Every time my friends come back from Melbourne, they more often than not tell me about their amazing meal at MoVida which seems to be the mandatory thing to do when in Melbourne. Unfortunately for me, my taste buds and my belly, the past few times that I have travelled to Melbourne have been for other reasons that left me with little time to explore and even littler time to treat said taste buds! Luckily for me, my recent trip to Sydney allowed me to visit the super popular Spanish tapas bar MoVida which opened its doors in its neighbouring state of NSW. Hooray!
I left the stranger the task of ordering food for our motley crew of 3 as he had dubbed himself as the ‘MoVida expert’ seeing that he has been to MoVida on multiple occasions every time he travels interstate.
“We’ll have one of each from the tapas menu please…”
Turned out to be an easier task than I thought! One of each from the tapas menu, 2 plates from the ‘racions’ (larger tapas for sharing) category from the menu and 2 specials that was recommended by our friendly waitress. Oh! And a beverage each. We thought this was a good start as we’d get to try a bit of everything from the menu with the option of ordering more if we wanted.
Anchoa: artisan Cantabrian anchovy with smoked tomato sorbet; $4.80 each
First up, the anchoa, a thin slice of Cantabrian anchovy on a wafer thin crisp and a smoked tomato sorbet quenelle with a drizzle of olive oil and a few capers sprinkled on top. “This IS delicious” piped the stranger, so evidently, we ordered 3; 1 each so we didn’t have to share! After spreading the smooth sorbet across the crisp, we carefully picked up our anchoas to nom nom nom it down. The crisp was so thin and delicate that mine actually broke under that weight.. hehe! I’m so glad we got one each cause this was, in the words of the stranger, delicious! A perfect marriage of sweet and salty; the anchovy was pungently salty along with the pops of capers yet the cool and refreshing sorbet immediately cut through the intensity and balanced it out beautifully. That smooth smoked tomato sorbet was amazing on its own, so much flavour and so incredibly cooling, a great texturally contrast to the thin crispy wafer.
Bocata de buey: air baguette, rost biff wagyu, tocino de cielo, pickled and black garlic; $8.50
The stranger’s favourite dish of the day, the air baguette! An incredibly tender slice of melt in the mouth wagyu sat on top of a hollowed out crisp bread with dollops of tocino de cielo; a Spanish custard very similar to flan, salad leaves and a pickled and black garlic. The sweet tocino de cielo was incredibly subtle in terms of flavour and texture yet it played its part perfectly in the tapas by elevating the flavours of the rest of the components, most notably the rost biff wagyu and the pickled black garlic. Yum!
Pintxo de pulpo gallega: octopus pincho served with potato and paprika; $7.80
I’m not one to order octopus or squid when I dine out but on the rare occasions that I have, I have been rather impressed and wonder why I don’t order it more often. The skewer of octopus bite sized chunks sat in a velvety smooth potato mash (just look at that mash!) with a sprinkle of paprika. The octopus was perfectly cooked with a nice brown char on the outside and the meat itself was so tender that I had to do a double take and make sure that I was indeed, eating octopus!
Cerdo croqueta: sticky pork croquettes served with gribiche; $7.50 each
Cigarillo de queso: goat’s curd and quince cigar; $5.50 each
Bam pow wow!
These cigars were like a flavour smack in the face. I, for one am not a goats curd fan as I find it too strong and salty for my palette, but the thin slice of sweet quince cut through the intensity and provided the perfect balance of sweetness, saltiness and texture. A surprisingly enjoyable bite.
Alcachofa: globe artichoke stuffed with salt cod brandade finished with hollandaise; $9.80
Bocadillo de chorizo: grilled chorizo and padron sandwich; $7.25
Sandwiched between two soft pillowy buns was a grilled chorizo and padron peppers and a generous amount of aioli (?) on each side of the bun. This was strategically cut into thirds and shared around our table, an enjoyable mini burger but a rather expensive one!
Tigres: Spring Bay mussels stuffed with their own meat and chorizo; $12.50
These morish deep fried round balls of goodness sitting idly on a dollop of aioli (?) in mussel shells are tigres: a mixture of mussel meat and chorizo combined together to form a moist and slightly spicy filling with a lovely crunchy skin. Yummy!
Special of scallops with jamon (I’m guessing) and pineapple
Codorniz rellenos: half quail filled with chicken liver pate served with confit portobello mushrooms; $12.50
This was perfection. The quail was cooked perfectly; the meat was juicy, moist and incredibly succulent whilst the filling of chicken liver pate was smooooooooth as. Both components blended seamlessly with each other. Delicious!! I could have gone for another half quail for myselft. Mmmm~
Cecina: air cured wagyu beef with truffle foam and poached egg; $24.50
Then we moved onto a bigger, heavier and richer dish, the cecina! Thin slices of air cured wagyu beef, so light and delicate covered a small plate with truffle foam and a creamy poached egg placed in the centre. We were advised to fold the slices of beef over the centre components and then mix it, smash it and combine it before we were able to demolish it.
The air cured wagyu beef slices literally melted with each mouthful, complemented by a rich creamy poached egg yolk and a smooth truffle foam. Sooooo good!
Pimiento de piquillo: crumbed piquillo peppers stuffed with crab and potato; $8.60
A whopping 12 plates later and we’re done! Surprisingly we… or shall I say, the stranger, ordered just enough food as we were all contently full and very impressed with our delicious meal. Amazing food (amazing!), great friendly service and a relaxed casual atmosphere. I suspect dinner service would be a hit for after work peeps looking for a small bite and some good wine to go along with it! Psst… I think Adelaide needs a MoVida… or something close to it!
50 Holt Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
P 02 8964 7642