MoVida Aqui, Melbourne

Years ago my in the know Melbourne friend took me to the original MoVida Tapas Bar in Hosier Lane Melbourne. It was taste bud blowing brilliant. MoVida chef Frank Camorra then popped up on Masterchef. And I bought my husband one of his cookbooks.

The MoVida Melbourne Spanish food empire continues to grow. There is now a bakery in South Yarra, another tapas bar near the original in Hosier Lane and now in Bourke Street MoVida Aqui, their “big place”.

Planning a visit to Melbourne for a weekend I wanted our family to try MoVida Aqui. So I booked ahead. Way before leaving home. Yes it’s still that popular.

Near the William Street end of Bourke Street, MoVida Aqui is not easy to find unless you know that you need to enter via Little Bourke Street. Up some stairs (past another little MoVida offshoot Paco’s Tacos) and across the terrace is MoVida Aqui.

The menu is in Spanish so we needed the excellent waiter to interpret our Para Emperars from our Raciones. The basic split of the menu is olives, hams, oysters, tapas, then more substantial dishes which are “raciones” or rations to share.

We thought it a little cheeky to serve up a simple tin of – Spanish – anchovies, yes just the tin with the top rolled back, and freshly baked bread but it was still delicious. And we were on a restaurant high.

(You can also get various flavours of sardines in the tin. These tins are part of their “Alimentaria” range – imported Spanish delicacies tinned and bottled.)

How proud was I to see my gorgeous children trying anchovies and declaring them delicious!

Of course they weren’t just any anchovies. They were “hand-filleted Cantabrian Artisan Anchovy on Crouton with Smoked Tomato Sorbet”. Yes that’s right. Tomato Sorbet. And yes it was amazing.

Another favourite tapas was the Potato Bomba filled with chorizo sausage. Oh yum.

I’ve been wanting to try beef cheeks for ages (well since Andy cooked them on Masterchef) so you can imagine my glee when there they were on the menu, cooked in Pedro Ximenez sherry served with cauliflower puree. The beef melted in the mouth and we declared this the stand out dish (The other dishes we tried – prawns, chorizo, pork – were also incredible.)

To finish it had to be the Churros with Spanish Hot Chocolate.

Delicioso!

(As we were too busy eating to take photos – thanks to avlxyz on flickr creative commons for the anchovy & churros!)

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