This was actually my second visit to Bodega on Elm Row in Edinburgh after being blown away by this tiny restaurant and tasty food first time around. Bodega’s aim back in 2013 was to bring a little piece of the street food revolution to Edinburgh in the form of Mexican tacos.
You could easily blink and miss this restaurant which seats approximately 20 people in one row of tables. The restaurant has a cosy, relaxed atmosphere which is complimented with BYOB.
As a table of 7 we chose a mixture of starters to share. This was recommended by the smiley lone waiter who is also co-owner of Bodega. The star of the starters was definitely the Korean Chicken wings. These are obviously not Mexican but Bodega will bring other taste influences to the menu. The chicken fell of the bone. The sauce which the chicken was coated in was sticky and sweet with a slight hint of chilli.
Korean Chicken Wings
The house Guacamole with corn tortilla chips was lacking that extra zing of lime that I like but was still tasty. The texture was smooth and creamy. The house chilli sauce served on the side brought the guacamole to life.
The Ceviche of the day, Salmon, was very fresh, light and seasoned well with just the right amount of tartness from the lime. This was a lovely, light starter that I’d definitely recommend.
Ceviche of the day
Our final starter was Warm Spicy Black Bean and Melted Cheese Dip with Corn Tortilla Chips. This was up there with the chicken wings; a very homely starter with melted cheese on top and every mouthful was moreish.
Spicy Black Beans
For main you are recommended to have 4 tacos per person. As the tacos come in pairs it is a great way to share each other’s and tries more of the different flavour combinations. I shared 4 different types; Smoky Pineapple Pulled Pork, Slow Roasted Lamb-Shoulder, Tempura Tiger Prawns and Baja-style Crispy Cod Bites. The tacos themselves are gluten free and were warm and soft.
The Pork was slow cooked in a house made marinade which made the meat so succulent and tender. You could taste the sweetness of the pineapple but it was not overwhelming. This was topped with house slaw which added a texture to the tacos.
Pineapple Pulled Pork
Another melt in your mouth meat was the slow-roasted lamb shoulder. The succulent Moroccan-spiced lamb was very tasty but I felt the feta & herb tzatziki lacked flavour and overall these were my least favourite of the tacos.
Moroccan Style Lamb
The Tempura Tiger Prawns were delightful. The prawns were plump and juicy. The batter was light and crispy and not greasy like many battered fish dishes. A small drizzle of sesame and chilli dressing made each mouthful exciting. The Asian greens, which are mentioned on the menu, were nowhere to be seen on the taco, but were replaced with crunchy carrot. This, for me, did not affect the dish in a negative way.
Tempura Tiger Prawns
Our other fish taco was a Baja-Style Cod Bites. The fish again was cooked to perfection, flaky and seasoned well. The coating was panko-crumb which was crispy and added texture. This was served with fried potato matchsticks (or chips as we know them) which were fluffy on the inside and chipotle mayo which brought the ingredients together.
Baja-style Cod Bites
A side order of Scallion Fries with south Carolina Mustard Sauce were a talking point at the table. Crispy deep fried leeks covered in a creamy tangy mustard which were delightful.
To end we opted for Churros Con Chocolate. I can safely say these were the best churros I have tasted. Served warm and coated in sugar they were light and fluffy, not dense like many other versions that I have tasted. The only small complaint from my friends was that unfortunately Bodega do not have hot drinks and a cup of tea would have went perfectly!
Churros Con Chocolate
Bodega’s ethos of fresh, vibrant, innovative & exciting food was definitely delivered on this occasion. The restaurant may be tiny but it certainly provides great value Mexican Street food and has a great vibe to it. I will definitely be making many returns to this hidden gem.
- Atmosphere - 8.5/108.5/10
- Food - 9/109/10
- Service - 8/108/10
- Value for Money - 7/107/10