Bodega has been on my wishlist since arriving in Sydney and after 4 years, I finally had the chance to check out the popular tapas joint. With a group of nine we were able to make a reservation and took over a long table in the middle of the restaurant. We went with the $65 set menu which is amazing value. I love how cool the place is. The maître d' is the epitome of retro cool, the waiters so lovely and the chefs shake a hanging gourd instead of ringing a bell when food's out. Too damn cool.
First out are skyscraper blocks of fluffy moriesh bread with big blobs of olive oil INSIDE the bread. It was hard to not just eat bread for dinner. I'm not a fan of molluscs except for scallops but the mussels, palms heart, black beans an chilli combo was tasty. Although I did eat more hearts than mussel. The San Daniele prosciutto was generous and olives juicy and meaty.
With the Mudgee Food and Wine Festival kicking tomorrow (Friday 13 September) I thought it timely to get this mega Mudgee post up!
Our 'book club' needed a field trip. Since 'book club' is a front for wine club it made perfect sense to visit a wine region that wasn't the Hunter (as we've been there lots). So on a wet but mild winter June weekend we drove 4 hours from Sydney to Mudgee.
There weren't many options for a group of seven but we eventually found Colonial Court Villas that had 6 single beds and a sofa bed. If you have an even bigger group the villas are perfect as there's a few units clustered together. They are very clean, have everything you need (including magic electric blankets) and it's only a short walk into town. Be warned if you've had a long day of wining and dining, the cleaners start cleaning at 10am on the dot.
We organised a limo with Mudgee Radio Cabs to drive us around for the day instead of doing a wine tour. The rate was $60 per hour, bargain for a group. You can hire a maxi for the same price if you're not so keen on the amazing Elvis-limo.
We had a list of wineries recommended by friends and Reg our driver had a few recommendations too.
The new Harajuku Gyoza in Kings Cross is home to a "IRASSHAIMASE!!!!!!" that will blow your socks off, some yummy Japanese bites and great tunes. You would have never have guessed it was opening night when we visited, the service from the super cute staff was attentive and the food came out quick.
We eat dumpling quite a bit decided on the interesting options - grilled duck and whole prawn gyoza. The duck gyoza came with black sesame seeds which I never realised with a dumpling accompaniment. The whole prawn gyoza had a hint of ginger. Soy sauce, the most amazing chilli oil and rice wine vinegar make up the condiments which you combine to your liking.