Uni is officially almost over for the year which means more time for blogging! So last week after handing in my last major assignment for the semester, Sir D and I went to celebrate and check out La Bodeguita del Medio (LBDM) – a Cuban restaurant and bar right opposite the Queen Victoria Building. The name itself is a bit of a mouthful to say so we just refer to it as “that Cuban place” and since there’s not too many of them around, we know exactly where we’re talking about.
You can’t go to a Cuban restaurant and bar without having some rum – which is exactly what we did to kick off the night. The cocktails here are seriously good. I don’t normally drink Mojitos, but I will make an exception for the ones at LBDM because they’re not too sweet or too sour, and are the perfect balance of lime, sugar and mint.
With cocktails on our table, we peruse the menu to decide what to order. The menu is split into Comestibles which are small plates, Entradas (entrees), Fondo which features larger, main-sized plates, Carnes (meat) and Para Acompanar (sides). We order a few small plates, entrees and one main to share, and before we know it the food starts arriving. Pan con Lechón is a roast pork pressed sandwich made with chunks of Kurobuta pork including some crackling, melty cheese and onion salsa, and it’s definitely a sandwich that rivals even the roast pork baguette from Taste Baguette. The LBDM version also has a side of sweet potato crisps on the side. A few bites into the sandwich and Sir D claims it to be the best sandwich he’d ever had. Yep, it’s that good.
The Peruvian style ceviche comes in a glass bowl containing white fish marinated in lime juice with chilli and coriander. This dish is super refreshing and I can imagine how nice it would be eating this on a hot summer day with the freshness of the coriander and tangy lime, the cool, par-cooked fish and a sharp zing from the chilli.
Sir D selects the empanadas from the menu which are filled with braised and shredded oxtail. The pastry is nice and golden, and it’s a bit thicker and more bready than the deep fried pastries than I’m used to but delicious nonetheless. There’s even a surprise boiled egg white inside which gives it a nice change of texture. It’s served with a tomato salsa which is fresh and vibrant and lends some moisture to the otherwise dry empanadas.
The sliced sea scallops come draped in a yellow sauce which I mistake for being a fruity sauce. It’s actually made from prawn and yellow chillies which pack a punch but go surprisingly well with the cool, slipper sliced scallops.
I spotted chocolate sauce on the menu and was intrigued so we ordered the duck breast with sweet potato and spinach croquants. The duck was still pink on the inside and cooked perfectly and came with a juicy leg as well. It sat on a bed of sweet potato puree and a bitter chocolate sauce with hints of cherry.
More cocktails were in order and we decided to stray away from the classics and go for something a little different – but still rum-based. The Fish House Punch was a favourite of mine, with rum, cognac, and creme de peche balanced out with lemon juice. The Quaker sounded good on paper with white rum, cognac, raspberry syrup and lemon juice but was a little strong and too sour even for Sir d who loves sour things. Between the Sheets was a winner though with rum, cognac, lemon juice and Cointreau.
We had a hard time deciding on which desserts to order – and it didn’t help that there was a special on that night which included roasted pineapple and strawberry sorbet! But we stuck with the menu items and Sir D ordered the mocha dome with candied peanuts and salted caramel ice cream. The dome was a mousse with a stronger chocolate than coffee flavour but the salted caramel ice cream was the perfect foil for the rich, sweet mousse. Candied peanuts and a cylinder of biscuit provided a crunchy texture.
I had my sights set on the La Lechera as soon as I heard something about condensed milk bubbles. I love condensed milk so this dessert was perfect for me and surprisingly wasn’t too sweet either. A dual-layered flan sat in the middle of the bubbles with a condensed milk layer and a dulce de leche layer, and on top of that was a rolled chocolate and banana “straw”, which reminded me of Space Food Sticks (remember those?). It was a great way to round off a night of good food and cocktails – and you can bet that I’ll be back for more Mojitos, especially since they’re only $10 during Happy Hour! (5-7pm Mon to Thurs, 4-6pm on Fri)
Penguin says Feed Me dined courtesy of La Bodeguita del Medio
La Bodeguita del Medio
125 York Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: +61 2 9264 4224
Monday to Wednesday, noon-midnight
Thursday to Friday, noon-1am