Over the last 5 years, Bodega and I have had an on again, off again relationship. When it first opened, I couldn’t get enough of the place. I spent birthday celebrations and the subsequent hangovers there, took friends and enjoyed South American flavours that Birmingham hadn’t seen before. In the last year or so I’ve had some less than pleasant experiences (soft shell crabs I’m looking at you), but generally speaking, I regard Bodega as one of Birmingham’s greats, with fantastic cocktails, great food staples, a vibrant atmosphere and a fairly low price tag.
My opinion of Bodega and particularly its food offering has been given a boost from the latest Brumderland event. The second in the 7 Deadly Sins series was Wrath: Feel The Heat, hosted at Bodega last week with a sample menu and tequila tasting.
Greeted on entrance with a Margarita, the tone was set for a fun, relaxed, boozy night! We had a quick intro from Vicky Liner from Bitters & Twisted, followed by a welcome from Bodega’s manager before we were invited to tuck into a buffet of Bodega classics.
We were treated to a selection of Bodega’s staple dishes, with some specially selected for our vegetarian and gluten-free diners. We started off with the Bodega house salad with mango.
Considering this was just a salad, I was really impressed with the punchy flavours. The mango added sweetness, while tangy tomatoes, bitter leaves and nutty toasted sunflower seeds all added up to a well balanced and satisfying side dish.
Next up we had vegetarian tacos with black beans, sweet potato and avocado. I love soft tacos, they’re something on Bodega’s menu which I have loved since I first had them years ago, and these were no exception. The combination of sweet potato, black beans and smooth avocado made these soft and comforting. I’m usually a pork carnitas taco kind of girl, but I could definitely be tempted by these again.
The star of the show for me was this Brazilian Xim Xim. I’d never had Xim Xim before, but it’s something I will definitely have again. This one was made with chicken and prawns in a spicy coconut stew, served with dirty rice. The dirty part comes from the addition of Paprika to the rice, which is something I often do at home. I loved the fact that the rice was made into a dish in itself rather than being served plain, the extra flavour really lifted it. The stew was exceptional too, cooked to perfection with just enough heat to balance the sweet coconut. The crunchy nachos on the side were perfect to scoop up the last bits of sauce.
We were treated to two desserts, the first one was a Mojito cheesecake, flavoured with, you guessed it, lime and mint. The zesty lime and fresh mint cut through the rich, creaminess of the cheese cake filling. I enjoyed this one very much.
The second dessert was pastel de chocolate pegajoso, a homemade, gluten-free chocolate cake with pistachio praline sprinkled on top. This was absolutely delicious, rich and sticky with oodles of dark chocolate flavour.
It was a lovely spread, but the night didn’t end there. We also had a talk from Bodega’s head barman.
As well as the Margaritas we had earlier in the evening, we got to try Peach Sangria, Caipirinha and a classic Mojito.
We were told the story of Tequila, and how it’s actually extremely good for you. Mexicans apparently drink Tequila like we would drink a single malt Whisky, and it has protected status (like Champagne) and only mescal produced in a particular region can be called Tequila. We were also told it won’t give you a hangover if you’re drinking the good stuff. I’d love to believe that but I was somewhat sceptical!
We also found out that Cachaça, which is a Brazilian alcohol made from sugarcane syrup, was originally used as a remedy for Spanish flu. In Brazil, where Cachaça was first discovered, it was apparently mixed with lime and garlic to treat the illness, but people disliked the flavour of the garlic and eventually replaced it with sugar, making what we now know as the Caipirinha.
Then of course, the classic Mojito, which according to Bodega, is the most popular alcoholic drink ordered in England.
After we finished our drinks we drew the night to a close. I was certainly ready for bed after 5 cocktails on a Monday night! The hospitality of all the staff at Bodega was wonderful, and big thanks to Vicky from Brumderland for organising the event.
I’m keen to head back to Bodega for a second helping of Xim Xim, and I can’t wait for the next event!
My food and drinks were complimentary, many thanks to the team at Bodega and to Vicky at Brumderland for the invite. All opinions are, as always, my own and I was under no obligation to write a positive review.