At Bodega de Pintxos, parties with 8 or more people are forced to choose between a “paella party” @$45 pp or “tapas party” @ $39 pp and I happen to go to dinner with 7 other people. Oh bother, the magical number had been breached. I didn’t want to fill up on lots of rice so we opted for the tapas party with Chef’s selection of tapas and pan casero.
True, I do usually ask the opinion of the staff to help me decide between 2 (or 5) dishes but giving up on my choice entirely was a completely different matter. Let the surprises begin!
Drinks~ not included in the ‘tapas party’
Mojito ($15.00), Fruit punch mocktail ($9.00) and Sangria ($26.00 for the jug).
The mojito tasted very very minty, I don’t know much about alcoholic beverages but I know they shouldn’t taste like you just brushed your teeth, although some people might call it refreshing, I just wouldn’t call it a mojito. The fruit punch tasted rather sour and disappointing.
No one told us that this was the Spanish version of Russian roulette. You’re supposed to say a rhyme in Spanish and everyone one shots a pepper, it could be mild or it could be very hot, there’s no way to know until you take a bite (a waitress told us this after we had a hot one). The first few we had were nice, salty, like slightly addictive green capsicums, it wasn’t until one of us got a really hot one that we all became more suspicious and wary of which pepper to take and to have a small sample before we committed to the whole thing.
Pan de ajo house bread with garlic butter pil pil. This tasted like garlic bread but better, oh so buttery and addictive.
Pan tumaca house bread with spread fresh tomato and extra virgin olive oil with a side of garlic sauce. This one by comparison wasn’t as good, it tasted like a mushy bruschetta and the garlic sauce didn’t really add to the flavour.
I couldn’t really find our food on the menu except for chorizo, but here is a break down of what we ate.
Prawns – Kudos to them for serving their food very hot (it was still bubbling!) despite being busy. They were a bit salty though.
Chorizo– grilled house made spicy chorizo, red wine jus and roasted garlic sauce. It tasted like a chunky version of Chinese dried pork, if you have eaten it you’ll know what I’m talking about. I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten an authentic chorizo but I know I haven’t tasted one like that before.
Slow roasted pork – the smaller pieces were more tender and soaked up the sauce really well. The chunky pieces were tough and too thick to enjoy.
Cold chicken sandwiches – a nice cold dish to cool off the tongue after those peppers. A little bit crumbly to eat because of the hard bread.
Mushrooms – I can’t really describe the taste, I didn’t know if I liked them at first but the taste grew on me.
Despite not having any say in choosing the food, they gave us ample amounts (we didn’t finish the pork or the peppers) but still left just enough space to sample some desserts (and don’t we all have a separate stomach for desserts anyway? ).
Desserts~ not included in the tapas party
Tarta al chocolate traditional chocolate cake served warm with gelato ($8.00). As promised in the description, a warm chocolate cake, nothing unique but it hit the sweet spot.
Crema Catalana cooked cream served with burnt sugar ($8.00). From the description I knew I was ordering a creme brulee like substance. The custard had a citrus hint to it but I couldn’t get over the gritty-ness of the texture. For the first time had to leave most of my dessert in protest over the the poor texture. I should have tried the Natilla (sweet custard served with house made biscuits).
Churros con chocolate traditional pastries served with chocolate ($8.00). Covered in a bit too much sugar for me, but it was served nice and hot with just the right amount chocolate (debatable for some, didn’t one of us try and lick the bowl clean? ).
Try as we might, we never did finish off those peppers, there were still so many left even after a decent effort from each of us.
The staff were friendly although we had to consistently ask for more water and they forgot one of our desserts. I think you should ditch your friends (or go with less than 7 of them) and choose your own food. I heard their range of ‘pintxos from the kitchen’ is definitely worth a try. I didn’t absolutely love this meal but I’m keen to come back and try different things.
Venue: Bodega de Pintxos Taperia Espanola
Address: 27 Kennedy St, Kingston, ACT 2604
Phone: (02) 6295 0777