Movida Bar de Tapas – Spanish on Hosier
“On my way to Movida, I stumble down the uneven cobblestone pathway of Hosier Lane, surprised at first by how deserted and almost dangerous looking the alleyway looked, but then pleasantly astounded by the artworks that came to life off the old brickwork. If not for my hungry stomach I may have lingered a little longer… It is rather ironic, that food adventures has led me to discover parts of Melbourne I had not thought to visit before.” (From an earlier photography post)
With many fruitless attempts in the past to make a reservation at this hugely popular restaurant (albeit at night), I was rather sceptical I would get a walk-in table during their lunch time service on a weekday. Having parked much closer to Chin Chin, I pessimistically put our names down for a table there, assuming I would not get one at Movida – Jess Ho: “Should only be a 20 minute wait”. Just to try our luck, we strolled down leisurely to Hosier lane, to be surprised there were tables available. Luckily, Chin Chin was very polite and civilised about my cancellation soon after.
And here, as a Melbournian, is thus my first visit to Movida Bar de Tapas. It is a quite a small cosy space, with a soft stream of light from the laneway just enough to brighten up the fairly dark, smooth interior. I can imagine the pleasant ambience that would ensue in the later hours of the day here, but equally dread the poor illumination for camera work.
Like its other branches, Movida offers you the choice of both Tapa (small plate) and Racion (larger plate), which are generally designed to share. What it lacks in the variety in larger Racion items (i.e. paella) available at the larger kitchen at Movida Aqui, it rewards with a bigger variety of smaller items.
Anchoa – being one of the most lauded item on the menu, celebrating the saltiness of hand-filleted Cantabrian Artisan Anchovy with a delightful textural and thermal contrast given by the smoked tomato sorbet and crouton, I was left somewhat disillusioned by the heavy saltiness. I have had it before at Aqui, but do not recall it being as such. I guess I am not cut out to be a anchovy fanatic.
Agridulce con Pato – the pink flesh on the slow cooked duck shank was moist and tender, and not too salty. Hazelnuts, raisin and sweet bits of onion atop a puree of cauliflower made it quite a delicate yet fulfilling bite.
Pollo Escabache al Miguel – “Spiced Chicken Escabache Tapa on crisp Crouton” is how the description read. Moist poached chicken – tick, crispy-buttery crouton – tick, moreish creamy sauce – tick. Too bad there was not much in the way of spice, for that really would have fulfilled the picture I imagined.
Croquetas De Choco Con Su Tinta – these were the most petite little cuttlefish croquettes, easily gone in a single (or half) mouthful. They are however incredibly flavoursome with the simple but dark earthy umami from the squid ink encased in a light crispy shell, overlain with a paper-thin slice of cuttlefish. And a dollop of eggy aioli to dip.
Bistec Tartar de Wagyu – being in a mood for some rare meat action, this steak tartare of raw, grass fed Wagyu would be the perfect candidate for our next course. It is rich, rare, a little spicy and very meat-hunger-quenching; and I did I say: rich? For the first few croutons worth, it was incredibly satisfying, but quickly becomes a little overindulgent thereafter. Easily enough to share between 4 people (not 2).
Carrillera de Buey – I do not have a clue how I ultimately ordered 2 racion size items of beef, but I certainly have no regrets on this second one. Slowly braised in Pedro Ximenez that gives it a luxurious but subtle sweetness and acidity of raisins and grape, this slab of beef cheek had a beautiful dark crust, with an incredibly juicy, tender and fragrant flesh, that just falls apart on your fork. Unless you’re like me and ordered way too much food, you will not want to share this with anyone. Forgot to mention at the end here, that the cauliflower puree complements in quite a lovely Spanish manner, much like steak to mash.
So much red meat in one sitting…
Rating: Yummy+2. Though the floor staff struggled a little to keep up, I have no doubts this is still my new favourite Spanish venue with a truly delightful menu, and I would *ahem* be tempted to order the beef cheeks on every future occasion. Cross fingers, they don’t take this one off the menu.
P.S. I wouldn’t recommend having so much beef / meat in one sitting, and nor would I recommend waiting too long before you head over as you are clearly missing out if you haven’t been.
[Movida Bar de tapas]
Where: 1 Hosier Ln, Melb VIC 3000
Contact: 03 9663 3038
Bookings: please book or risk not eating.