15 December 2010
Movida Terraza @ 500 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Frank Camorra’s MoVida empire originated with the iconic Hosier Lane establishment, Movida Bar de Tapas y Vino, in 2003. Camorra’s prominence in Melbourne has since grown with the addition of MoVida Next Door, MoVida Aqui and MoVida Terraza. Doubling as a bar and café, MoVida Terraza is, of the four establishments, the most casual and understated. While it is open throughout the day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, MoVida Terraza’s secluded courtyard location also makes it a popular haunt for after work drinks.
For those working in the city, MoVida Terraza is a hotspot for lunch. For $9 per roll, lunching diners can customise their own Bocadillo, a Spanish sandwich, by pairing Jamon, chorizo or chicken Escabache with a selection from the following: Tabasco, roasted peppers, eggplant, tomato, cheese, olives and spinach.
As the Bocadillo order form does not specifically limit the selections to one meat but merely asks diners to mark their selections from an undiscriminating list of ingredients, I initially ordered both the Jamon and chorizo with accompaniments, only to be later told, much to my surprise, that the kitchen refuses to put two meats in the same sandwich. Disappointed, I opted for the chorizo with the lot.
Although the ingredients were fresh, the Bocadillo that arrived was severely lacking in flavour. Traditionally, Bocadillos are prepared without extraneous sauces, and instead rely on the robust taste of the meat within to flavour the sandwich. Unfortunately, in this case, the parsimonious use of mediocre chorizo made for a very dull and ordinary sandwich. In the Melbourne CBD, EARL Canteen and Commercial Bakery will provide you with far more fulfilling sandwich experiences, the former being within a stone’s throw away from MoVida Terraza.
The churros con chocolate was relatively more appealing. The sugary rigid-edged doughnuts had a nice outer crunch and were appreciatively not drenched in oil, as is commonly the case. The dish was however, spoiled by its gluggy, mildly grainy and flat tasting chocolate dipping sauce. Better quality churros can be found at Gills Diner and Bar Lourinha - both serve delectable fried doughnuts with beautifully rich and complex hot chocolate dipping sauces.
On the basis of the lunch menu alone, MoVida Terraza does not fare favourably. While I have yet to visit MoVida Terraza for after work drinks, given the crowds it attracts after hours, one would hope that it performs better as a bar than as a café.
Rating: 2.5/5 (Poor)