By Siddharth Birla
“A butterfly among moths.” Aptly noted by a Zomato reviewer, La Bodega’s authentic Mexican menu is indeed a welcome change from the usual Tex-Mex floating around in the capital. Sitting in the inner elbow of Khan Market’s middle lane, the restaurant is a brainchild of Smriti and Neeti Goyal, two young and hospitable sisters who have spent a fair share of their time in Mexico savouring the delicious Antojera (Street Food).
Spread over a couple of floors, the place has a charming, contemporary décor. White walls with a rustic finish, comfortable minimalist furniture, funky lamps and an upstairs terrace giving an eagle eye view of Khan Market, make it a perfect place to spend a cozy afternoon over a cup of coffee.
We started off with the chef serving us freshly prepared guacamole, sour cream, tomato and green charred salsa along with crispy nachos. This was followed by bite-size portions of Camarón salteado (crispy shrimp tostada), Tinga de pollo con queco (Quesadilla with pulled chicken) and Ceviche de atun. My pick was the fresh tuna ceviche. Seasoned with green apple, ginger , lemon and cilantro, the dish was perfectly cooked with a barrage of flavours that complemented each other.
Al Pastor Taco
The small plates were followed by slow cooked black bean soup. Topped with tortilla chips, sour cream and fresh homemade cheese, this soup called Frijol is a staple in Mexican households, like Rasam is in south India. The health conscious brigade can opt for the Mexican style quinoa salad with black beans, peas and tomato with pickled jalapeno dressing.
Sopa – Crema de frijol (Bean Soup)
For the mains, I tried the red snapper. Cooked with red and green peppers, tomato, onions, cinnamon, chili olives and capers, the fish served along with tangy Mexican rice was delicately spiced and well balanced. It was followed by a rather underwhelming roasted pork belly cooked in red adobo sauce, which lacked a punch in terms of flavour.
However, the show stopper for the evening were the sinfully delicious desserts. The sugar rubbed churros were served hot and crispy with freshly made, and perfectly sweetened dark chocolate dip. They were followed by Pastel de tres leches – a sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk. It was light, creamy and topped with fresh seasonal fruits bringing the meal to a delightful end.
The prices at La Bodega are at a premium and a meal for two could cost around INR 3000. The servers although a bit slow were courteous and knew the menu well. It was particularly good to spot the owner chatting up the customers and ensuring they had a pleasant time.
With over an year in operation now, La Bodega surely offers something new and unique for the palette. An ideal place for a romantic date on a balmy Delhi evening.
Food – 3.5/5
Service – 3.5/5
Ambience – 4/5
Value for Money – 3/5
Overall – 3.5/5
Address: 29, 1st Floor, Middle Lane, Khan Market, New Delhi