“Any reasonable, sentient person who looks to Spain, comes to Spain, eats in Spain, drinks in Spain, they’re gonna fall in love. Otherwise, there’s something deeply wrong with you.” – Anthony Bourdain
Oh Movida, you have been on my to-nom list for years and years now. And all it took was a stroll through the NGV to heighten my hunger – and thirst, for me to visit your Next Door outlet.
We stopped by on a quiet Sunday afternoon for a snack. What surprises me is Melbourne’s apparent lack of small, portable, savoury titbits to satisfy ones hunger between meals. Hankering for a simple bite of cheese and cured meat led me to finally satiate my Movida craving.
Due to the time of the day, only bar seats were being utilised which suited us just fine. We ordered a smooth tempranillo to accompany the small dishes about to arrive.
Soon thereafter, the beetroot croquette, so pleasantly pink in appearance arrived. Sweet, tangy and the perfect bite-sized balance between savoury and sweet playfully tantalised the tongue.
Today’s special croquette of blue cheese and mushroom was too difficult to refuse. It’s promise of potent fermented flavour delivered and the crunchy exterior gave way to a gooey, cheesy centre. A sip of the smooth tempranillo following this intoxicating sharp flavour was a tribute to this wonderful pairing.
The queso with quince paste was a good mid-point.
The cigarillo was my highlight of the tapa. Braised lamb wrapped tightly into a crisp chillindron was reminiscent of a spring roll. Melty, slow cooked lamb was secured into a crisp shell. Swirled into the accompanying “red mojo” added a most-welcome kick.
A strong contender for the favourite was the tostada. Pressed pork between two crunchy wafer biscuits, with house made tomato jam and fried quail egg atop. The qual egg glistened in the light and the yolk was ever-so runny. This was such an interesting dish and the pressed pork flavours were subtle.
The service at Movida is professional, conversant and swift. Despite indicating that we were only seeking wine and a few tapa, we were well looked after and found it comforting that we could also order as we went. This aligns with my preferred style of dining where I prefer to wade through dishes in waves, ascertaining my hunger levels as I explore the menu.
Rounding off the meal with a sweet, thick moscato, our visit to Movida had already transgressed into a “must-visit” again. Movida, we will be returning with a more ravenous hunger so that next time we can graduate to the raciones , I chiefly have my eye on the beef cheek that was plonked down on the bar next to us.