Cuisine: South American,Tapas

“Two-four-six-eight, get ready to eat your dinner late” is the warning when first travelling to Madrid and, unless you’re prepared to eat at the hour of a senior citizen, that’s what you should expect here at Bodega. Dark wood, dim lighting and big crowds give Bodega an authentic tapas bar feel, while the menu caters for the peckish through to the downright ravenous. Get the saliva glands going with vinegar-cured white anchovies $8, while the “fish fingers” of sashimi kingfish on garlic toast with cuttlefish ceviche and mojama (salt-cured tuna) $18 are what you’d imagine eating along the Costa Blanca. Follow the crowd and finish with a banana split — cream flan, dulce de leche icecream, ginger biscuit and banana $14.

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Cuisine: South American,Tapas,South American

As Sydney went crazy for South American food, along came Boteco. Arrive early to kick back on the comfy couches and listen to the Spanish lingo drifting from the kitchen. Start with a watermelon mojito, the next best thing to an alcoholic energiser bunny, before nibbling on pesticos (small delicacies made to share). Match a pisco sour with a plate of snapper ceviche laced with flecks of tomato and lime $12. Move on to embrace what Brazilians do best, the grill. Grain-fed picanha beef (rump cap) skewers $10 are served alongside a peppery chimichurri with salty cassava chips, while Frango, free-range marinated chicken cutlets $19, are set on a bed of tender, nutty chickpeas with punchy, robust chorizo. Fancy yourself a grazer? Then get down to Boteco.

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Cuisine: South American,Tapas,South American,South American

What a cool place this is. The decor is 1950s, the lights are dim, the bathroom walls are covered in Astroturf and the staff know how to treat you. It’s always going to be busy but it’s small and intimate, so everyone knows to keep on the good side of loud. As for the sexy South American share food: big praise. Two or three tapas-style plates per person should be enough. Goat’s curd and basil-stuffed mushrooms $12 are simple and tasty; jerk-spiced single ribs $16 are tender and moist, served with a single lime cheek; and the Chilean chef knows how to cook duck $17 — perfectly matched with fruity salsa. Tangy key lime pie $10 is the one for dessert if it’s on. This cruisey little restaurant/bar is definitely worth checking out. 

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Cuisine: South American,Tapas,South American,South American,South American

This Argentinian restaurant/bar from the team behind Bodega is rockabillying Sydney with its chic share-plate food. Inside it’s a montage of pincurls and pompadours, with a subtext of slow-cooked meat aromas wafting from the open roasting pit. There are two sittings each night, from 6pm and 9pm, and if you haven’t booked, arrive one to two hours early. The wait is a blessing. Do it in the upstairs bar over a shared cocktail carafe $45–$55 and chilli croquettes of corn and mahon cheese $10. Come dinner time, wood-fired suckling pig $44 or lamb $42 (serves 2–3) goes without saying. Accompany either (or both) with crispy fried Brussels sprouts, lentils and mint $14, then trump it with a Uruguayan-inspired pavlova — a tango of dulce de leche, salted peanuts, meringue and mango $14.

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