Having heard so much about the Movida restaurant in Sydney, I had put down one of Frank Camorra’s Melbourne children – Movida Next Door – as the first restaurant to visit during my brief weekend getaway to my favourite Australian city.
Located a short walk from Flinders Street Station, Movida is tucked away in the colourful Hosier Lane. We arrived around 6.30pm and there was already a small line. The maitre’d told us it would be about a 30 minute wait if we stood around the bar, which we were more than happy to do with a couple of sangrias.
I stared in fascination into the open kitchen and was rewarded with a cheeky wink from one of the chefs. I blushed when I realised I was staring too intensely and it was with relief when the maitre’d ushered us to our table, a high table tucked into the corner of the tiny tapas bar.
We had looked at the menu while we were standing and had been surprised at how little there was, but when the waitress came to give us water, she pointed to the blackboard circling the top of the bar with the specials of the day, all in Spanish. She proceeded to translate them for us, and of course as soon as she finished describing one item we forgot what the one before that was. I think it may be a bit more productive to have a small print-out of the daily specials available when the menus are handed out at the table, as unauthentic as it may be! But we made a few selections and settled back to nibble on our bread and olive oil.
The food arrived efficiently and fast, the first being the Anchoa ($5.50 each): Anchovy with Goats Curd, Capers and Tomato Gazpacho Jelly.
A tasty, crispy little morsel it was gone within seconds!
Next up to the bat were two Bombas ($4.80 each): Chorizo-filled Catalan Potato Bomb with a Spicy Sauce.
Perfectly crunchy on the outside and filled with creamy potato on the inside, however it was quite lacking in chorizo and the sauce didn’t even register on the spice level for me (which is something considering my chilli sensitivity).
The other menu items that arrived were from the blackboard menu and unfortunately I had forgotten to note down the prices. But first of the daily specials was the Viera: seared scallops with a fennel puree.
Perfectly seared scallops and wonderfully creamy puree, garnished with a flavoursome drizzle of olive oil. No complaints here.
The Gambas was also cooked well, being tiger prawns with a green mojo sauce. We just wish there were more than just three on a plate.
The Bistec: flat-iron steak with spicy capsicum puree took a while to arrive and when we enquired after it, we were informed in a very serious tone that it was seared before being placed in a water bath to slowly cook and that was why it was taking its time.
Tasty, charred and topped with caramelised onion, it was a pretty darn good steak and one of the better ones I’ve tasted.
Still feeling somewhat peckish, we decided to go for dessert. The Goat’s Milk Cheesecake with Blackberry Sorbet ($13.50) could have done with better plating, but otherwise tasted spot on:
While the Churros Con Chocolate ($12)’s drinking chocolate was spiked with a hint of warm cinnamon and perfect for dipping the long churros into.
We eventually decided to finish up as we saw the growing line at the doorway. The bill arrived in a charming little book with the signature Movida business cards.
Overall, the food was tasty and packed punchy flavours for the small sizes that it arrived in. It probably is one of the more expensive tapas restaurants I’ve been to, and I’m not sure I would come again if I were looking for value for my money from the sizes that were served. Service was slightly on the overly-brisk-and-efficient side, but considering the popularity of the enterprise and that it was a Friday night, it was probably to be expected.
Movida Next Door
1 Hosier Lane,
Melbourne, VIC 3000
(03) 9663 3038