I knew about the reputation of MoVida. I even have Frank Camorras’ cookbook, MoVida Rustica but when I managed to grab a last minute table there I never imagined I would love it quite so much.
It was my last day for a Melbournian lunch. I had a few places on my list to try but MoVida was the first. At 1pm the place was packed. Did I want to come back in 45minutes, you bet ya. As soon as I walked into the place it exuded an unpretentious cool atmosphere. Dim lighting, a long timber bar, relaxed music and people looking like they are having a good time. I was back bang on 45mins.
I couldn’t go past trying the hand filleted Cantabrian artisan anchovies on croutons with smoked tomato sorbet ($4.50 each). The crispy toast and anchovy were warm enough to take the cold sorbet. I really did imagine myself on a hot Spanish day sitting in a outside a tapas bar.
As I waited for my next tapas to come out from the kitchen, which is open to the dining room via a large window, I sipped on a 2009 Paco and Lola Albarino ($13). Next to come out was a special of the day sea urchin and goats curd crostini. The crostini was warm, providing gentle heat to the curd and sea urchin. It’s a small touch that makes so much difference to the taste of a dish.
Two beautiful pieces of Pyrenees wet roast lamb with fino and paprika sauce ($4.50 each). They fell apart at the touch and I felt like I was melting into my chair and never wanting to leave. By this time I had stepped up to a 2008 DJP Petalos Mencia ($17). A Spanish wine elegant enough to glide me through the rest of my meal.
I was starting to become full but I was determined to eat more. It was just that good. It was suggested by the waitress I try the Cecina, an award winning dish of air-dried wagu beef with poached egg and truffle foam ($19.50). The advice was to mix the ingredients together let them sit together for a few moments to let the flavours mingle and then indulge. It was like the best ever brunch dish you could come up with. The runny egg with soft potato, strong beef with a hit of black truffle.
I thought a full dessert would really do me in so I asked for the selection of cheese ($22). They were two Spanish cheeses, a firm Bica and the blue, a Valdeon, both very fine cheeses. Bica means ‘bag of cheese’ and is a buttery mix of goat, cow and sheeps milk. The Valdeon is a smooth creamy well rounded earthy blue cheese. I had a taste of each and hit the wall. Lucky for me the waiter pinched some foil from the kitchen so I could stash the cheese in my bag to enjoy later.
I LOVE MOVIDA. I’m just thankful it’s in Melbourne otherwise I would have a permanent seat at the bar.