, April 02, 2012

La Bodeguita, CBD

Miss Piggy and The BFF dined as guests of La Bodeguita Del Medio Restaurant.

Across the road from the QVB, and hidden away from the migraine inducing chaos of the York Street bus stops is a little slice of Cuba known as La Bodeguita Del Medio Restaurant.


La Bodeguita here in Sydney is channeling the Cuba of 1950s as well as the original restaurant in Cuba - rustic, colourful and interesting - there are pictures adoring the bare brick walls - parlour style, curious items dotted here and there (like the upside chair nailed to the wall near our table) and customers are encouraged to sign their name on the wall before leaving for the night! The restaurant and bar are enormous, yet the dark moody lightening, heavy tables and chairs, leather booths all make the place feel rather cozy.


Writer Ernest Hemingway is said to have frequented the La Bodeguita Del Medio Restaurant in Cuba, and was quite partial to the odd Mojito.  As it happens so I am! Who knew old Ernest and I would ever have anything in common.  My Mojito is potent...really potent, and as I'm operating on not much sleep the night before I'm a bit...tipsy after a few big sips.  The BFF must have been wondering why I was grinning at him all bleary-eyed for most of the night. Hic.


We start of with a few Entradas (that's entrees to you) – mainly so I can soak up some of the Mojito and be able hold down a decent conversation for the rest of the meal.

The Taquitos ($16.00) caught my eye and they were GREAT! A deep-fried tortilla basket forms a snug little home for a mix of green tomatillos, bell peppers and mantecoso cheese. I would definitely go back for these.  The BFF choose the Gambas con Almendras ($15.00) - wrapped prawns with a jalapeƱo and almond sauce...another delicious entree.


For my Fondo (main meal) I choose the Tamale which I've ALWAYS wants to try ...even though I never really knew what they were other than something that comes wrapped in a corn husk. My Tamales al horno con Huitlacoche ($25.00) comes in a little iron pot – not what I was expecting at all – but really good. The Tamale is hearty mix baked sweet corn, tomato, chipotle chilli and Mexican truffle.

The BFF choose the special of the night, Carnes (aka steak) with Plantains and a Chimichurri Sauce (garlic and parsley sauce). I didn't try the steak, but am told it was lovely and tender. The Plantains (basically a green banana type thing) I did try...quite a few of actually (another food I've always wanted to try but they are in short supply in Australia). They were great - really well seasoned and the batter gave them a nice crunch.  I would happily order a big bolw of Plantains and much away on them.


It wouldn't be a trip to Cuba without eating some cactus now would it?  The Ensalada de Quinoa y Nopales ($9.00) is certainly an interesting side dish.  The salad is a medley of pickled Cactus with Qunioa and a pico de gallo salsa.  The cactus...is interesting, firm, crunchy and acidic from being pickled. I wonder if just "straight cactus" is even edible???


I'm trying to be on a diet (and failing obviously) but The BFF is hellbent on ordering dessert.  He's swayed by what our lovely waitress, Lucy (from Colombia), tells us is the restaurants most popular sweet, La Lechera ($14.00) - a layered dessert with an ice-cream base topped with a banana flan and caramelised bananas, that is surrounded by pearls of sweetened condensed milk. It's a good way to blow the diet.


La Bodeguita Del Medio Restaurant is at 125 York Street, Sydney.  Phone them on 9264 4224.

La Bodeguita del Medio on Urbanspoon

28 comments:

  1. That tamale sounds nothing like the Mexican stuff I've had in the past - indeed, better

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  2. Nice looking food. It sure is nothing like the stuff I was eating in Cuba

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    1. It would've been nice to have tried some "real Cuban", but I was happy as Larry that I got to try the plantains - good enough for me.

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  3. oh i have seen this place and wondered... looks pretty good!

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  4. The food looks great, surely there are always bound to be similarities in cultures with similar roots, hence the similarity to Mexican food? It certainly looks like somewhere worth trying. But I'm feeling your pain. It is so hard to blog and diet at the same time.

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    1. I find Central/South American food quite confusing - I've heard there are distinct differences between each countries cuisines...but I guess here in Oz, they all get mixed together. Oh well, it's pretty nice.

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  5. Looks like the menu has changed since I was last there but it's good to see that the Mojitos will always be there!

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    1. I was reading your post before we went to get an idea of what to order but everything had changed - good to see they're keeping it fresh & interesting.

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  6. Wow. We wandered in here one weekend a couple of months ago and had a fantastic time on the dancefloor downstairs. Good to know the food is good too!

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    1. Make sure you eat next time...it was a yummy dinner.

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  7. You got me at the dessert Miss Piggy...pearls of condensed milk, yes please :)

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  8. I have never noticed this place, but it looks good. I have now added eating cactus on my bucket list. Diets and food blogging is a pro game, I fail every time.

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    1. Yeah, cactus was certainly interesting.

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  9. Interesting new Mexican twist in the menu. La Bodeguita rocks! And their mojitos are among the best I've ever had.

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    1. I loved the food, Mexican, Cuban - I've got no idea, but man it was tasty! And oh boy, that Mojito...phew!

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  10. I've got my name scribbled on that wall :) And also had my head blown off by their potent mojito! Yummy!

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    1. There's some long-held memory of me getting in trouble for making a mark on a wall as a kid - couldn't bring myself to write on this one...mojito or not!

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  11. Ohhh great looking place :) Everything's quite interesting hehe ~ I'm gonna go on 'diet' as soon as I get back home...but still it's SO hard :P

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    1. I'm always going on a diet...yet am always putting on weight. Hmmm. How does that work?

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    2. Same here! I went to the gym today then went to TGI Fridays and had so much food LOL sighhh and then i blame it on my blog I'm so bad :P

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  12. holy cow! that La Lechera looks freakin awesome! i would go just for the dessert

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  13. I LOVE plantains done that way. We ate them all over South America and I couldn't get enough. They are the perfect side for an order of ceviche as well! Yummy post!

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    1. Oooo, plantains and ceviche! Great thinking 99.

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  14. It sounds like a Cuban den of gastronomic delights. I can't wait to try it.

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  15. Several people have recommended this place to me. Looking at the food photos I am asking myself why I have not been yet! It looks amazingggggg. Really wishing I could take a trip to South America..

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  16. The taquitos sounds insanely good!

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  17. The taquitos are so cute! Still yet to eat a proper meal here but man how gorgeous are all their desserts? Such polished plating for such an easy going place.

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