Indeed, it was my work farewell lunch and for most, our first taste of tapas that wasn't strictly Spanish. I remember being a little confused with lunch – or perhaps that was just my impending unemployment.
|Drinks at Bodega, Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills|
I had some catching up to do so walked in on a recent Friday night to the best seats in the house: at the kitchen counter overlooking the chefs at work, including on this night owner Elvis Abrahanowicz while his wife and maitre d', the inimitable Sarah Doyle, was also on the floor.
We started with the crisp bubbles of Cruzat Clasico and the Spanish Ambar 1900 Pale Ale while perusing the brief menu which sings and dances with creativity.
|Tinned white anchovies, fish pate & water crackers|
Served on rulers of house made crackers, the anchovies were almost as delectable as the airy fish pate which, strange as it sounds, was sensational. With restrained fishy, savoury and creamy flavours spread on a cracker, I'm not sure I've ever had the pleasure of anything quite like Bodega's fish pate.
|Empanada filled with provolone|
|School prawns with curry mayonnaise|
The prawns were wonderfully crisp, a few black heads aside, and were great drinking snacks that disappeared in a hurry.
|Dutch carrots, fried cauliflower, smoked labna, tahini & currants|
I had wanted the carrot dish to be a bit like a side dish to the protein main we had ordered, although it was quite a while between dishes and so the carrots were devoured on their sweet lonesome.
|Corn tamale, fontina cheese, mole roja with chicken|
With a liberal coriander garnish and fresh lemon on the side, the corn tamale was a fresh, filling package covering all the major food groups – carbs, dairy, vegetable and protein – and ideal for sharing between two.
|Crispy duck, scallops, chocolate mole, Old Bay apple|
The paper-thin rounds of apple were the only part that didn’t seem to work – while they added a refreshing tartness to the duck and sauce, the Old Bay seasoning on each slice was just way too salty to enjoy.
We had forgotten to leave space and time for dessert on this occasion, and with a queue out the door, we didn't linger too long. But at least I've got Bodega's renowned dessert offerings, among other delicious reasons, to make sure it’s not 7.5 years between meals and drinks at Bodega again.