Thursday, May 24, 2012
Movida Next Door, Melbourne
I have such a love/hate relationship with restaurants that don't take bookings. When we were in Melbourne earlier this year, Chin Chin was high on the 'to eat' list. I knew we'd have to arrive early but when we showed up before 6pm we were told that we could have a table for 2 at 10.30! Whaaaat?! Quickly escaping, I remembered that Movida Next Door was around the corner, where we were quickly seated by a lovely waiter and within minutes had glasses of sangria in our hands. Much better.
The restaurant is cozy but as it quickly filled up had a great atmosphere. I liked sitting by the window and watching the hustle and bustle of Flinders Street. I'm going to start by saying that all the food was just great. I cant believe that over my many many trips to Melbourne over the years, that this was my first time at Movida. And ironically, our visit happened on the same day that we had lunch at Paco's Tacos, Frank Camorra's newest venture (which was great - I promise I'll share more on that soon!) It just makes me even more excited that there are plans underway for a Movida in Sydney. Oh yes, it's about time.
We started with some tapas and then moved on to Raciones - larger dishes to share between two - all the while our Sangria glasses never ran dry. The Bomba were delicious bites of potato and chorizo fried and served with a spicy sauce. I could have eaten ten.
I loved the Chorizo and Fried Padron Pepper sandwich, not only were they totally cute, but it was an explosion of flavours that worked really well together. It was definitely not the most ladylike thing to eat but entirely worth the messy fingers. I was actually expecting it to be a little more spicy because of the whole peppers inside but it was just fine for my generally pathetic chilli tolerance level.
My sister loved the Chicken Skewers, which had been cooked traditionally over charcoal. The meat was tender, flavoursome and perfectly cooked. It's such a simple dish and a simple technique but this one of our favourites of the evening.
In addition to the menu, there are also daily blackboard specials that highlight seasonal ingredients. This dish came from there so I can't quite remember the description, but there was baby corn with chilli and these huge prawns that were sweet and meaty.
I'm going to call this dish a win for Team Eggplant, because Beth claims she hates eggplant and yet ended up enjoying these battered eggplant chips. And they were really really good - crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. I was almost sad to have to share them!
The churros were, as you'd expect, out of this world. The chocolate sauce was so rich and thick it coated the crispy churros beautifully (and what was leftover Beth ate with a spoon!) I have the recipe in one of my books and will have to try it out for myself very soon.
We really enjoyed the meal and I thought it was pretty great value. I can't believe it took me quite so long to visit. Next trip I'll definitely book into the real Movida and the new Movida Bakery!
Movida Next Door, Hosier Lane Melbourne (03) 9663 3038
Movida Next Door, Melbourne