A cold winter’s night is the perfect time to indulge in the bright colours and big flavours at Birmingham’s Bodega Cantina!
Winter evenings are cold and dark, but a visit to Bodega Cantina is a great way to brighten things up.
I was recently invited back to the Birmingham restaurant to try out their Winter menu, and the bright colours and big flavours really cheered up a cold winter’s night.
Bodega Birmingham is one of four Bodega restaurants, with the other three being located in Leicester, Sutton Coldfield and Worcester.
Bodega Cantina really stands out with its cheery bright blue frontage, which gives a hint to what you’ll discover once you step inside.
We’ve been to Bodega Cantina in Birmingham several times now. And every time we’ve been impressed by the excellent service, delicious food and the fantastic atmosphere.
The vibrant South American decor and friendly staff at Bodega offer a warm welcome and when we visited, the additional festive decorations elevated the atmosphere to a new level.
Mark and I were looking forward to trying out some of the items on the Winter menu, so we ordered some drinks while we perused the options.
I’ve always been impressed with the selection of wines and beers available at Bodega, not to mention the wide range of tequila, mezcal, rum and other spirits. And Bodega’s cocktails are undeniably fabulous.
But this time I was keen to try out the non-alcoholic drinks on the menu.
Many people are now looking for alcohol free alternatives on a drinks menu. That might be because they are the designated driver for the evening, doing Dry January, or just generally cutting down on alcohol.
As well as the usual soft drinks, Bodega have a small range of mocktails to choose from. I decided to try the Citrus Fizz, which contains sugar, lime and mint mixed with soda water.
Sharp, zingy, and incredibly refreshing, it’s effectively a Mojito without the rum, and makes a great alcohol-free alternative.
Meanwhile Mark tried out the Estrella Free Damm, which is the sole alcohol-free beer on the menu. Alcohol free lagers are improving all the time, and Mark really enjoyed this one.
Our food soon arrived, and we tucked into our main courses. We’d decided not to have starters, to save room for pudding!
Mark had decided to choose from the Street Food menu this time, and picked Quesadillas with a filling of sweet potato, chorizo and black beans.
He really enjoyed the combination of flavours and textures with the chunks of chorizo contrasting against the soft sweet potato. And of course, there was plenty of melted mozzarella and cheddar cheese inside as well.
This section of the menu also includes Bodega’s range of delicious burritos and their amazing Nachos,
Alongside his quesadillas, Mark ordered some of Bodega’s amazing sweet potato fries. They’re sweet, crisp and utterly delicious, especially when dipped into the spicy chipotle mayo.
I love these fries, and I can’t imagine visiting Bodega without ordering them.
And he also ordered a portion of Smoky Slaw which gave a cool, crunchy contrast to the rest of his meal.
The dressing is light rather than overwhelmingly creamy, and paprika gives this fresh homemade slaw a subtly smokey flavour.
My choice for main course was from the Large Plates section of the menu. This features delicious options like the Burger a la Parilla, the sweet and creamy Brazilian Xim Xim and the delicious vegetarian Quinoa Chifa.
But this time I plumped for the Seco de Pollo. This is a spicy stew full of pieces of tender chicken thigh, potatoes and carrots, with white rice with beans and a soft tortilla alongside. It’s all topped with a pile of chopped coriander.
This dish is creamy like the Xim Xim, but it has much more of a kick of chilli and the rich sauce is intensely satisfying. It’s absolutely perfect to warm you up on a cold winter’s evening.
It’s definitely one of the my favourite choices on the menu, but then I feel like I say that every time I try something new at this restaurant!
Unlike our previous visits, this time we managed to save room for dessert. Bodega has a small selection of puddings available, so we decided to choose two to share between us.
My pick was the Banana and Salted Caramel Cheesecake. The cheesecake is served with sweet Dulce de Leche alongside, and a dusting of sugar.
This cheesecake is sublimely rich and creamy, but the flavour of the bananas really shines through and lightens the overall effect.
I also ordered a Hummingbird off the mocktail menu to go with my pudding.
This combines strawberries, lime and watermelon syrup with pomegranate and soda. It’s a beautifully sweet and fragrant drink, although I think I preferred the refreshing Citrus Fizz.
And of course, my mocktails both came with a paper straw rather than a plastic one. This is standard at all Bitters N Twisted venues.
Mark picked Churros for his pudding, a real Bodega classic!
You’d think it’s hard to do bad Churros, but I’ve had some really bad ones at other restaurants. Bodega makes really good Churros – hot, crisp and dusted with sugar, with a serving of Dulce de Leche alongside for dipping.
I was very glad that we’d agreed to share our desserts, because it meant I could help myself to some of these delicious Churros. The two puddings we picked were a great way to round off our meal.
Full of South American cheer, we went back out into the cold December night, already looking forward to our next trip to Bodega.
Our meal was complimentary, but the total bill would have come to just over £43. That price includes our main courses and two sides, two desserts, and two drinks each.
Bodega Cantina: The Details
12 Bennett’s Hill
0121 448 4267