Planning for our trip to Melbourne we forgot to book MoVida. And naturally when I phoned up whilst in Melbourne I was informed the restaurant was booked out for 12 weeks! TWELVE WEEKS! Ahhhh I can’t say I was surprised but I was disappointed. And although we would have loved to hang around for twelve weeks eating our way through Melbourne unfortunately work was calling us back to Sydney. Yet I was determined to experience Frank Camorra’s Spanish empire in some form or another, so on our very last morning in Melbourne the plan of attack was clear – check out of the hotel and wait for MoVida Next Door, which doesn’t take bookings, to open. Not knowing how busy the bar would get at lunch time on a Friday we arrived right on opening to secure our table. We were seated in the front window overlooking Flinders Street and Federation Square which not only gave us a little corner all to our own, but also allowed us to ‘people watch’ as pedestrians and traffic flowed past the window. Tapa and people watching, a brilliant way to while away a Friday afternoon.
Scallop (special) – scallop ceviche, garlic chives ($4.50 each).
Reading the menu our decisions were really what we would go without rather than what took our fancy. Dylan and I just love scallops so there was no way we were passing these up. My first thought as they arrived at the table was how beautiful the scallops looked and how pristine the shells. The perfect mildly sweet scallop was a great start to the meal.
Croqueta – fried croqueta with wild mushrooms ($3.50 each).
Croqueta will never be the most attractive looking food, but knowing how moreish they are will always see me ordering a plate. Golden, crunchy and piping hot just as any good fried food should be, but it was the creamy mushroom centre that really won me over. Delish!
Bravas – crispy fried potatoes with spicy brava sauce ($11.00).
Bravas is not a dish that sits too well with a condiment hater like me. I usually manage to avoid the sauce by stealing all of the potatoes not drenched in brava and leave the rest of my table to delight in what they believe is saucy goodness. Unluckily for me, MoVida covered nearly all of the potatoes with brava and I couldn’t avoid it this time around. The potatoes themselves were gorgeous, but I didn’t love the sauce. The dish may have disappeared before we had a chance to take a photo, but for once I was not solely responsible.
Periwinkles (special) – baked with garlic, butter and fried bread crumbs ($14.50).
I’m not sure if I have ever had periwinkles? Sure I have had ‘snails’ when travelling through France, but I never asked questions about what I was eating and from a quick google search I think I must have eaten ‘land snails’ whilst the periwinkle is a sea snail. Dylan on the other hand has never actually had snails of any description so we were intrigued when they arrived at the table, perched on sea salt to stop them toppling off the plate. Much like the snails I have had previously, they were camouflaged by the crunchy breadcrumbs and buttery garlic topping with a little sprinkling of parsley. I just adore garlic and I really enjoyed these.
Pollo en adobo – paprika chicken skewer, grilled on charcoal ($7.00 each).
The chicken skewers were served on the world’s longest skewers! The meat was well cooked and had a lovely paprika seasoning, though I must admit I was expecting more from this dish.
Bistec – Black Angus rump cap char grilled with cauliflower and almonds ($16.00).
Ooooh I am drooling just thinking about the beef, it was definitely the best course of the meal. The Black Angus was seasoned and cooked just to my liking with a lovely amount of char on the edges and a juicy pink centre. The cauliflower and flaked roasted almonds brought a wonderful nutty flavour to the succulent beef. We could have eaten another plate of this if we weren’t so full!
Pincho de tortilla – organic egg potato and onion tortilla ($4.50 each).
Almost bursting I just had to make room for the tortilla. It was the fluffiest tortilla I have ever had, soft potato and a nice amount of onion so as not to overpower the other flavours. Retrospectively we probably should have finished our meal with the beef as I don’t think we really got to appreciate the tortilla with such full bellies.
Watching the drizzle turn to rain, we made a dash for the car and realised our Melbourne adventures had come to a close and it was time to head back to reality. Our last meal in Melbourne was thoroughly enjoyable and whilst we felt the service could have been a little better, the quality produce and beautiful flavours will draw us back. Who knows, next time we might actually get in to the original MoVida!
MoVida Next Door
Cnr Flinders Street and Hosier Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9663 3038
MoVida Next Door Website