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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Movida Spanish Restaurant

Located in Hosier Lane off Flinders Street and next to Swanton is Movida Spanish Restaurant. You would never guess there was a high rating restaurant there judging from the outside appearance. The restaurant sits in the lane opposite some very interesting but rather macabre graffiti.

Above: Some rather macabre graffiti opposite Movida

Inside, Movida has a comfortable feel to it. The room is buzzing with noise and the rich aromas hit me immediately as I stepped inside. The bar is filled with numerous bottles of Spanish wines. Some patrons are seated at the bar eating their tapas and racion (larger servings) while others are dining in the small adjoining room.

Above: A nice relaxed feel inside the restaurant

My friends and I had been waiting a month (it is an extremely small place and fully booked every weekend) to eat at Movida. The reputation, anticipation and expectation were high. I'm glad to say that Movida totally lived up to all three and was a wonderful dining experience.

After we were seated, the waitress immediately got us menus and water. I like restaurants that serve you water immediately, I think this should happen everywhere. She also gave us the wine menu and some time to decide what we wanted rather than ask immediately what we wanted to drink. All the wines were Spanish and we had no idea what was what. So we decided on the house wine and got the Pansanau Ceps Nous 2003 Red Wine. It turned out to have a very nice grape flavour and was very smooth.

Then we started to order all the different tapas and racion we wanted. The waitress was very professional while not being cold. She made a few jokes to lighten the mood but was very efficient as well. She was attentive without being overbearing and interrupting us all the time. Recently at one place, this waitress (she looked 15) interrupted us about 5 times with "So how is the food". How many times and ways can you say good? Experience really shows, with good establishments hiring experienced staff who make the dining experience so much better.

The Pulpo a la Gallega, Galician style octopus with kiphler potatoes & Spanish paprika was the first dish to arrive. The octopus was very tender and the potatos soft. The flavours on the octopus was very rich and it was very good.

Above: Pulpo a la Gallega, Galician style octopus with kiphler potatoes & Spanish paprika

The Tortilla de Patatas, Confit potato & onion omelette was nice and fluffy but wasn't too special. I have tasted better tortilla with more flavours.

Above: Tortilla de Patatas, Confit potato & onion omelette

The Embutido, Spanish smallgoods, including Angel Cardoso's jamon & salsichon was enjoyable. The salami type meats were nice but the ham was quite ordinary.

Above: Embutido, Spanish smallgoods, including Angel Cardoso's jamon & salsichon

The salted cod (I forgot the Spanish name) with blood orange and salad was a little too salty for my liking. The cod had a good firm texture and was cooked very well and when eaten with the blood orange gave a salty and sour burst in the mouth.

Above: Salt Cod with blood orange and salad

The Patatas a la Pobre, (Poor mans potatoes) slow cooked nicola potatoes with peppers & garlic was divine. I never knew pototoes could taste so nice. The potatoes were slightly crispy on the outside with the inside very soft. The potatoes also had some sort of sugar coating which made them a little bit sweet. Added with the sweetness of the roast peppers and the garlic flavours, it was a very tasty dish.

Above:Patatas a la Pobre, (Poor mans potatoes) slow cooked nicola potatoes with peppers & garlic

The Paella, seafood, chicken and calasparra rice was another triumph. The seafood in the fish, calamari, prawns and mussels added their rich sea flavour to the rice, which already had other flavourings in it that I couldn't identify beside the tomato flavour. The pan fried chicken added another dimension to the usual seafood paella dish. The rice was cooked to perfection, not still hard and lumpy like at a few other places I've had.

Above: Paella, seafood, chicken and calasparra rice

The slow cooked lamb (again, forgot to note the Spanish name) with vegetables and mint was beautifully done. The lamb literally fell apart and we used a spoon to break it up. It was juicy still and had a fairly strong lamb flavour without being overpowering.

Above: Slow cooked lamb with vegetables and mint


The two best savoury dishes of the night had to be the beef. The first dish, Cecina, Air cured beef thinly sliced with a truffle foam and poached egg was spectacular, even in small portions. The beef was wonderfully rich in flavour and the truffle foam so delicate in texture but strong in flavour. The slightly undercooked egg when broken oozed out like a volcano. Having a mouthful of the three flavours together was totally delicious. I don't know if I can do it justice with my description. This is a must have dish if you go to Movida.

