There is a certain vibe in Melbourne which is quite different to Sydney, their little laneways, cafes, little bars and of course their approach to food. They don’t follow any rules, they do what they think is right and what they love. I’ve been wanting to try Movida since it first appeared on Masterchef a few years ago and only visiting Melbourne once a year and lots of food to eat, it stays there on my list waiting to be crossed off. It’s a Friday night and since its late night shopping in Melbourne, I didn’t think to make a booking and I would just get a table after Mr Dough and I have finished shopping. But silly me, when we arrived at 8:30pm we were told the next table would be around 10pm. Disappointed, we walked next door to…Movida Next Door. The small bar has a rustic look with high wooden ceilings and ceiling fans, it was as if you were transported to a little town in Spain or Portugal. We were informed that the wait would be about 30 minutes and we could grab a drink whilst waiting. Less than 30 minutes later, we were seated along the window, overlooking the busy traffic on Flinders Street.
Staying true to the notion of Spanish dining, we ordered dishes one at a time, pausing in between to enjoy our wine and soaking up the ambience. The pacific oysters were shucked to order andI actually prefer it that way as I like the natural salty brine it comes in.
I giggled at the next dish as it looked a bit rude (Yes I have a weird imagination). Mashed potato filled with Chorizo, deep-fried golden and smothered in a spicy mayo like sauce is the perfect accompaniment to alcohol.
Wild mushroom croquettes were next and the crumb on this was slightly heavier than the Bomba. I would have liked a stronger taste of the mushroom to come through but it was still a pretty good croquette.
By this stage we were pouring over the menu trying to decide what to eat next. By taking our time with drinking and eating, our stomachs had the time to think about whether it was full or not. Not a good outcome if you desperately want to try more things on the menu! There are specials of the day written on the chalk board above the bar and tonight we tried the prawns, pan-fried with chilli, garlic and paprika. I always get ashamed when I eat prawns in a Western restaurant as I am one of those Asians who loves eating the prawn heads as well. It contains wonderful juices and it’s such a flavoursome part of the crustacean.
I eyed out the Jamon the kitchen was slicing whilst we were waiting for a seat and who could possibly reject Jamon? Rather than getting a plate of Jamon, I thought I would try their selection of small goods. It consisted of pork cheek, iberico ham and spanish salami. I’ve never had cured pork cheek before so I don’t know what texture to expect and it was surprisingly really tender.
We ordered one more special but it failed to arrive, after much chasing they realised that one of the waiters had forgotten to put the order through. It was just as well as we were truly in food coma by this stage and I couldn’t leave without eating churros! The crispy, cinnamon laden sticks dunked in rich milky chocolate with a hint of spice. I could easily have eaten too much of the chocolate but I refrained. The waiters were really apologetic and comped the dessert which I thought was a really nice touch since we were actually not too fussed about it.
We left at 11pm and there were taxis coming and going dropping people off, some starting their night at Movida, some ending. Yes we are in Melbourne.
Movida Next Door
Tue-Thurs 5pm-late, Fri & Sat 12-12 (all day dining), Sun 2pm-9pm (all day dining). Closed Mon.
Cnr Flinders Street and Hosier Lane, Melbourne, 3000