FOLLOWING your advice (Sunday Morning Post Magazine, October 17), I went to La Bodega with a friend. Having lived in Spain, I had read with interest your report and was looking forward to a fun evening of tapas, fondue and good music. To be on the safe side, I called to reserve a table. On arriving, we were sent upstairs where we were assigned a small table against the wall. My friend and I could not sit across from each other, as we had expected, but had to sit next to each other. One look at the bar made me wonder where the tapas had gone: in Spain, the tapas are lined up along the bar. I was told that, contrary to your claim, the tapas were in the kitchen, and should be ordered like any other food at any other restaurant. The fun of tapas is that, as you have a drink at the bar, you take your plate and fill it up with whatever fits your fancy. Well, let's order a fondue then. Fondue is prepared for groups of four and, from 'back in the kitchen', we were told that it was not possible to prepare a fondue for two. I still wonder at the difficulty of splitting a prepared fondue portion for four people into two. I was embarrassed to have brought a friend to a place that was well below (published) expectations, after having shared my enthusiasm about Spanish food. Still, we managed to have a pleasant evening while waiting for the 'strolling band [that]adds authenticity'. We did see the band (comprising authentic Filipinos) taking a break at the bar on the first floor. On our way out, we finally saw the band perform in front of a room half-filled with diners. But that was for those fortunate enough to be seated on the street level. Why we were sent upstairs when there were plenty of available tables downstairs where the band played and where the atmosphere was warmer, I do not know. What I would like to know, however, is whether you visited the restaurant and whether you tried the food? Unless you send your reporters in teams of four, how could you have tried the fondues? As a newspaper, you have a mandate to provide the public with accurate information. FRANCIS PIRON, Hong Kong. G.A. McElney, of La Bodega, replies: As we have only just started fondues, we have made it initially our policy to serve them only to groups of four or more. While tapas is served from the bar in Spain, we have not endeavoured to do this since opening and do not claim to be authentic in this respect. Our tapas is prepared by Filipinos, as they have a close ethnic associations with Spain. Our band is Filipino and provides a lively interpretation of Spanish music when requested. Waisik replies: We visited La Bodega in a group of five to sample the fondue and, as reported, enjoyed both the food and the restaurant's ambience. A review is a personal opinion and one with which we appreciate not everyone will agree. That is one of the reasons we have started this column - to hear your recommendations, your advice, your gripes. Send your letters to Feedback, Sunday Morning Post Magazine, GPO Box 47, Hong Kong, or fax 565-1423.