29 September 2010
Movida @ 1 Hosier Lane, Melbourne

MoVida is undeniably Melbourne’s premier Spanish restaurant. At the helm of Frank Camorra, MoVida serves up the tastiest tapas and racions that you will find in this city. It really is no surprise that a five week wait for a table on a Saturday night is considered the norm at this establishment.
As my taste buds were longing for MoVida all day, the notorious difficulty of acquiring a table did not deter me from casually strolling into the restaurant on this early Wednesday evening without a reservation.  I was in luck. As I was promptly led to the row of empty seats at the bar, I looked around in amazement as I had never seen MoVida in such a vacant state. Granted the restaurant didn’t exactly have the buzz of a Saturday night, but when you set out to get your MoVida fix, atmosphere really does become secondary.

I began with the Croqueta. As I sank my teeth through the crispy crumbed layer of the fried croquette, I unleashed the silky smooth mashed potato within that had been beautifully flavoured with egg and jamon.

The Mojama soon arrived. The almond notes from the almond milk jelly and roasted almonds worked superbly with the air cured tuna. Unfortunately, there was an insufficient amount of almond milk jelly to counteract the saltiness of the entire piece of tuna. Towards the end of the dish, I was cringingly eating my way through the rest of the tuna, trying to convince myself that I was eating more than just mouthfuls of salt.

The next dish to arrive was one of the specials of the night - calamari stuffed with pork mince finished off with a splash of squid ink and olive oil. This dish certainly does not deserve to occupy a permanent space on the MoVida menu. The texture of the calamari fell on the tough side and unlike most of the items at MoVida, the pork mince was noticeably under seasoned.
However, my spirits were lifted when the Cecina arrived. The Cecina is a dish containing slices of air dried wagyu, a poached egg and truffled potato foam. I was thrilled to see the return of this dish to the menu as it was sadly absent on my last visit. The combination of flavours in this dish is out of this world. The saltiness of the wagyu is superbly mellowed out by the creamy runny egg yolk, and then as a whole, it is enhanced by the aromatic truffle notes. The Cecina is clearly one of the most mouthwatering dishes available at MoVida, or anywhere else for that matter. It was a great way to finish off the meal.

The first time I visited MoVida, I was simply blown away by the excitement that followed each bite. Although the wow factor has been somewhat lost with subsequent visits, the enticing bold flavours keep bringing me back. After reading this review, you may draw the conclusion that MoVida lacks consistency. However, I honestly think , or at least I hope, that tonight was just an aberration.  

Food: 6.5
Service: 6
Value: 6.5
Overall: 6.5


MoVida Bar de Tapas on Urbanspoon

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