216 Commonwealth Street Surry Hills, New South Wales 2010

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Opening hours D Tues-Sat; group bookings only (5 or more)
Features Accepts bookings, Bar, Licensed, Wheelchair access
Prices Moderate (mains $20-$40)
Chef Ben Milgate, Elvis Abrahanowicz
Seats 70
Payments eftpos, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 02 9212 7766

As Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz's pumping Argentinian grill, Porteno, got hotter and hotter, their original nearby tapas bar began to cool off. Now that the boys are dividing their time equally between the two, Bodega is bordering on the incandescent once again. The two dining rooms have been freshened up with walls of wines and powder-blue bar stools, and the cooking has taken on a real character of its own, moving further away from traditional tapas to some pretty fancy, dudey stuff that makes you laugh with your mouth full. There's a breakfast buttermilk pancake with 62-degree egg and smoked maple butter, and a crunchy slaw of fried pig's ear, octopus and green apple. A witty combo of devilled eggs with house-cured ham and dill pickles is very '60s, and crisped boned lamb neck on a lush eggplant and pine nut puree is a meat-coma knockout. The hotness factor never cools, right through to the chocolate cream pie.