It was New Year’s Eve and 8 of my church small group mates decided to meet for dinner before the Nightwatch service to welcome in 2020. An eatery relatively close to our church was chosen and that was Bodacious Bar & Bistro located at Biopolis in Buona Vista.
Though I live nearby, I didn’t realized there are quite a number of eateries in the commercial and industrial hub of Biopolis. Bodacious, located at the western end of Biopolis Street, is one of the bigger establishments with a large, sheltered al fresco area where people can be seen enjoying a drink or two on lazy afternoons.
Bodacious’ interiors is decorated in a hipster-cafe, light industrial style with much room between tables, and our group was seated near the side wall that holds a bold signage of the place placed against an eye-catching montage of celebrity images, with a row of wine bottles strategically lined in the middle.
As it was New Year’s Eve and because one of the serving staff insisted that “it’s Happy Hours every hour” – eg beer prices are between $7 to $12 for half-pints/pints/bottles all day, which is very decent – I decided to have a pint of Stella Artois ($11), while others chose either other beers or mocktails.
Bodacious’ dinner menu is quite extensive comprising soups, salads and appetisers, main courses, sweets and desserts, and sides for sharing. There’s even Happy Hours Oysters (@$2-$3) from 5-8pm. A list of small plates & bar snacks ($8-$19) is listed on a table menu. Drinks-wise, the bar covers a good range of beverages from wines, beers and spirits to cocktails, mocktails and liquers, from soft drinks, milkshakes and juices to brewed coffees, premium teas and mineral water.
Whilst waiting for others to arrive, we early birds decided to have the Bodacious Cheese Platter ($29 for 5 types/$20 for 3 types) which was a lovely mix of blue cheese, Camembert, goat cheese, provolone and grana Padano, accompanied with fig jam, walnuts, raisins, figs and mini toast. A great starter, the cheese lovers among us had absolutely no complaints about this item.
When the rest eventually arrived, we first settled on three small plates for sharing, before each chose their own main course:
If you have a choice between French Fries ($8) or Truffle Fries ($10), go for the latter I always say. Nice, crispy and flavorful, this was delicious to munch.
It looks messy but the Crispy Wings Coated With Cajun BBQ Sauce ($10) was a good savory filler for those whose stomachs had started growling…
Finally, there was also the Ultimate Forest Roasted Cauliflower ($8), which is glazed with sweet garlic mayo and sprinkled with roasted sesame seeds. I never really fancy cauliflower but this was really good.
THE MAINS EVENT
A good thing of having a big crowd at dinner is that all can order different things (as much as possible) and then steal a bite from each other’s dishes. The main courses at Bodacious comprise mainly meat and seafood items, with a veggie item or two, ranging from $16 to $38.
The Iberico Pork Ribs ($21) sounds tempting and I was glad I ordered this as the baby pork ribs, served with coleslaw and salad, were savory and tender, with the meat easily coming off the bone. Its BBQ glaze was also just the right dash of sweetness and flavor.
The one who had the Linguini Vongole ($18) actually painstakingly removed all the clams from their shells before eating. However, despite being infused with white wine, chilli and parsley, the sauce was found wanting and the overall taste a tad salty.
The French-styled Duck Confit ($23), served with braised lentil tossed in foie gras butter and fresh green, actually looked good but the meat was not tender enough and could be better according to the one who partake of it.
She who had the pan-fried Sea Bass Steak ($19) with olive crust, served with corn puree and sauté green vegetable, found it nice enough although she deemed the small plates much more enjoyable in terms of taste.
The duo who shared the Bouillabaisse ($20) – a fish stew filled with fish, clam, prawn, and scallop served
with garlic toast – felt it tasted more like a seafood soup rather a stew. It’s not something I’d ever order so can’t comment…
The two who ordered the Scallop & Prawn Aglio Olio ($18) both felt that it wasn’t like a typical Aglio Olio. Although the taste wasn’t exactly bad, the dish was lacking the fragrance of garlic and olive oil.
Also, the presence of a parmesan crusted egg “added to the strangeness.”
After our mains shockingly, most of us still had room for desserts. Of course it also helped that we are all going to share a few choices and not have one whole dessert to ourselves.
For the eight of us, we thought ordering four desserts to share was justified:
First to arrive was the Classic Italian Tiramisu ($11) which was simply lovely with just the right amounts of cocoa, cream, sponge and rum. Yummilious!
The Dessert of the Day ($8) was an elongated peanut butter brownie served with vanilla ice cream which is actually quite nice.
The Salted Caramel & Chocolate Waffle ($11), served with vanilla ice cream and fruits, wasn’t too bad I thought but palate purists deemed it way too small, had too many fruits, and “where’s the chocolate ice cream?!” (The chocolate in its name refers to just the sauce topping apparently…)
Last but not least, there was the Chocolate Fondant ($11), a hot chocolate lava cake served with vanilla ice cream. It didn’t look appetizing when it arrived but once the “lava” oozed out, every bite was delicious and great.
All in all, the final bill cost an average of $36 person – from a range of $29++ to $42++ – which is quite decent except most felt the main courses could be better. Still, Bodacious has a nice ambience (both indoors and outdoors) and is still a recommended place for casual drinks and good bar snacks and desserts.
Bodacious is at 70 Biopolis Street, Singapore 138547. Opening hours: Mon-Thu 11am-10pm; Fri 11am-11pm; Sat 9am-10pm. Closed on Sundays & Public Holidays. Tel: 6778 9585