Bodega Cantina, Derby

We had popped in to town to run a few errands on May bank holiday Sunday, and I had one thing on my mind for lunch – fish tacos!

The place that immediately sprung to mind was the newly lauched Bodega Cantina on Sadlergate in Derby. Bodega Derby is the 4th location for the chain and opened just 2 weeks prior to our visit. I was excited to see what it was all about and as we hadn’t eaten here before I had everything crossed that my fish taco craving would be satisfied…

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 We arrived not long after their 12:00 opening time so weren’t surprised to see that it was pretty quiet. I started off proceedings with a pisco sour – not as punchy as I’m used to but it was light and velvety from the egg white and definitely enjoyable (so much so I may have ordered another…)

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The decor in the restaurant  is really funky and bright and gives off a fun, casual atmosphere. How amazing is this mural…

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We ordered three dishes to share and asked they they all come together.

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First to be delved into were the fish tacos – delicate soft tacos were filled with a fresh slaw (not creamy thank goodness), and were topped with light, crispy battered and deep fried fish. I was pleased to see a wedge of lime on top as the tacos definitely benefitted from a big squeese of sharp juice – these really hit the spot!

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Next we had the mole chicken quesadilla – golden crunchy tortillas sandwiched together a filling of rich, smoky, peanutt-y chicken with melted cheese. I was really pleasantly surprised with the intense flavour of these and oh how I wish I’d not agreed to share!

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We also ordered a Dr Pepper-marinated pork burrito which was a whopper! For me the ratio of rice to meat was skewed more in favour of the rice, and it could have done with a little more seasoning and maybe some coriander. Other than that the spice was just right (we asked for medium spice) and it was tasty enough with the salsa, guacamole & sour cream, but definitely came in third after the tacos and quesadillas

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In the interests of research (ok, because we’re greedy) we then ordered some of the coxinhas. These are similar to croquettes and were filled with chicken, chilli, garlic, spring onion and parsley, all enveloped in a cheesy sauce and deep fried, then served with lime mayo on the side. These could have done with a bit more chilli heat and a squeeze of lime to cut through the cheesiness, as to me the mayo just tasted like ordinary mayo, but we’d cleared the plate before I thought to ask for a wedge of lime so I think that says it all!

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The restaurant is larger that you would first be led to believe, with more tables through the back and upstairs. It could happily house a large group of people without making other diners feel squished in

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We’ll definitely return to Bodega in the evening to see how the vibe changes from day to night, I’m just not sure I’ll be able to commit to one main dish as I enjoyed having several to share – I hope whoever I go with is in agreement!

I also have a feeling that our visit may coincide with happy hour…. 🙂

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