If you're after some soggy patatas bravas and a sticky glass of sangria then Bodega may disappoint.
In an area of Surry Hills once flocked with wholesale garment stores you'll find quality Spanish food with style to burn.
Bodega boasts an eye grabbing mural of a bull on the far wall and the chefs in the open kitchen are sporting some serious ink. If you nab a seat up at the bar you can see them hard at work making signatures like their take on 'fish fingers' (sashimi style kingfish on garlic rubbed toast with a tangle of vinegar onions and a dusting of grated air dried tuna).
At night the vibe at Bodega is hopping and with its hard surfaces, it can border on loud. So unless your Nan has a craving for some of the best empanadas in Sydney (the pumpkin and feta are downright swoon worthy) it might be best to leave her at home.
Meanwhile you'll have to remember your manners, because this is food that was built to share. A series of small plates give you the best chance to pick your way through. You'll kick yourself later if you don't introduce yourself to the chorizo with soffrito or the sassy salad of silver beet, chickpea and fried cauliflower.
The dessert menu is concise but spoon scrapingly creative. Their take on a banana split will have you musing long after you've left why there isn't more dulce de leche ice cream and banana marshmallow in your life.
Bodega treads the delicate line between warm staff and a cool space. And like many things that are cool, it's popular. So come early and come with all your party in tow (they won't seat you until you're all there). Or be prepared to spend some time in the adjoining bar nursing a glass of cava or one of the 17 wines by the glass until it's your turn to join the party.