November 22, 2008


Dining Date: November 2008

2009 Rating: 63th

2009 Star rating: 1

Chef: Frank Camorra

Location: 1 Hosier Lane, Melbourne

Being a Melbourne local is a little bit spoiling when it comes to good food. We have ample options to pick from, not only in number, but also in diversity. MoVida has been a corner stone of great Spanish cooking for some time, and once I had read their entry in Gourmet Traveller, I just HAD to eat there.

I had heard that getting a table at MoVida was a little bit difficult, so when I called to make a reservation I was expecting some advance planning. Even with having this piece of information, I was still surprised to learn that the earliest I could get a table was 8 weeks from my first call. Of course, I did not hesitate, if I procrastinated about it I probably would have had to wait a whole month longer, and I was already hungry!!

Having this very long build up could have resulted in two outcomes, I could build such hype and anticipation around it that I would be deeply disappointed at the end or all my expectations would be fulfilled. I am glad to report the latter scenario was true.

Image from MoVida website

Daz and I got ourselves ready for the night. From time to time we like to make ourselves look presentable, not always the norm, but I was very glad we did in the end. Even though the atmosphere at MoVida is very laid back and informal, on this particular night it was Derby day. And it being spring carnival in Melbourne, there were scary high heels and feather fascinators everywhere! It was an added bonus though, it was highly entertaining to see all the pretty ladies in beautiful dresses, walking down the street very drunk and shoeless. Sorry, I correct myself they did have shoes, they were just not on their feet. Classy.

Anyway, back to MoVida. We were seated at a table towards the middle next to a wall, with a view of the bar and obscured view of the kitchen. As soon as I sat down I noticed something horribly wrong. My chair was wonky!! This must have been the most unlevel chair in all of Melbourne. I begun to stress and worry, how could I enjoy my meal if I was going to be sea sick. With much complain and whining Daz finally convinced me to say something to the waiter. It was only at the very second I had mentioned the problem to the waiter did I realize that the floor was a brick paved surface, and a slight shuffle to the left completely fixed the problem. Can anyone say drama queen?? We ordered some drinks and the embarrassment was behind us.
We ordered Sangria to have with our meal, it came in a lovely ceramic jug. It was spicy and sweet without being too overpowering. A great way to wash down the tapas dishes. Unfortunately we didn’t take photos of all the dishes we had. But I do have a list of the ones we tried.

Croqueta - Fried silky croquette flavoured with leek and mahon cheese
Pimiento de piquillo con ajoarriero - Piquillo pepper filled with salt cod and potato
Vieira, jamon y espuma - Half shell scallop oven baked with jamon and potato foam
Costilla con sobrasada - Roasted lamb cutlet encased in a Catalan pork & paprika pate
Cigarillo - Baby leek wrapped in Brik pastry served with a chicken liver parfait
San Jacobo de Cordonice - Hunter Valley quail, partial boned, crumbed, and filled with jamon and mahon cheese

Cecina - Air cured wagyu beef thinly sliced with a truffle foam and poached egg
Mejillones en gazpachuelo - Mussels steamed and served in a warmwhite gazpacho sauce

Flan con pestinos - Creme caramel served with spiced sherry pastries
Ganache caliente con turron - Hot chocolate ganache pudding with vanilla bean ice-cream and nougat

I'll only talk about two of the dishes, as they were all sublime and there would not be enough words to discribe them all with justice.

The cigarillo was a great tapas dish. When they say baby leek, this was a real BABY leek. It was tiny, it must have only just sprouted out of the ground before they harvested it for this dish, and thank goodness they did! Wrapped in the crispy pastry it was wonderful to dip into the rich parfait. My mouth is watering just remembering the taste. Before having this dish, Daz was not a real fan of anything with liver in it, not to say the least anything pate like. Since that experience I can safely say he will eat anything that is pate-esque. It amazing to see an event or in the case and taste experience that can change someone’s opinion so dramatically. We loved this dish so much we had to order another before our dessert came out!

Air cured waygu with a truffle foam and poached egg

For a racion dish, Daz ordered the air cured waygu. I'm not the biggest fan of waygu. I can understand why some people are and I do agree that it is a unique flavour, but I'm not MAD for it. Daz on the other hand is a crazy fanatic. The whole reason he ordered it was because 1. it had waygu in it, and secondly because it had truffles in it. There's only one thing that beats waygu and that’s truffles, but that’s a whole other story. But boy was I glad he ordered it.

The waygu was thinly sliced almost like a prosciutto, but 1000 times more tasty. The egg was slightly cooked, so that once you burst it the creamy filling of the egg poured all over the meat. Once you picked up a slice of the meat you could drench it in a healthy covering of egg and a dollop of foam. The warm egg and oily meat worked wonders together. I almost find it impossible to describe. Other than to tell you to make a booking now and save your stomach over the next two months for this delight.
Front door of MoVida on Hosier Lane

On the way out of MoVida, I thought it would be a good idea to take a photo of the outside. That’s when I noticed the mural of the 'pimping cat'. If you look at the cat closely, he's wearing a red top hat, has a walking stick and a very long colourful coat on. I must say, he looks ultra cool and I can't help to wonder if his "girls" are just around the corner.


Lucy said...

Hi Maria,

Isn't MoVida great? I took a visiting friend there for a lunch a few months ago, propped up at the bar, and I must say, that quick meal - a selection of dairy-free (for her) and aquatarian (for me) tapas - has stayed with me. Gorgeous restaurant. Beautiful food.

Lovely to have found your blog. Good luck on getting through that 100 - I'll be back to track your success!

Maria said...

Thanks Lucy!!

MoVida was great!! We want to go back for my birthday, but I don't think we can reservation in such short notice. Maybe next year

8 down, 92 to go!! Hopefully I'll keep you entertained along the way. Thanks for leaving a great and inspiring comment!