La Bodega Negra serves authentic Mexican food from their cellar restaurant on Soho's Old Compton Street and is probably one of London's worst kept secrets. To the unwitting passer-by La Bodega Negra is a sex shop, concealed behind the bright neon "adult video" and "peep show" signs that light up the windows. I imagine it would be pretty awkward if you wondered in actually looking for either of these! You are greeted by this kinky lady...
...and another (much friendlier) lady who will give you the nod when you reveal that you have reservations. We headed down the stairs to the dark, cavernous restaurant and were led to a cosy candle lit table in the corner. Being totally honest, we found the menu hard to negotiate. I'm a big fan of Mexican food but my repertoire goes as far as fajitas, enchiladas, burritos and chilli con carne - none of which were on the menu. We ended up googling things like "camarones" (shrimp, in case you're wondering) just to be on the safe side. Eventually we decided on quesadilla rustica and pescaditos fritos for starters. Plus a couple of cocktails from the tequila-based drinks list. My frozen mango margarita went down a treat!
Pescaditos fritos literally means fried fish. It seemed a safe option! The salty, fried white fish was served with a jalapeno sauce and was even better than I'd expected. If you're creeped out by eating fish that still has eyeballs, it's probably best to avoid these! The cheesy quesadilla was served as if it were pizza and the mix of flavours was perfect! I'd highly recommend it.
That last unattractive looking picture was Gordon's main dish. He ordered the ribs and, although a bit pricey, messy and super spicy, he really enjoyed them. When I first saw my main - the fish tacos - I was taken aback by the tiny portion. The menu does say "served in pairs" but I expected them to be a bit bigger. I guess the idea is to order a few different ones to share. As it turned out, my eyes were bigger than my belly anyway. I helped Gordon polish off the sweet potato and if I'd had anything more I wouldn't of had room for pudding! In keeping with the Mexican theme I managed to resist the cheesecake and ordered churros for dessert and Gordon went for chocolate torte with mole ice cream. Holy shizzle, the mole ice cream! My mouth was on fire after the tiny taste I had! It reminded me of them little red Fireball sweets that we used to trick my Nan with. My churros came with a chilli chocolate dip which was much more chocolatey than chilli, thank God.
Despite our confusion with the menu our dinner at La Bodega Negra turned out pretty well. It was an experience in itself and you get that smug, special feeling of being in on a naughty little secret that the other tourists don't know about. There is a cafe as well but I think the atmosphere of the covert restaurant would be far better. The Soho location is handy for after dinner drinks as well! Find everything you need to know on La Bodega Negra's website or call 0207 758 4100 to book a table.
Primark dress, blazer & necklace // River Island bag
Firetrap t-shirt // River Island jeans
Have you ever been to a hidden restaurant?