Sunday 6 March 2016

La Bodega Spanish Tapas Bar Cardiff - Review

On Friday we went to La Bodega Spanish Tapas Bar in Cardiff City Centre. Eating out is on my "Make 2016 The Best Year Ever" lists of things to make me happy. So at least once a month we go out for a meal. I had seen La Bodega on High Street one afternoon whilst shopping in Cardiff. It looked really authentic and I would have gone in for a taster but it was closed so I made a note to visit another time.

La Bodega Spanish Tapas Bar Cardiff menu
La Bodega Spanish Tapas Bar 

We needed to be in town early so arrived at La Bodega as it opened at 5.30. We were the only people there but that didn't feel uncomfortable at all. It's at little narrow place with stools and high tables near the front and a small seating area at the back. the kitchen is open so you can watch the chefs work.

La Bodega Spanish Tapas Bar Cardiff outside looking in
La Bodega Spanish Tapas Bar Cardiff from the Street 

La Bodega Spanish Tapas Bar Cardiff inside looking out
La Bodega Spanish Tapas Bar Cardiff Looking Out

La Bodega is as close to being a Spanish Tapas Bar without the hassle of flying to Spain. I did miss the sunshine though as it was a freezing, wet evening. The staff were Spanish and just listening to them talk transported me back to holidays in Spain.

We started the evening with San Miguel as it was a bit early for wine and I thought a bit expensive too. Some wines on the list were £95.

two pints of San Miguel beer at La Bodega Spanish Tapas Bar Cardiff
San Miguel

I would have liked a taster menu or similar but they only serve individual dishes. The waiter suggested that we had four or five dishes between us as they are quite large so we went with his suggestion and ordered four. We could always order more if we were still hungry. 

We love seafood so went with two seafood dishes;

Calamares Fritos - fried squid Andalusian style £7.50. It came with Alioli - Spanish garlic mayonnaise. The squid was chewy which was a shame as I was hoping for something special.

Gambas al ajillo - prawns cooked in olive oil with chillies and garlic £7.50 
These were amazing with just enough chilli to add a touch of heat

Fried squid with a slice of lemon and a pot of alioli sauce
Calamares Fritos - Fried Squid Andalusian Style

a dish of prawns with other dishes just visible in the background
Gambas al Ajillo - Prawns Cooked in Olive Oil with Chillies and Garlic

We also chose two meat dishes. We went with their hot dishes because it was so cold outside!

Albondigas Andaluzas - Meat-balls in tomato sauce £6.25 These were really delicious although not hot, only just warm.

Pollo a la andaluza con tomate - Chicken pan fried in olive oil with smoked panceta & tomato sauce £5.50 The sauce on this was amazing! We dipped our bread in it until it was all gone.

a dish of meat balls in tomato sauce
Albondigas Andaluzas - Meat-Balls in Tomato Sauce

a dish of chicken and peas in tomato sauce

Pollo a la Andaluza Con Tomate - Chicken Pan Fried in Olive Oil with Smoked Panceta & Tomato Sauce

A basket of sliced bread
Rustic Bread

They also do large selection of vegetarian dishes including Patatas Bravas, Pimientos de Padrón and Spanish Omelettes. We wanted to try dessert so stayed with the four dishes. I think five would have been better if you are both hungry.

For dessert we had

Tarta de Santiago - Almond tart £5.00 This was served cold with spray cream and despite that it was delicious, very sweet and only faintly tasting of almonds but did taste of citrus, lime perhaps?

Crema Catalana -  crème brûlée catalan style £4.50 I asked the waiter what "catalan style" was and he had difficulty explaining to me. He said it was a liqueur so I immediately ordered. It too was very cold with just the top warm from the sugar being melted. I would have preferred it served warm or at least at room temperature. It was delicious and I thought the taste was very faintly like lemon and cinnamon.

A picture of Almond tart and cream on a square plate
Tarta de Santiago - Almond Tart

Creme broullee in dish on plate
Crema Catalana - Crème Brûlée Catalan Style

As we were eating dessert the place started filling up. I am sure it gets very busy later in the evening. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and would definitely return. We loved the Spanish atmosphere and the staff were fantastic. I know we were lone diners for most of our meal but the service was quick and unobtrusive.

*we paid for our meals and drinks and the restaurant did not know that I would be writing a review. All opinions are honest and my own.

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  1. The food looks amazing. We are planning on visiting Cardiff later this year so we keep this in mind

    1. It's worth a visit, a little bit of Spain to brighten up our day :-)

  2. The food looks incredible! I love the desserts in particular. It's great that they offer such a varied vegetarian selection too.

  3. I absolutely love tapas and it's been far too long since I had any! It's great that they have such a variety available xx

    1. They had a great choice and had main meals too

  4. The food looks amazing. I'm a recent tapas convert. The almond tart particularly looks good x

  5. Although it's very sweet my husband loved it.

  6. Oh all the food looks totally yummy! I love a good tapas restaurant as you get to pick at lots of stuff which suits me well!

    1. I love that too, have a taste of lots of dishes. Hardest part of choosing which ones

  7. Oooh I wanted to check this place out too! Glad it's good. I flipping love Tapas and wine!


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