I'm surprised this place hasn't got more reviews and more stars. I've been coming here off and on for a few years now and have never been let down.
Plenty to choose from,lots of Steak which are all lovely,some classic Colombian dishes (Bandeja Paisa, Empanadas),most things are served with rice and Plantain and cassava which is similar to a potato.
Lovely fish dishes also,grilled Salmon to the Cazuela de Mariscos which is a sea food stew and is a must if you come here.
On a Friday and Saturday night at around 10ish they move out the tables from the centre to create a dancefloor and then a resident dj plays Salsa for the rest of the night. Its worth sticking around and watching the large South American community in South London throwing some shapes.
And thats another thing, this place is always full of Colombians and other South Americans, and that can only be a good thing,and don't be put off that its inside the Elephant and Castle shopping centre,its worth the trek.
Hasta leugo La Bodeguita !!
If you enjoy salsa music, great food and a fantastic latino'esque' atmosphere without having travel hundreds of thousands of miles then La Bodeguita will be right up your street.
I was a little skeptical about this place, based in the shopping centre of Elephant & Castle I was hoping I wasn't taking my life in my hands going there, both from E&C's reputation and also the fact that the condition of the place has never made me think 'oh let's go for a great night at in the shopping centre'! But I assured by my friends that it was great and worth the trek down there from Muswell Hill (North London).
It was a little hard to find and took some guesswork but we didn't go wrong so it can't be that hard to spot. On arrival the place was chocker (8pm) but our friends were already in and having booked a table (only available to do before 8pm) had wine ready for us. The menu is great and the fact we could choose what we wanted before we even arrived by the online menu made the fact we were slightly late overlookable as we knew what we wanted! The food ranges from traditional Columbian food to a kind of Italian, lots of beef and pork belly, not my cup of tea but definitely my fella's who was in 7th heaven looking at the menu!
The food was good, not fantastic but good, reasonably priced and large potions. I had chicken Scallop that is basically a escalop lightly fried served with a delicious roasted ( I think) plaintain. Lovely combination. As I said, it wasn't fantastic food but good simple food and the starter we had (not sure what it was, sorry) was good for sharing - all on cocktail sticks!
The atmosphere was fab! Great Salsa dance was shown on two biggish screens and a DJ was playing great music from all parts of South America. As it was our friends birthday they did the cheesy but fun thing of announcing his birthday (in both English & Spanish) and fetching a birthday cake much to his embarrasment! They also do 3 litre pitcher/taps of lager that are much fun!!!
This was a great little place for a fun night out, no trouble but I was worried when I saw bouncers arrive on the door at around 9pm who frisked everyone who came in - a bit reasuring though!
Would I purposely make the journey again just for the meal and not for a special occasion? Probably not, sorry La Bodeguita, the waiting staff are really friendly but the food just isn't amazing enough for the 45mins - 1 hors journey when I have great resteraunts on my doorstep! Would I go if I was in the area? Most definitely!
I haven't come here for the night life, and I should cause I bet it would be interested. But I just came here for food... we were starving! and the menu seemed interesting.
The prices are a bit high for the area if you want a steak, so i scratched that idea and we got some tapas.
Now the waiter was latino, so I assume the cook was. So why on earth did they make nachos for us... that looked like they bought the cheese from walmart? Did I really pay 4ish pounds for walmart brand nacho cheese? The croquettes were burnt, and the salad... gross! Just a few leaves with tinned tuna on it.
I know latin food, so I was disappointed to be in a Latino restaurant, with Latino employees, who can't cook latino food.
But as a bar, i'm sure this place is interesting. I would like to come here on a full belly and make a nightlife stop back here. Food sucks, but maybe the parties are good!
So my new BFF or 'mini-wife' as she's affectionately known is Colombian. Naturally in a concerted effort to understand her moods, fashion choices and food habits it was necessary to visit this Colombian institution. So on a bright, sunny April day we visited the ultra-glamorous, not-to-be missed balcony-less Elephant & Castle shopping centre. If you can't afford to visit Latin America, you'd be well-advised to hang out here for an afternoon. Colombians everywhere, I was in heaven!
So I'd just gorged an eggs Benedict/Florentine combo two hours previously, so decided to opt for a 'lighter lunch' named Bandeja Paisa. This is essentially a dish served with rice, pork belly, red kidney beans, minced beef, sausage, fried egg, fried plantain, avocado and garnish. Now there was some sort of flying saucer shaped corn-thing (sorry for the technical term) on my plate, which apparently in Colombia is the Spanish translation for a lesbian, WTF? Uncharacteristically enough it was rather bland and I didn't eat it, ahem. Smut aside, the 'bisteck' or 'bisexual beef' that everyone else ordered was absolutely delicious, so much better than your average non Latin-American cut it doesn't bear repeating! "Mano dura y corazón grande!" The love affair with all things Latin continues, just can't get enough!
For a really big plate of Colombian food come here! If you are a meat eater you may just HAVE to try the Churrasco Argentino -
Argentine beef served with potato wedges, fried green plantain and garnish with dips!! It's quite a treat and like I said VERY authentic! A great treat - really reasonable and lovely food and good music to go with the food - great atmosphere!
I visted La Bodeguita on a friday night with a friend from uni and the atmosphere was buzzing. There is plenty of seating, and half the South American community of E&C seem to come here to relax.
I would have to agree with the previous reviewer - the Churrasco Argentino is a must have for any hungry meat lovers. Also highly recommended are the towers of beer that are served; 3 litres of Beck's in a huge tube on your table, from which you keep your glasses topped up from a tap at the bottom. An excellent novelty.
All told, La Bodeguita is good value and a different experience. Don't be put off by the close proximity of the shopping centre, this place is worth a visit.
Not so good.
Nice place, nice guy serving us, nice beer, baby fiendly.
Food, pretty grim.
Frozen diced veg (do they stiil make those?), croquettes, again stright out the freezer. Meat was not too bad. Sauce tasted of tinned tomatoes. Salad was browning iceberg.
If the food was around £6-7 a plate, I would be writing a far more posisitve review as we had an OK time fo it, but it was around £12 per plate, with the final bill being £50 (two small beers each, and a plate of pasta for the baby) for which I expect good qualiity ingredients cooked with some degree of care and passion.
We both had a strong brandy when we got home to get rid of the taste.
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