El Bodegon's temple of steak and football

Tucked inside a not-so-pretty building opposite the Xingfu Li lifestyle enclave, you could easily miss el Bodegon due to its understated facade. 

Tucked inside a not-so-pretty building opposite the Xingfu Li lifestyle enclave, you could easily miss el Bodegon due to its understated facade. But first impressions are often deceptive, and this is the case here, because those somewhat unremarkable surroundings will suddenly become more memorable once inside, seated and tasting the restaurant’s delicious South American fare.

It’s the second Argentinian steakhouse outlet to open in the city after operating for five years at its Changshu Road location.

Argentinian brothers Diego and Javier Ferro and their Uruguayan cousin Gabriel Muniz provide comfort, value and an amicable service in a no-frills environment.

El Bodegon’s passion for food and Argentina’s national sport, football,  is overwhelming. The restaurant has turned one part of the establishment into a football temple to worship icons  of Argentina’s illustrious past. Pictures of Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona and even Brazilian legend Pele, hang from the wall of its shrine to football.

Courtesy of El Bodegon / Ti Gong

The restaurant has turned one part of the establishment into a football temple to worship icons of Argentina’s illustrious past

A good quality steak is quite pricey these days in Shanghai, but el Bodegon believes in good value meals, reflected in the prices for its Argentinian steaks and many delicious appetizers.

Javier said they integrate a few Peruvian appetizers because their flavors are versatile and widely accepted by Asian customers. So ceviches are must-have here.

They are made from fresh raw sea bass or salmon and quickly cured in citrus juice, available in medium or large portions. The ceviche bodegon (40 yuan/70 yuan) is the specialty. Aside from the classic seabass ceviche, it’s topped with fried calamari. I found the ceviche less salty than other restaurants but Javier told me in Argentina “less salt, more life” is more than a motto.

They strictly aim to lower a consumer’s salt intake for better health so at el Bodegon, they don’t overuse it.

Pickled eggplant and grilled provolone cheese are must-have orders here. I couldn’t stop reaching for another piece. There are other entrees worth a try, including tiradito (Peru’s version of sashimi), anticuchos (beef skewers), empanadas and more.

Courtesy of El Bodegon / Ti Gong

Argentinian steaks are must-try dishes in el Bodegon. 

Yet the best thing about el Bodegon is their Argentinian steaks. Traditionally cooked as an asado, steaks are as intricate to Argentinian culture as tango and football. All steaks are served with a side salad and chimichurri sauce.

Each cut, striploin, rib-eye or rump, is available as 200g or 300g for 100 yuan or 150 yuan, except for the tenderloin which is priced at 140 yuan or 210 yuan. It is recommended two people share the four cuts option (400g) for 220 yuan.

El Bodegon also has on-going promotions, such as a daily drinks happy hour (30 yuan) and an MTW dinner special (a 200g steak and a glass of house wine for 100 yuan every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday). The lunch set menu is also a good deal and all combos include a starter, drink and a main course.

Info

Opening hours: 11:30am-2pm, 5pm-10:30pm

Tel: 6226-078

Address: 2/F, 326 Panyu Rd

Average price: 150 yuan (US$22.4)

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