A LIVELY EXPERIENCE.
What can be said about the most notorious Mexican restaurant in London? Well for those who are uninitiated about the set up at La Bodega Negra, the exterior is designed as a seedy Soho sex shop. So leave any prudish concerns at the door.
I will say this makes for a great surprise if you are planning to take someone who is unfamiliar with the restaurant, but be warned if you want a refined and civilised night then this is not the place for you.
Once you go downstairs into the main restaurant area it is almost reminiscent of entering one of the local nightclubs. The music is normally pumping, the lighting is low and the buzzing crowd are usually hyped for good food and drinks.
We ordered a selection of dishes from the menu including the sunflower tostadas with guacamole which was fresh and zingy. Next was the soft shell crab tacos and lamb with drunken salsa tacos. These were both full-flavoured and neatly presented in a bespoke wooden taco tray – my only reservation would be that they are on the smaller side so go down very quickly.
The highpoint of our dinner was undeniably the pork belly mezcal & salsa arbol with pinto beans from La Bodega Negra’s wood burning grill. I am a great fan of pork belly and will usually order if I see it on any menu. So I can say with much experience that this is one of the tastiest pork belly dishes I have eaten. The pork was soft and tender but still had a crispy and unctuous crackling, which for me is the ideal way to serve this particular cut of meat. We did order a lot for two people but there was no way I was leaving anything on this plate – always a sign of a great dish.
The drinks at La Bodega Negra are certainly part of the atmosphere, and as anticipated they provide an extensive list of tequilas for those planning on having a big night. We weren’t going all out so opted for a selection of their tequila based cocktails (£8-11). They were all a great accompaniment to the meal and I was partial to the spiced pear margarita (£8.50).
All in all, La Bodega Negra is a place to go if you are up for a lively experience. The food encompassed the traditional and hearty flavours you would associate with Mexican cooking. However the real pull is the feeling of being in an uninhibited environment and not knowing where the night may lead.
16, Moor St, Soho, London W1D 5NH
020 7758 4100
Nearest Tube Station: Tottenham Court Road
Article By: Gurpreet Singh