Above: Cecina, Air cured beef thinly sliced with a truffle foam and poached egg

The seocnd beef dish was the Bistec, chargrilled grass fed moondarra wagyu porterhouse served on crushed garlic potato. We asked for the beef medium to well since some people didn't like to eat raw beef. However, unlike some places, the beef was cooked to perfection. The crispy exterior gave way to melt in your mouth soft meat inside. It was served simply with just potato, but as commented by everyone, the potatos were so delicious. Movida certainly know how to cook potatos. Quite a few dishes we ordered had potato but not once did the potato taste the same or was boring and there just to fill up the plate. The potato was always used to enhance the dish.

Above: Bistec, chargrilled grass fed moondarra wagyu porterhouse served on crushed garlic potato

For dessert, we all wanted to try everything so that's what we did, got every dessert and shared them. I have placed my personal preference for the desserts from least liked down the list to most liked.

The first dessert was the Churros, Rich hot drinking chocolate and Spanish doughnuts. The chocolate was rich but not too sweet so went down well. However, the Spanish doughnuts were not too good and tasted almost stale in my opinion.

Above: Churros, Rich hot drinking chocolate and Spanish doughnuts

The next dessert was the Apple cake (again forgot to note Spanish name. I think I should bring a note pad next time and take notes hahaha). The cake was ultra rich and sweet. It was also a bit dry and crumbly, which I didn't like too much. There was raisins and dates in the cake I think.

Above: Apple cake

The Helados de la Casa, Homemade ice-creams served with an almond biscuit was very good ice cream. The three flavours of ice cream were fig (top), honey and saffron (middle) and boysenberry (bottom). My favourite was the fig ice cream. The figs were dried and provided a strong flavour to the ice cream. The honey and saffron ice cream just tasted like honey ice cream. The slightly sour flavour of the boysenberry ice cream helped to break it all up. The chocolate almond biscuits were dark chocolate so again help to contrast with the sweetness of the ice cream. The sour cream foam thing though didn't work well for me. The sour cream just didn't blend well with the ice creams. I think just using nice rich regular cream would have been better.

Above: Helados de la Casa, Homemade ice-creams served with an almond biscuit

Fighting for my favourite dessert of the night but just narrowly losing out was the Ganache Caliente Con Turron, Hot chocolate ganache pudding with vanilla bean ice-cream and nougat. The pudding was crisp on the outside but rich smooth chocolate flowed out when it was broken. Eaten in one mouthful with the ice cream and nougat was such a taste sensation. The different textures and flavours swirled around in the mouth, but the chocolate pudding was definitely the star and you could taste the hot melted chocolate.

Above: Ganache Caliente Con Turron, Hot chocolate ganache pudding with vanilla bean ice-cream and nougat

So this brings us to my favourite dessert of the night. It was the Flan Con Pestinos, Creme caramel served with spiced sherry pastries. Creme caramel I hear you say, that's boring isn't it? Not when it's done well is what I say. Usually the caramel sauce is so overpowering that it spoils it. I'm not a big fan of caramel but this time it was subtle. The creme caramel itself was such a smooth texture and the right consistency. The egg flavour was very strong but there was some other flavour as well that I couldn't work out. I loved the creme caramel so much that I didn't even try the sherry pastry. I ate the majority of the creme caramel but everyone was very understanding as they know my love for a good dessert.

Above: Flan Con Pestinos, Creme caramel served with spiced sherry pastries

As you can guess, from my very long and extensive review of this restaurant, I thought it was excellent. For once, reputation and expectations were met. It might be a little restaurant located in a dark laneway, but no wonder people still know about it and book for weeks to come and eat. When the food is this good, the service done well and the atmosphere enjoyable, it's definitely worth waiting for. The price is also very fair for the quality of food you get.

Overall Rating: 17/20, The food and service were excellent. I'll definitely be going back as soon as possible.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20: Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.



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1 comment:

  1. FUCK MAN

    how much did you eat

    ReplyDelete