New menu at Bodega Leicester
It’s five months since we took a peek around the brightly coloured doors of Bodega Cantina in St Martin’s Square, Leicester. Last night I was invited back with a gaggle of beautiful bloggers, to take a look at their new menu.
The new menu is greatly streamlined from the rather unwieldy affair of the past. All your favourites are still there – a compact street food menu, a selection of more unusual South American mains, and a cocktail menu which features some imaginative drinks options.
We started our journey with a bit of a cocktail mash-up – the Pornstar Daiquiri. This was a fruity rum based mix, topped of with a splash of prosecco in a passionfruit shell. We teamed this up with a selection of nachos and dips – tangy salsa, creamy guacamole and delicious refried beans, served warm and topped with queso fresco. These are part of the new ‘nibbles’ section of the menu and I will be back for more of those tasty beans! Always my favourite.
After this it was an examination of the revamped taco offer. Now made with black corn tortillas, for a bit of added Instagrammability – but sadly no real addition of flavour. I’ve been a big fan of the Bodega tacos in the past, but I’ll be honest both the chicken and vegetarian fillings and the tacos themselves struck me as a little bland.
They did not have the spice and kick that I have come to associate with food at Bodega, so hopefully this is one dish that they will return to in the near future. The mole mushroom version for veggies is a really nice idea, so perhaps with a few tweaks they will be back to their usual standards.
Whilst sipping on an enormous copa of Bombay Sapphire gin and tonic, we were treated to a selection of mains. The key message with the drinks at Bodega is that they have now moved away completely from plastic to paper straws. When I pointed out that even with paper you probably don’t need two with a G&T I was told that it was actually one just cut in half, but that seemed a little besides the point… Anyway, the Brazilian Xim Xim has become something of a signature dish for Bodega, and while I have never been fortunate enough to visit Brazil and enjoy this for myself, I have no doubt in the authenticity of the delicate spicing and creamy sauce enfolding chicken and prawns, and served up with dirty rice.
For vegetarians (or not!) there is also now a Quinoa Chifa dish. This is a bit lighter than many other of the menu offerings but I liked the freshness and colour. We were also given a taste of the light bites menu in the shape of the sweet potato side, served with queso fresco and olives. This was very sweet, on account of the agave syrup on the already sweet potato, so for me the addition of black olives felt a bit strange. But I am not the world’s biggest olive fan so this can probably be discounted as me just not knowing what I’m talking about.
After dinner, we were given a cocktail masterclass – learning how to make the classic caipirinha and a few variations on the theme. Then we all got stuck in and had a go at shaking one for ourselves. There were no major ice shaker disasters and a lot of giggles! I definitely enjoyed my passionfruit caipirinha to round off the evening, given that we can see with some confidence that there is (luckily) no such thing as too much cachaca….
So a bit of a mixed bag in the food department, but great drinks and fantastic service from the welcoming team in this fun-filled restaurant, which offers something a little different from other restaurants in Leicester. I encourage you to give it a go – perhaps dip your toe in with their lunch menu which is a pocket friendly £6 for a dish and a drink. Thanks to Bodega for inviting me along to this fun evening!