Sunday, 6 May 2012

La Bodeguita Del Medio, Sydney CBD

When I go to the city on the weekends, I would usually park in front of La Bodeguita Del Medio (LBDM) - and yes, I am super lazy, I drive to the city instead of taking the 20minutes leisurely walk on Pyrmont Bridge.

I suppose I've been intimidated by the bar and night life look of the restaurant, especially for a non-drinker like me :)

An invite from Tony Maia, the manager of LBDM, gave me no excuse to not try the place out :) Thanks Tony...

Please note that the menu may vary since our visit in March. 

Graffiti walls ; Cuban Cigar Menu

Miss ieatsweet and I went there on a weekday and quite early, so the place was quite empty, but by the time we left the place was buzzing despite being a weeknight !

The restaurant was filled with dark wooden furniture, several cozy leather lined booths for more privacy.
The atmosphere was warm and cozy with very little lighting (which is no fun for us bloggers).

Naturally you can also get Cuban cigars in a Cuban restaurant and bar - there is even a cigar menu for your perusal on your table. 

"Home of $10 Mojito"

As endorsed by Mr. Hemingway himself, a Mojito was definitely in order !

Nojito  $6.50  & Mojito  $10.00

The Mojito was generously sized , a blend of Havana Club Rum, muddled with fresh mint, lime, soda and sugar is always a crowd pleaser.
I am so glad they do an alcohol free version here, aptly named Nojito hehehehehe....
All the fresh flavour without the allergy to follow the next day, woo hoo !!

Panceta de Cerdo  $17.00
42 hours pork belly, compressed watermelon & white balsamic espuma

Pork belly is so irresistable, so of course we had to had it for one of the Entradas that night.
A square of pork belly, served with nicely cubed watermelon and the "blink and you'll miss it" white balsamic espuma that dissipates into clear liquid within minutes T__T.

Slow cooked pork belly

Being slow cooked for 48hours, there was no surprise that the meat was very tender but a shame that the skin was quite chewy and tough :( 

Taquitos  $16.00
green tomatillos, bell peppers & mantecoso cheese

Now these babies were DELICIOUS !!!
Doesn't look much I know, not until you bite into the super crispy taco shells and you are hit with a mix of flavours. The tangy green tomatillos, sweet peppers and the meaty mantecoso cheese drizzled with spicy mayo cheesy dressing. 
Each taquito were decently portioned too, the crispy cup was quite deep and filled to the brim with the goodies - we would have ordered another plate of this if we didn't have to spare room for more foods to come. 

Beef Tenderloin Special  $29.00
sweet glazed tenderloin, fried plantain, watermelon salsa & chimichurri

For mains, we ordered the special of the day as recommended by the waitress. 
The beef was super tender and has a lovely caramelized flavour from the glaze. 
After having a few plantain dishes, I'm still a bit undecided whether I love it or I don't - it looked like a banana but taste nothing like it, taste more like a casava but not quite casava.
Plantain is one interesting food :)
Also loved the sweet and juicy watermelon salsa and zingy chimichurri condiments. 

Pato con Chocolate  $36.00
duck breast, confit leg, sweet potato puree & chocolate sauce

The idea of chocolate sauce with duck pique our interest, but unfortunately it was nothing extra ordinary with this dish.
The duck was nicely cooked and tender, and the chocolate sauce just had a slight nutty flavour to it.
Believe it or not, the highlight in this dish was the sweet potato puree was so well made that it shines through the duck ! 

Ensalada de Quinoa y Nopales  $9.00
quinoa, cactus salad & pico de gallo

We ordered this side dish obviously because of the cactus in it :)
The pickled cactus taste similar to pickles, and my guess is that the quinoa was dressed with the pickling juice, as it was one very sour side dish.

My kind of drinks menu :)

Mary Pickford  $15.00  & Rum Daisy  $17.00

We ordered another round of drinks as I'm a bit excited with LBDM's mocktail menu :P
I actually ordered Mary Pickfair (the alcohol free sister of Mary Pickford) but I got given the alcoholic sister instead 0_0;

Already suspicious that there was alcohol in my "Mary Pickfair", I asked ieatsweet to have a sip and see if she can taste it too.
Lesson of the night : DO NOT ask an alcoholic (well at least this alcoholic) to taste as they cannot tell the difference.
She assured me there was NO alcohol in the drink. 

You can guess what happened the rest of the night - I was drunk by the end of the dinner, ieatsweet had to drive home and I got my lovely allergic rash for the next 5 days. 
If I was a queen in the olden days and ieatsweet is my food taster I would probably be dead on my first meal LOL

Let's come back to the drinks - before being drunk I can still recall that both Mary Pickford and Rum Daisy tasted delicous. 

Sweet Spring  $15.00
rose cake, violet marshmallow, cherry sorbet

It took us a long time to decide which dessert to order as they all sounded delicious.
After much deliberation, we ordered something light and something rich from the menu - balance :).

Sweet Spring turns out to be a plate of floral flavours that were quite dizzying.
The steamed rose cake was spongy and light, the violet marshmallow that tasted like perfumed soap, and I'm not usually a fan of cherry flavoured things, but the cherry sorbet was delicious. 

Alfajor  $15.00
dulce de leche, condensed milk, caramelized banana

As we couldn't decide which of the richer dessert to order, our waitress recommended the Alfajor as it is her favourite and it's a must try item on the menu. 
Couldn't agree more with her - the Alfajor was delicious !!!
The pudding like dulce de leche, the creamy condensed milk semifreddo, crunchy buttery crumbed biscuit and a row of thinly sliced caramelized banana - best combo ever !!
It is a very rich and decadent dessert though, so best to share :)

So what do we think of Cuban food ? We LIKED !

There were a few misses, but there are so many other things on the menu we are yet to try, one thing we would definitely order again is the Taquitos (please stay on the menu...please....).

The service was friendly and attentive - a special mention to one of the waiter that noticed our table was wobbling after a few other waiter / waitress didn't took notice of it.
He quickly find a piece of paper and fix the wobbling table - THANK YOU !

La Bodeguita de Medio is centrally located in the CBD, a perfect location for end of long work day wind down , enjoying a Mojito (or two) and a perfect place to hang out and catch up with friends.

Love My Foods & Sugar and guest dined courtesy of Tony Maia & La Bodeguita del Medio.

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