Saturday, November 17, 2012

Movida, Melbourne

Movida has been on my Melbourne wish list FOREVER! Even before I had a proper wish list I had wanted to go to Movida (blame Masterchef and the episode where chef/owner Frank Camora was beaten by Maid Marion). I love Spanish cuisine and most of all I LOVE Tapas. Combine that with a restaurant that is tucked away in a graffiti laden Melbourne lane way = perfection!

The problem with wanting to go somewhere for so long is the worry that when you finally get there  will may not live up to your wild expectations.  I had big BIG expectations of Movida so it was going to have to work extra hard to blow my socks off!

The restaurant is less casual than I was expecting, but I love the decor - lots of concrete, wood + warm lighting.  We were given some bread with lovely olive olive to start with.  The Boy then kicked things off we our new favourite beer - Mortiz, and I had a glass of grapefruit with soda.  I normally don't like beer too much but I drank quite a few Moritz whilst in Melbourne. Mortizing in Melbs.

We started our dinner by ordering a whole bunch of Tapa - which are priced per piece. Everything was really tasty, really lovely - but the serves are quite small so I was still hungry at the end of the night.  In hindsight I should've ordered a few more larger dishes (also know as RACIONES here) and a few less Tapas. Hindsight is 20:20 isn't it?

We started with their most famous dish - ANCHOA ($4.50 each) which is a hand-filleted Anchovy on Crouton with Smoked Tomato Sorbet.  Loved this A LOT - the smokiness and the saltiness were perfect for my taste buds and the sorbet was a amazing - quite smoky in flavour, and the coolness really refreshing.  We always order ACEITUNAS ($7.00) - marinated Green olives with Citrus, Garlic and Thyme - when we see them on the menu. They are perfect for picking at whilst waiting impatiently for other dishes to arrive.

There was a bit of a wait for the CABALLA AHUMADO ($5.50 each) - Cold Smoked Spanish Mackerel with Pine Nut Gazpacho Sorbet - but it arrived in a cast iron pot with a flourish of steam when the little lid is lifted. So flavoursome!  The Boy didn't have the QUESO MANCHEGO ($4.50 each) - imported Aged Manchego Sheep’s Milk Cheese with Quince Paste - which is a shame as it was one of my favourite dishes of the night. The Quince paste around the creamy, lush goats cheese was crispy - a nice textural surprise.

Whilst I enjoyed my QUESO MANCHEGO  The Boy was saving tummy space for a serve of CHURROS ($11.00) - long Spanish Doughnuts served with a rich Drinking Chocolate that was quite mousse-like in texture.

The OREJA ($3.50) - crispy pig's ear with compressed apple - was a surprise as I was expecting the pig's ear to be similar to the shards of hard crackling "chips" I had at Sydney's (now deceased) District Dining. The Movida offering was instead flat and had a texture similar to a more dense prawn cracker, though more chewy. I "think" compressed apple means the fruit has been soaked in alcohol - or an elephant had sat on it. Either/Or really - you decide. Our last Tapa for the evening is an amazingly fresh morsel of ATUN ($4.00) - sashimi grade Brincho Tuna with Piquillo Pepper. This was amazing - the tuna is so fresh it melts like butter on the tongue and the piquillo pepper gives the tuna a tiny bit of heat. Perfection.

I cannot seem to go past Steak Tartare whenever I see it on a menu these days.  Two years ago I wouldn't touch the stuff. No Thank You! When you think about what it is - raw marinated beef - it's can be a bit...gag-worthy, but man, it is OH SO GOOD! Good tartarte is soft and tender and the texture is like eating a really great piece of fresh sashimi.  We both enjoyed the BISTEC TARTAR DE WAGYU ($18.50) - spicy Steak Tartare of Raw, Grass-fed Wagyu Beef. I loved the salty, crispy crackers that accompanied the tartare - a good texture balance.

So did Movida live up to my dream.  That's a toughy, but I'd mostly say YES. I thought the food was inventive and tasty, really tasty - but I wanted MORE of it.  I loved the layout and decor of the restaurant - it felt warm and welcoming. Some of the staff were really friendly - which seems to be the norm in Melbourne, but I felt a that some of the staff were a bit...abrupt (didn't they know this was my special night)?  Would I go back...yes, but next time I really want to go to Movida Next Door (adding it to the

Movida is at 1 Hosier Lane, Melbourne. They take bookings *happy dance* so call them on (03) 9663 3038.

MoVida Bar de Tapas on Urbanspoon


  1. Sounds & looks pretty amazing, sometimes big expectations can be tricky to manage, I suffer from this whenever I write a 'big city' wishlist! I love your photos of the lane...and the food of course!

  2. We just had the Anchoa at the Sydney restaurant! Totally wish we were in melbourne to have the oven roasted mushrooms though :(

  3. Yay that you finally got there and that it lived up to expectations! Everything looks super delicious :D

  4. The last time I was in Movida Melbourne was more than 2 years ago, but it was still such a memorable, foodgasmic experience! We had the paella and it was AMAZING!

  5. This one's in my list too. Food looks great but, as you said, smallish.

  6. I found that with some of the staff at the Sydney branch, some were awesome but some were a bit standoffish but not rude, just not warm. And in Melbourne, service is usually great so I'm sure it stands out even more!

  7. Haven't been to Movida for ages! Good to hear the quality is still up, and your pictures of the food is absolutely mouthwatering, but I do agree that tapas can be a bit hard to fill up on if you don't order well. Fortunately not so bad if you're with a bunch of girls, but my guy friends always complain about how unsatisfying tapas is!

  8. I've wanted to go here since forever (like you!) and we missed out last time cos we didn't read the opening times right. Hoping to check it out when we go next week!! Looks so nommy omggg

  9. So glad it lived up to expectations! Food looks awesome. I am yet to visit the one in Sydney, is on the 'to eat' list.

  10. The menu sure looks a bit different. Guess I'm still going to make a visit!


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