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