Thursday, October 20, 2011

Movida - (Melbourne)

  Movida,  the original Tapas only bar.    It is synonymous with being an Australian-Spanish icon and pioneer,  cookbooks have been printed and it has recently become 2 Hatted by the local The Age Good Food Guide, which together wth it’s separate sister restaurant “Movida Aqui” has also become the recipient of a deserved 1 hatted status.   In fact I like their other 1 Hatted Movida Aqui shop better as they serve a more comprehensive Spanish dining experience,  offering seasonal but traditional Spanish regional dishes and often done right up there with Spanish standards.   Spanish cuisine is not always classified between traditional nor the nouvelle avant garde style I guess,   it covers a whole wide spectrum and spiritually always remains competitive and forever evolving,  which is why it often features at the forefront of the culinary trend year after year!     The original Movida over here at Hosier Lane is found just off the foodies trail of Flinders Lane and has always been a through and through Tapas bar, with the menu expectedly limited to small appetizers and a few raciones plates.   This Movida out of the 3 or 4 Movidas in town  is more like a bar than a proper Spanish restaurant,  same can be said with the even simpler Movida Next Door 2nd Installment situated right next to here which does more seafood.   Tapas bars are logically not truly representative of all Spanish cuisines,  just as Izakayas are not representational of the whole of Japanese cuisine,  nor are Yum Cha dim sums in Cantonese Chinese restaurants.   This casual joint happens to be one of the dedicated Tapas and Raciones only Spanish bar,  and it is done pretty well considering its intents.  The rest of the missing Spanish formula is supposed to be covered by their newer Movida Aqui outpost.. 

P1200565-1Hosier Lane,  the original Movida store out of the 3 or 4 spawning outlets -
all with different menus.   This is the tapas bar experience Movida.  If you want a full on Spanish restaurant experience,  don’t come here or go to Movida Next Door right next to here… go directly to Movida Aqui on Bourke Street,  which serves bigger portions of Spanish food.




Spanish Mineral Water -
Glad that they bothered to import these Solares to replicate the full experience!
Rather than making do with just local Australian or Italian replacements.  *Note: Transportation & carbon footprint issues aside,  which I am still evaluating in my mind : )

Moritz Beer -
Cerveza imported from Spain.   Never drank it before when I was over there Confused smileWith a Sherry in the background.


Bread -
You get bread anywhere you travel in Europe.  For free.  How was this?   Right up there with European standards,  but if this was served in Hong Kong,  it’s probably served a bit too cold.  Well HK is not Europe and Australia!

Anchoa Tapa -  Hand Filleted Cantabrian Artisan Anchovy on crouton,
Capers and Smoked Tomato Sorbet -  $4.5 each
I have already had this 4 times in the Movida stable restos and this definitely deserves to be a signature starter.  The Anchoa used is a little too salty for a typical Spanish anchoa (not the fresher boquerones I’m comparing with either).  This was closer to Italian anchovy in taste.  However the very smoky and slightly sweetish tomato sorbet offsets this really well.  I think I prefer the anchoas I bought from Spain myself a little bit more,  but those artisanal ones are a few times more expensive,  if u get what I’m hinting at *wink wink*.  As in,  use better anchoas in the dish please!   ~   8/10


Pollo Escabeche Al Miguel -
Spiced Chicken Escabeche on Crisp Crouton.  This has always been a must order but it’s a little too mayo like in exectuion.   ~  6.5/10

La Goya Manzanilla Sherry -
This is just off-dry and a must order when it comes to pairing with Jamon or tapas in general,
as it is such an Andalusian thing..


Jamones - Carrasco Paletilla,  Iberico de Bellota Aged 24 months $28.50
The paletilla front leg of an Iberian pig is under-rated compared to the more expensive hind legs.  I’ve had these so many times and can confidently say that the front leg quite often has better interlaced marbling as well as delicate flavours.  This Paletilla was even better than the one I bought twice at Jamonisimo in Barcelona,  which is a top grade Jamon specialist (boasting of selling separate muscles and various DNA or regional pigs, etc).   This was melt in the mouth stuff,  machine sliced across-the-grain rather than hand sliced along-the-grain is a factor,  but the pig selection itself was excellent.  Full of acorn, lard and pigs flavour.  Probably one of the best Jamons around and inclusive of Jamon hind legs I’ve tasted…   Amazing quality   ~   10/10



