La Bodega Negra

Having been to La Bodega Negra with my gentleman companion when it just opened I thought the time had come to return – this time with some Merlot guzzling friends who were up for a party.

As I went to open the door to a sex shop, both my friends laughed and carried on walking. They eventually followed me in and I could sense they were impressed. I should point out that the outside of this restaurant is two windows of bright neon sex shop signs, no -where does it mention the restaurants name or even the fact that a restaurant is through the doors.

Upon booking we were informed that there’s a two hour turn around for each reservation. We arrived on the dot of 8pm but were told we were early for our table (booked for 8pm) so we had a drink at the bar. As more and more people walked in and straight to their table, at 8:30 my friend asked if they’d forgotten about us and they clearly had as we were quickly shown to our table.

We ordered some sesame tostadas and guacamole (£5) whilst we looked through the menu. The tostadas were crispy and crunchy and the guacamole was thick and creamy however I couldn’t taste any sesame.

The restaurant is really buzzy and full of pretty people everywhere you look. The music (mostly chart songs that you can sing along to) is loud and the whole place feels, dare I say it, cool. It’s dark and in every nook and cranny there’s something to look at, the restaurant design is really unique.

We started with some tacos (served in pairs) that were served on a custom made log. The chorizo, roasted squash and corn (£6) were pleasant but nearly blew my head off with their fiery spice. The al pastor (pork) and roasted pineapple (£6) were an all round winner and very tasty. Whether you like the flavour of what you’re eating here or not, the food certainly has bags of it!

We decided to go for the 800g bone-in rib eye steak (£58) to share between us. The plate of meat was very impressive. For such thick cuts, the giant slabs of rare steak were so tender and flavoursome. If we weren’t surrounded by such beautiful people I would have had a Fred Flintstone moment and picked up the meat with my hands and nibbled on the bone. This was seriously good steak.

A side of potatoes, mole negro (£4.50) were cooked to perfection. They were crispy, crunchy and delicious. The little pot was filled with a curry-like sauce which was tasty.

The heart of palm salad (£11) was served with a tangy coriander vinaigrette which worked perfectly with the steak and potatoes. I still have no idea what the vegetable was in the salad (the waiter never gave me a straight answer) but it tasted wonderful – and so it should for £11.

To avoid re-mortgaging to pay the bill, we opted to share the baked lemon cheesecake with caramelised lemon (£5.50). To say this was the best cheesecake I have ever had would be an understatement. It was so light and lemony – it was perfect. With every mouthful I wanted to lie back on my cow skin seat, throw my legs in the air and scream with pleasure.

Once I’d calmed down from cheesecake induced fluster we ordered another bottle of wine. Our very friendly waiter informed us we wouldn’t be able to drink it at the table as our time was up. After a complaint and a bit of a kerfuffle we were moved to a seat in the crowded bar area.

As the restaurant got darker and the music got louder, we started sipping on shots of tequila whilst dancing like lunatics and found ourselves absolutely loving La Bodega Negra – it’s difficult not to. The restaurant is seriously cool and the food is seriously tasty.

8/10

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