Bodega Bar & Cantina is a vibrant and quirky restaurant that offers authentic homemade South American food and drink. They currently have four branches across the United Kingdom: Birmingham city centre, Worcester, Leicester & Sutton Coldfield. We were invited to test out their refreshed menu at the Sutton Coldfield branch. It is located along the busy Birmingham road which is surrounded by food businesses, shops and houses. There are quite a few places for off-street parking but they are limited by an hour during peak time. It is worth parking at Duke Street or Queen Street car park for longer stays.
The restaurant is very well decorated with a lot of vibrant Fiesta paper fans and Mexican Fiesta Del Sol banners. There is plenty of seating to accommodate a variety of groups of people. We were taken to our seat quickly and had our drinks ordered. They also offer a Children’s menu and asked if any of us had any food allergies.
As this was my first time trying out South American food with my children, I was very impressed with the nice selection of menu options and I love the vibrant colour food they had served. Each of the dishes was well presented and makes you want to eat more! I was quite nervous before we got into the restaurant as both of my children had not tried South American food before and Ms C won’t take any sort of spicy food. She is not very adventurous with her food and always prefer to have her ‘usual’ foods. Surprisingly, she loved most of the food, especially the Mexican Cola wings.
As a first-timer, we decided to try out as many dishes as possible so we went for their Bodega Seleccion, which consists of their current favourites: small nachos of your choice, Dr Pepper marinated pork quesadillas or grilled halloumi, Mexican Cola wings, refried beans and sweet potato fries. With this nice selection, we decided not to order anything from the Children’s menu and ordered a couple of additional dishes from the main menu to share between us all: Brazilian Xim Xim and Ecuadorian Arroz con Gambas.
All the dishes were served all together very quickly. Firstly, we had the Dr Pepper marinated pork nachos. In my mind, I always thought nachos are those small pieces of crunchy crisps that we might eat at the cinema and is typically coated with melted cheese. These nachos take it to another level. Here they are still crunchy and in a bigger shape. The flour tortillas are topped with mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, sour cream, salsa fresca, guacamole, jalapeños and Dr Pepper marinated pork. It all looks very inviting and tasty. It didn’t take us long to polish the whole plate clean!
The grilled halloumi was topped with fresh pineapple salsa and chimichurri dressing! The halloumi is flavoursome and paired very well with the dressing. The dish is flavoursome and the dressing is sharp.
The Mexican Cola wings were marinated in their in-house blend Mexican cola syrup. They were fresh, sweet and flavoursome. We even dipped our fries in the sauce. I would definitely recommend this dish, especially for people who don’t like spicy foods.
The selection completed with refried beans and sweet potato fries. I have no idea what was in the refried beans but it’s blended to a consistency like hummus and topped with sour cream. They were great to eat with the nachos and complimented other dishes.
The Brazilian Xim Xim is a mixture of chicken chunks, prawns and diced vegetables in a creamy peanut butter sauce with rice, onions and peppers. We love the peanut sauce. It is sweet and with a hint of heat from the onions and peppers. It might not be everyone’s choice but it is definitely a good dish to share.
We also ordered the Ecuadorian Arroz con Gambas which is served with rice that is mixed with achiote paste, marinated king prawns, sautéed onions, peppers, black beans and corn. It is not spicy and the prawns were very fresh. It is not a dish for myself but it is tasty.
After we consumed all these dishes, the adults couldn’t squeeze in a dessert but the children shared the Mexican Churros (like deep-fried dough) served with dulche de leche sauce, which tasted like caramel. They both enjoyed it a lot and they both ended on a high!
We had a lovely time there and would recommend them to anyone. If you feel adventurous or are seeking new food to try, make sure you check out Bodega Bar & Cantina and I am sure their fresh and vibrant dishes won’t disappoint you at all.
Disclosure: We have received part payment for the food from the PR. However, they have not paid me for this review, and they do not exercise any editorial control over my review or anything else on this site.