Modelled after Mexico City’s infamous underground clubs, the debauched and brilliantly opulent restaurant in the heart of London’s Soho, has opened its doors again.
Now, if an entrance is indicative of the experience you might have at any given dining experience, then an impish Mad Hatter-esque member of staff brandishing a riding crop with a “THWACK”, should tell you all you need to know about the devilish delights that await you at La Bodega Negra.
Long has the sumptuous basement establishment in the heart of Soho – with its notorious fake sex shop exterior – been a haunt of locals, tourists and celebs alike. With the UK slowly creaking open with the reintroduction of pubs and restaurants into our lives, La Bodega Negra’s street level, more PC section reopened last week; but now, its original dark underground heart has finally flung wide its doors too, and its showmanship is everything beautiful and debauched about London dining.
Modelled after Mexico City’s infamous underground clubs, heading down the stairs into the dark neon interior feels distinctly illicit, like a raging speakeasy, with DJs spinning pulsating tunes to creatures of the night. The reopening coincides with the appointment of new Buenos Aires-hailed head chef, Gustavo Giallonardo, who serves up mouth-watering seabass ceviches, scallop tiraditos, taco al pastor, pork chops with pasilla negra salsa and the likes of black mole quesadilla with truffle, monterey cheese and salsa verde.
And to wet the whistle, of course, La Bodega Negra boasts one of London’s best-stocked agave bars, offering a staggering 50 different tequilas and 20 mezcals. Sear the tongue on the fiery jalapeño margarita and Mezcalita served with worm salt, but the star of the signature cocktail menu is no doubt the Horchata con Ron – a tantalising rice milk, cinnamon sugar syrup and spiced rum concoction unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before. If the room begins to haze, and you feel your inhibitions start to blur, there’s no shame, you’re in the right place.