In a nutshell:
A nice restaurant on two floors, very attentive , warm but professional service, serving some very good Mexican dishes that were thankfully not Indianized. I wud say one of the best options for Mexican food in Delhi NCR as of today.
Address & other details: La Bodega
Meal for 2: Rs. 1000 onwards
Cuisine type : Vegetarian & nonvegetarian
Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.
I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.
Short description – in case u r in a hurry:
Our first brush with La Bodega was in late 2014 at Mexican Embassy stall, Delhi Palate Fest. We quite liked the food there & after many years I seemed to have come across something close to original Mexican food, in Delhi NCR. So La Bodega was on our list since then.
The restaurant has a large façade with a colorful logo.
A flight of stairs took us to 1st floor & in a little while I figured there was a floor above as well.
B4 that, As soon as we landed on the 1st floor, we noticed some quirky deco. There was something resembling a vegetable shop at one place.
The light bulbs were hanging from ‘red loops’ if I might call those that.
There were books kept in a rack at the corner.
The floor had nice tiles on them. Furniture was plain wooden.
Service was outstanding – warm & efficient at the same time.
The menu card was very well illustrated. It described the dishes pretty well.
Loved the food overall. Loved the fact that they did not try to delhize / Punjabize the mexican food & had tried to keep it as pure. Will that purity b well accepted? Surely no. That shows up in the ratings of a very popular crowd sourced food app as well. I was shocked to see only 3.4/5 rating whereas these guys deserve a lot more. Happy that they did not do localization to please ‘everyone’.
Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
To beat the heat we ordered a tamarind drink. The drink was full flavor of tamarind, low on sweetness, mild salt. Good as it is. The moment I sipped the drink with the salt on the rim of the glass – it became awesome.
From a tinge of sweet and unidirectionally sour drink, it suddenly became a great medley of salt n sour. Loved the tanginess. Perfectly beat the summer heat. 4.25/5
We also tried Lemon and chia drink. It was again a thin lemony drink with chia. Loved the texture brought in by chia and the overall tanginess of the drink. Apt for summers again. Rate it 4/5.
We tried Arrachera juicy beef marinated with peppers, served with chiles, toreados, coriander leaves & lemon – Enjoyed the nice interplay of different textures and tastes – The beef, tomatoes and beans.
Beef shreds were soft n juicy and they retained full flavours of meat. Loved the food as it is. Loved it even more after adding a dash of lemon as recommended by our server. Loved the kidney beans in the wrap.
Reminded me of my first experience at a tex mex restaurant in usa – it had taken me a while to get used to this taste of rajma and meat. Rate this dish 4.25/5
Next dish we ordered was Camaron salteado shrimp with salsa Mexicana and chipotle mayonnaise. Shrimps were awesome – super juicy. If careless while eating, the juices Wud fall off as u bite into it.
Great to taste as it is. Even better with a dash of lemon. Loved munching on the crispy base. Rate it 4.5/5
With the food we were served few dips.
First was Green tomato green chilly salsa. It was tangy, had a pronounced smokiness, was somewhat hot by Indian standards & was refreshing. Rate it 4.5/5
The Red tomato red chilly salsa was directionally similar as above but less smoky. Red chilly made its presence felt in terms of flavor as well as being hot. Rate it 4.25/5
Capsicum and chilly salsa had a creamy base, was spicy, somewhat hot & full of taste. Loved it again & rate it 4.5/5
Sour cream had a fermented feel to it. Don’t know whether the fermentation was intended or just the hot delhi summer, I just loved it. Rate it 4.25/5
Guacamole was very good. A First timer might not like it but over time one wud acquire taste.
Very good. It was one of the best I hv had in Delhi in a while though it was a bit flat than the version served at tex mex restaurants I have ordered this dish in the USA. Rate it 4/5
For main course we ordered Lobo de robalo seabass fillet with pepper crust, served with a white bean purée glazed vegetables meco chilly blackmole.
The glazed vegetables were excellent. Special mention to the baby carrots. The veggies were crunchy and they retained their own flavours. Rate veggies 4.5/5
Mashed potato was made from sweet potato. Our server warned us that it wud b different and we might not like it. We insisted. It was nice, but as she said, different. I have had in the past but had not got used to it. However few bites into it, started liking it and the taste grew on me. I guess a sprinkling of salt might hv made it easier in the first few bites. Rate it 4/5.
The fish was flaky, juicy and nice. It was however low on salt. A herb crust atop the fish was awesome – tasted great when the fish and herb crust wud reach the mouth together. The crust took it to the next level. Loved it as it is and also with blackmole sauce. Rate the fish 4.5/5.
Overall rating of the dish averages out to 4.25/5
For dessert we tried Pastel de tres leches cake made from 3 milks served with chantily cream and seasonal fruit. Three milk refers to three different density of milk , at times flavors etc.
Loved eating this milk drenched cake & the liquid milk based sauce at the base. It was a tad sweeter than what I wud think is optimal. Rate it 4/5
We ordered a Guava lemon mint drink. It was an Excellent drink. Very very refreshing, specially in a hot delhi summer. Mint dominates the flavor, lemon dominates the taste and guava makes its presence felt in texture by being daanedaar. Rate it 4.25/5
We again got a platter of dips like we got on Day 1. The Day 2 red dip was much better than the green tomato one – opposite of our earlier experience.
We started with taquitos of Grilled fish marinated with chillies , garlic, ginger & oregano served with almond salsa. The Fish was outstanding on its own.
Flaky, juicy & YUMM. The taquito was nice overall. Liked it more after adding a dash of lemon & some sour cream. Rate it 4.5/5
We tried Fried tacos of slow cooked lamb with ancho chili sauce. These looked like crisp spring Rolls in shape, but visually very different. The rolls were super crisp with meat within. Th emeat was flavorful, soft & very tasty.
The rolls tasted YUMM on its own, though a tad dry. Dipped it in chile and it was just outstanding. Super loved the dish & rate it 4.5/5
The next dish we had was Scrambled egg. It was juicy & nice. Raw tomatoes complimented the scrambled eggs. The meat pieces were soft juicy and nice.
The dish was mildly low on salt as compared to the previous dish and hence the first few bites were awkward. Post that, as our tongues got used to the salt, the dish started tasting nice.
I loved the refried beans. Loved the eggs as it it, with the refried beans and also with the shell. The dish was very good. Rate it 3.5/5
We went for Lamb sandwich too. It was made from freshly baked bread with crust, that was super crisp in the corners. Great to taste on its own.
The Lamb patty was mind blowing. It was intense, juicy, robust and just awesome. Overall sandwich was outstanding – the best dish of the afternoon. Rate it 4.75/5.
We also tried Eggs benedict with pulled pork. Atop the benedict was a tomato sauce that was too much tomatoeeee, thus overpowering the dish in terms of taste and flavor. Pulled pork was nice when I had it as it is. With the extra strong tomato the pulled pork kind of got pulled down quite a bit.
Eggs used in the dish were normal poultry ones and hence did not taste like the intense and good organic/ desi eggs. The bread at the bottom seemed to b baked inhouse. It was nice.
Overall, I wud say it was a good dish but short of being great. Rate this dish 3/5.
For dessert we had Flan with caramel sauce. Intense, tight, YUMM flan with amazing caramel sauce & choco sides. Texture, taste & caramelization flavor were perfect. Loved this a lot. Rate it 4.5/5.
Overall rating of La Bodega averages out to 4.2/5
I am curious to try more options here & wud surely revisit. Look forward to hear ur experience. Pls write back.