I moved around a lot growing up. At the time I found it kinda annoying, now I think it’s great that I had exposure to different cultures and I really value the diverse range of friends I’ve had over the years. I think it has had a pretty significant impact on my food values too. Side note: Can you believe that some of our grandparents’ generation didn’t like garlic because it was too “ethnic” or eat pumpkin because it was traditionally fed to farm animals. I’m shocked that such closed-mindedness isn’t that far away from the world I live in now with fish sauce and jamon and sashimi and oh so beautiful garlic.
I blogged a few months ago about how much I’m loving the influx of South/Central American flavours the moment, the newest of these La Bodeguita del Medio.*
I love the table setting, elegant and yet playful
You really do get a taste of Havana...the music, the murals, the food and wine.
It's quite special to feel like you could be in Cuba when in reality you are in downtown Sydney
The first time I was here was with a girlfriend for some food and cocktails in the restaurant on a weeknight. The service in the restaurant was really great, very friendly and attentive. The décor is really interesting and the live music ensures the atmosphere remains vibrant. The food was so delicious, as was the wine from Chile. ** While the portions looked quite small the food is hearty and three small dishes was plenty between two.
Croquetas del malanga $15, taro croquettes with a spicy sauce and refreshing cucumber ribbons
Maiz relleno, sweetcorn stuffed with "bullhorn" and jalapeno, $16 - no idea what those ingredients are, all I do know is they aren't meat despite the "bull" and that white sauce underneath was soooo good, garlicky goodness and I scraped every last morsel off the slate
Frijoles negro $8, braised black beans in an adorable red pot with a lid
Very happy little campers we were
After dinner we excitedly went to the bar for a cocktail. Unfortunately the cocktails were a little disappointing. After ordering a margarita the bartender told me he could "do something better” so I agreed. The cocktail arrived without much love (no garnish or salt rim) he didn’t tell me what it was called or what the ingredients were. I wasn’t a fan, and even though I love sour drinks, I think the look on my face was sufficient communication of that. My girlfriend’s cocktail wasn’t great either (below). Anyway, it was a shame that the cocktails were so expensive ($19 ea) and didn't quite reach the same level as the food.
We returned a week later for Friday drinks at the downstairs bar and stuck this time to the house specialty, mojitos, which were pretty good for $15.
Can you believe people not that long ago refused eat garlic? What other crazy food snobbery have you heard of?
* which I can’t pronounce because apparently I’m not as cultured as I thought I was and as it currently stands English is my only language. *gasp* I know, I’m shocked and embarrassed so you don’t have to be.
** see earlier blogs for my rants about how much I adore a sav blanc from South America.
La Bodeguita Del Medio
125 York Street, Sydney