Jamones #2 - Carrasco Paletilla, Iberico de Bellota Aged 24 months $28.50
Another revisit saw this ham to be sliced slightly more thicker, and carrying slightly more fat.  Still decent but not as good as the above dish ~  8.5/10

Croquetas de Choco Con Su Tinta -  $4.00 each
Squid ink croquettes are topped with a thin slice of fairly fresh cuttlefish,  with an eggy aioli sauce on the side.   This tapa is not out of this world in recipe but it tasted great and is right up there with Spain’s standards.   Enjoyable ~    9/10

Bunuelos de Bacalao Con Pil-Pil -  $4.50 each
Different from a croqueta this has less potato and more of a dough ball.  Filled with a slightly salty Bacalao cod with the ubiquitos Spain-Basque style Pil Pil fish based sauce!   On the taste bud this might not register much at all,  but the savoury Bunuelos balls and the sauce was a culinary feat ~   10/10


Atun – House Preserved Bonito with Piquillo Pepper and Brik Pastry -  $4.50 Each
A slightly ‘too preserved’ of a bonito 鰹魚, if  using Asian standards.  But using Spanish standards this is how it should be presented,  flaky and appearing already cooked on the surface.   The brik pastry wasn’t really brik in texture though.   I liked the piquillo sauce coating nonetheless.   Liked this but appeared a little too expensive for the small portioning!  ~    7/10



Wagyu Cecina,  with Poached Egg and Truffle Foam -  $19.50
Unlike the Madrid much drier style air cured beef,  this was relatively less aged in house to retain its natural textural,  flavour and marbling.   This along with the above Anchoa with Smoked Tomato sorbet is probably the other most talked about Signature tapa,  and one most probably won’t even find this quality in Spain!   I thought the Cecina on this occasion was saltier than in the past,  but the poached egg balanced this off and the unmistakable truffled potato foam worked with this together like fitting gloves.   You can also get cecina in Estudio in HK,  but that will never compare to the wagyu version here…  *This dish is not available at Movida Aqui outlet  ~    10/10


Agridulce Con Pato – Slow Cooked Duck Shank with Hazelnuts, Raisins and Onions $11.50
Well executed but nothing too extraordinary compared to the best of Spanish food in Spain.  Decent ~   7/10

Cordero Al Chilindron -  $4.50
Whatever the name means,  but it is a Northern Spain inspired dish!  It says in English Pyrenees Wet Roasted Lamb Bread with fino sherry and paprika sauce… but the lamb is sourced locally not from Basque country.  Yet this was cooked really well but to an Australian interpretation as it’s missing the traditional Tomato-y sauce.  It would be good if Movida pointed this out to be slightly Australianised,  even if it is better than the ol recipe. I thought this was cheating a little bit.  ~ 8/10

Codornice –  Pressed Quail and Morcilla with Apple & Pickled Garlic $5.50 Each
The apple turned out to be a puree and is eaten with a crispy toast.  The quail was grilled nicely,  but the house made morcilla as tasted in their other Movida Aqui was too weak in real morcilla taste,  compared to many other restos and cafes in town.   This could be improved.   This could have been a real winner if done perfectly!    ~ 7.5/10

Churros -  Spanish Doughnuts with Rich Drinking Chocolate $11.50
I like how the description here says it comes with a drinking chocolate rather than a mere dip,  as this is how it is to be appreciated in Spain!   The hot chocolate nevertheless came with earless cups,  which seems to be the norm outside of Spain as everything becomes inverted as to their importance -  Churros outside of Spain is treated more like a dessert,  whereas in Spain the Hot Chocolate is like the major congee and the main character,  to be supplemented with fried Churros!    Weird indeed but look up Churros in Spain and you’ll know what I mean.   The ones here were slightly below the level fried at sister shop Movida Aqui for some reason,  over there they were less oily and soft and much more immaculate !   ~    6.9/10





Price: AUD $40 - 60 per person
Score:  ♕♕♕♕♕ (Overall too Salty, even saltier than food in Spain itself which is renowned for being heavily seasoned)

Opening Hours -
Mon to Sun -  Noon to late until 11pm-ish from experience.

Address:  1 Hosier Lane, Melbourne CBD
Ph:  (03) 9663 3038 ,  try booking through their annoying robotic line system!

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...