Movida’s reputation proceeds itself. I have heard about this place so many times over the years that it’s a wonder I had never visited before.
Melbourne’s Movida is tapas bar that embraces the essence of Spain. It began with Movida bar de tapas and has now expanded to three restaurants in the city: Movida bar de Tapas, Movida Next Door and Movida Aqui (where I dined). Warning: don’t make my mistake. I thought all three restaurants where in the same place, that is in Hosier Lane across from Federation Square. So there I was at Hosier Lane ready to plonk myself down for some delicious food and it turns out I’m in the wrong place. Movida Aqui is on the other side of the city on Bourke Street, take note!
Aqui has a great feel about it as soon as you walk in the door and some fantastic décor, I would describe it as funky meets functional; plenty of wooden surfaces and interesting lights. Aqui is much larger than the other two Movidas but it still retains an intimate feel.
We were ushered to our table and the menu was explained to us by a very friendly waiter. It is clear that all of the staff love working there. The food at Movida is purely tapas; lots of finger dishes which you can order singly or in multiples, then there are larger dishes designed to share, as well as paellas, and let’s not forget dessert (more on that later!).
My girlfriend and I ordered some individual tapas and then a dish to share. We had the potato bomba, the bocadillo de calamares, the smoked eel brandade and then shared the prawns cooked with chorizo and cider. It was more than enough for us, but considering our booking was at 9.30pm (due to the incredible demand!) we weren’t extremely hungry. Our food came out very quickly but was brought in waves, which is ideal for this style of dining. The bomba was a delicious little treat, not unlike an arancini ball except inside it’s filled with potato and chorizo. It was served with a spicy tomato sauce which certainly got my palette dancing. The calamari was also a yummy little treat. It looks like a miniature burger served on a pana di casa style miniature roll. They were a little heavy handed on the sauce for my liking (a garlic aioli) but other than that it was a yummy novel dish. My adventurous friend enjoyed her eel and described it as a subtle smoky seafood flavour. It was served on a pastry square with a quenelle dollop of the eel mouse. I would definitely be keen to try it next time. Our prawn dish was also great, the prawn and chorizo is an amazing flavour combination – they set off each other beautifully. You can see the full menu here.
Of course, since it was our first time dining at the famous Movida we thought we had better indulge in some dessert. We had the churros with chocolate dipping sauce, and I think it is safe to say that they were the nicest churros I have eaten – light and crisp, rather than stodgy, which they often are. The dipping sauce was a nice compliment, however it tasted as though it was made on cocoa powder rather than chocolate so didn’t quite have the richness I desired.
Overall, it was a great food experience. I loved the restaurant, the atmosphere and the food. Once again I have to give a 4/5.
Photos by Krissie.