For weeks my Twitter feed was being bombarded by #BodegaBrunch pictures. The photo of their Lobster Brioche would even make a seafood intolerant weak at the knees. Being a fan of La Bodega Negra’s main restaurant, we had high hopes for their Cafe serving Brunch on the adjacent street. Sitting on lively Frith Street, the Cafe has large windows facing the eventful street making it an ideal people-watching hub. Make sure to grab the seat facing the windows just in case your brunch companion starts talking about pets and the weather.
Bodega’s Brunch menu features a variety of modern Mexican style dishes, from Huevos Rancheros to Nachos Royale topped with Sevruga Caviar. No point in us looking at the menu, we came here for one dish, and one dish only. The Lobster Brioche. Photo uploads of this breaded little fella holding gifts of the sea had teased us long enough.
We probably could have argued that somewhere in the Eastern hemisphere it must have been 5pm but this morning we gave the cocktails a miss and quenched our thirst with two Refrescos. The Red Berry Ice Tea with hibiscus, lime juice, peychaud bitters & agave was very refreshing but almost sickly sweet. But in anticipation of the Mexican heat coming our way, probably a sensible choice. The Passion Fruit Ting with cranberry juice, lime & grenadine followed its friend’s footsteps as a super sweet, heat-handling juice. Service was incredibly slow even though the waitress to guest ratio was in their favour.
Finally the Lobster Brioche arrived. On first sight it seemed smaller than we expected and trying to split this in two was a hassle. I was underwhelmed to find that there was more crayfish tails than actual lobster. It might just be me but when I read ‘Lobster Brioche’ I expect lobster. Nothing was wrong with the taste, in fact quite a pleasant little brioche. But I would like to negotiate with the chef to add more chipotle mayo and consider some avocado slices. This would take the dish to next level, a level that I encourage La Bodega to aim for considering the prices on their brunch menu.
The Huevos a la Benedicta, chipotle hollandaise & salsa fresca came in a more generous portion and easier to share between two. Nicely poached eggs and the hollandaise most certainly had a kick to it, which had us reaching for the straws of our Refrescos. But the hollandaise had an almost stale consistency to it, as if it had been left in a plastic container and then reheated. The discrepancy between the amounts of sauce between the Twitter pictures and the real thing was shocking. No skimping on the sauce chef, we most definitely paid for it. And we want the overflowing sauce from the Twitter picture. Looks like more love went into that plate.
All in all, we were disappointed in Bodega Brunch. Perhaps we had over-hyped it. Though in all fairness, for the prices on this menu we had every right to have high expectations. La Bodega Negra slightly responsible through their manic tweeting. And yes I know, restaurants always photograph their dishes in the best light. But if they’re frantically posting them, then they should also be prepared for guests leaving unimpressed. And amongst them will always be a couple annoying foodies who blog about it. Let’s not mention any names.
Next time, if there were such a time, I would be doing their main restaurant instead where the dishes, although small portions, are divine and prices more suitable for an evening dinner splurge.