I know I say it probably too often, but I really do love tapas. Really what’s not to love – small meals shared amongst friends. Sounds like heaven to me, and at MoVida Bar de Tapas in Melbourne, that’s exactly what it is.
This little bar is gorgeous; dark lit and full of mouthwatering aromas. The menu is classic Spanish tapas, with a great setup where you can order small food items in whatever quantity you like. I particularly like this since I’m here in Melbourne with my girlfriends Carly and Liz – and Liz doesn’t eat seafood. No guilt needed to be expended since w can customise quantities to suit my love of basically anything from the ocean.
The first tapas item Carly and I immediately spy to order and end up deeming the favourite is the Croquetas de Choco En Su Tinta ($4 each). They’re squid ink croquettes with cuttlefish – crunchy on the outside and oozing black when you cut them over. They are just slightly salty from the squid ink, and so creamy from the potato croquette. They’re phenomenal and we both order an additional one to complete our meals later since they taste so amazing. Definitely worth going to MoVida just for them!
Like all tapas bars, my eyes lit up at the sight of the Pâté de Pato, which is duck liver pâté with Pedro Ximenez foam and toasted brioche ($15). The plating is adorable – very different to how I’ve normally been served pâtés or parfait. The colour is an almost purple hue, the texture like soft butter as I run my knife through. The taste is fatty but deliciously rich, the foam offerings nice airy sweetness that contrasts the crunchy texture of the brioche. It is seriously amazing and delectable. I savour each and every bite.
While we’re eating complimentary bread is placed on our table which is crusty and fresh – accompanied by some lovely olive oil. When we get our bill later we see that they have an optional charge of $1 for it which they donate to charity. It’s a nice touch and adds some seriousness and advocacy to the dining experience.
Though I’m not a huge beetroot fan, we all order a serving of the Remolacha ($4.00 each). It’s a salt pastry baked baby beetroot with a side serving of sheep’s milk yoghurt. When it comes to our table it looks like an adorable little slider but the waitress is quick to tell us not to eat the salty pastry which is for cooking purposes only.
I forgot to get a snap of the beetroot when it came out, but its a vivid purple little ball which is roasted through just right. The yoghurt is tangy and savoury, and works in perfect unison as a flavour comparison.
The Stuffed Mussels ($4.00 each) come to the table for Carly and I in a tantalising fashion. Golden and crisp on the outside they ooze temptingly and taste wonderful when paired with the slice of chorizo and fried seaweed. Delicious!
The Pollo Escabache al Miguel ($4.50 each) is a spiced chicken on crisp crouton. The bread crouton is wafer thin and crunchy, ideal texture with the shredded and tender chicken inside. It’s flavoured mildly and has herbs throughout to enhance the taste even further. It seems so simple and yet it is oh so enjoyable.
From the raciones part of the menu we finish up with a serving of the marinated lamb rump which comes with roasted peppers and swims in a nice bed of olive oil ($21 from memory). It’s cooked to a perfect pink and is tender, melt in your mouth and utterly moorish. The girls aren’t big fans of meat that’s rare, but I’m in my zone and am gobbling up as much as possible. Yummmmm!
The Flan ($14) comes out to our table for us to share as the final bites of our night out at MoVida. we just couldn’t get past it after seeing it delivered to a nearby table. It’s a creme caramel that’s wobbly, soft and sweet. There’s house made biscuits that accompany which are made from almond meal and have a slight sugar coating on top. For a share dessert, it’s a really lovely way to finish off.
MoVida, situated in the heavily graffitied Hosier Lane, truly impressed me. The flavours are respectful of the ingredients used, the plating simple and beautiful. This is the kind of place I will return to next time I’m in Melbourne. It’s truly amazing.