La Bodega Negra is a Mexican restaurant in Soho with plenty of edge and the perfect vibe for Soho. La Bodega Negra has a café and a restaurant very close to each other, but I’ve never been to the café. I went to the restaurant once years ago, before I met Shiima, and I always wanted to take Shiima but she wasn’t keen on the menu. Lately though, Shiima’s taste has been expanding and she’s more open to trying new and unusual (for her lol) stuff, so I booked for dinner at La Bodega Negra.
Firstly, Shiima walked past the restaurant and even hesitated to follow me in, because there is no sign outside that the location is a restaurant. It looks more like a sex shop.
Inside, the “edginess” certainly continues. The atmosphere is dark, almost dungeon like, and very rustic, but rather very uniquely beautiful. The service was very friendly as well.
The menu isn’t elaborate, but has everything you’d expect from an upscale Mexican restaurant, and maybe a tad more. More importantly, almost all the dishes on the menu are intriguing.
What we ordered
We ordered sunflower tostada, nopales tostada, duck tacos and flat iron tacos for starters. For mains, Shiima ordered Pollo A la Sarten and I ordered Pork Belly.
Review of the Food
The sunflower tostada is all about the guacamole, which was tremendous. The tostadas themselves were crunchy and delicious too, but the guac, oh my god, the guac!
The nopales tostadas were topped with cactus, black beans and cube of cheese, which was reminiscent of goat’s cheese. We almost forgot there was cactus in it though, because it mostly tasted of black beans, and I suppose neither of us knows what cactus taste like. It was really good though.
Both tacos were awesome. Shiima didn’t try the flat iron, because she doesn’t like steaks, so I enjoyed that alone. The Duck taco was the better of the two though, because the pulled ducked was rich was tamarind.
Shiima’s Pollo A La Sarten was a tad dry (maybe cos I only tried the breast pieces), but there were still lovely. Very well spiced. Plus, Shiima really enjoyed the freekah the chicken was served on.
My pork belly was awesome. They ask if you like it spicy or not so spicy, I requested super spicy and they gave me a little bowl of intensely hot salsa to go with my already spicy grilled pork belly. Loved it. It is quite fatty, so bear that in mad. It was also served with some beans, which complimented the pork belly very well.
Shiima went for the churros and I went for the raspberry brulee cheesecake.
First things first, I hate churros. Just as much as I hate waffles. So I didn’t even try it, and Shiima didn’t enjoy it either. For one thing, the chocolate sauce was dark chocolate, which she isn’t a fan of. She was given complementary dulce de leche sauce as well, but she didn’t like that either lol.
I loved the cheesecake. It was lush, but not too sweet, and the burnt caramel on top was a good touch.
We really enjoyed La Bodega Negra and we’ll certainly be going back soon. The food was really good, and the service also really good. The atmosphere can be an acquired taste, but you’d either love it or think they edged off the cliff. We recommend for a date, somewhere between romantic and casual, but this will largely depend on how much you know your date. Mid to large groups – friends, not sure this is a place for family dinners. Lovers of Mexican cuisine as well, as this is one of the best Mexican restaurants we’ve been to in London. La Bodega Negra is fairly pricey though, and do try to reserve a table because they do get busy on the weekends, but there is a really lovely bar right in the centre of the restaurant where you can hang out.
Dress Code: Casual
Shiima’s Star Dish: Nopales Tostada
Amen’s Star Dish: Duck Tacos
Price: £30-£40 pp (excluding alcohol)
Rating: 4.7 out 5