In the deepest depths of Soho lies a porn shop (shocker)…but this is not just any porn shop, this is provocative Mexican restaurant La Bodega Negra.
From street level, La Bodegra Negra is very much channeling ‘sex shop’: luminous lighting and bold advertising screaming about Adult Videos and Peep Shows. Dare to enter, and in the dark corridor you’ll be greeted by a voice asking if you need assistance (it’s VERY dark – all we could see was an outline of the bondage dummy standing to our left).
Assuming that you have a reservation (make sure you book in advance), you’ll be ushered downstairs by a member of staff (we think) and into a dark and moody restaurant filled with gothic caves, wrought iron decor, flickering candle light and a montage covering the walls which can only be described as the love child of Phantom of the Opera and a Nativity play.
We were seated at a curved banquette table and presented with the menu, where it became apparent that the sex theme penetrated the entire experience. ‘Seductive and fun’ sharing plates stood out, unsurprisingly, but to start we opted for soft flour tacos with succulent beef and char-roasted mushrooms, presented very elegantly on specially designed wooden boards. Followed by rich cheese and roasted tomato open quesadillas, slowly marinated meats and tenderly spiced fish.
If it’s a drink you’re after, then tantalise your tastebuds with some tequila (obviously, it’s a Mexican hang out). La Bodega offers 22 different varieties, and you won’t be allowed salt and lime with any of them.
Service was charming and exceptionally friendly, with clear attention to detail from the offset. This is an achingly trendy venue, full of glamorous social beings revelling in the exquisite titillation of it all: a totally new experience, one of which I would highly recommended.
For those of you feeling a little less daring, don’t worry, you can pop to their adjacent cafe (through a normal entrance) to experience the same food and drink but without the fragrant sexuality.
La Bodega Negra Cafe is on: 16 Moor Street, Soho, W1D 5NH
And if you dare, La Bodega Negra Dining Lounge is on: 9 Old Compton Street, Soho, W1D 5JF
More information can be viewed on the website here.
> Client Friendly: Not right for talking shop
> Affordability: A little treat ££
> Nearest station: Leicester Sq
> Dress code: Dress cool
> Best for: Schmoozing
Words by – Natalie Jahangiry
[Imagery courtesy of La Bodega Negra]