Thursday, February 21, 2013

Double MoVida day - Melbourne

A few weeks ago I headed down to Melbourne with my sister to meet my Dad to go to the Australian Open Tennis. He flew from Perth to meet us there. It was such a special long weekend. Out of the three of us, I had spent the most time in the city, and I wouldn't call that much.

We met at Rod Laver Arena and spent a full day watching Li Na and Djokovic, amongst others. Such a treat.

On the Saturday we headed to Prahan market in the morning to meet some friends. Amazing market, and no comparison for Sydney (or is there something I'm missing?) It even had an Essential Ingredient inside it, really who could want for more?  

After that I was getting a few tips from Melbournites and Instagram buddies, so decided to wander along to the Movida Bakery in South Yarra.

We had already managed to book a table at Movida Aqui for that evening, but that wasn't going to stop my enthusiasm for a full day of Movida food. Not at all. Going to Movida in Melbourne had been at the top of my foodie places to go for at least a couple of years. 

The bakery is a tiny little place, tucked down a street that looks like it goes nowhere interesting. They only range a few things there - sandwiches, pies, a few cakes and breads to buy for home. But obviously all of it is amazing. 

We had to try the salted caramel doughnuts (I'm so not a doughnut sort of girl either) on recommendations!  Blew my mind. Soft and unctuous, and the caramel had just enough salt to stop that complete sugar overload feeling. I would travel for these, seriously.
We also shared a spanish style lamb & capsicum pie. Perfection. 

After a whole day of city exploring we managed to find Movida Aqui. It's in the heart of the business distract, nested behind the head offices of NAB. 

My Dad and sister patiently waiting for our 6pm table. We were famished!

The restaurant is larger than I expected, but divided by a very large serving area. It had a polished warehouse feel to it with unfinished ceilings and exposed lighting. But furnished with beautiful wooden tables and I totally love those chairs (please get in touch if you know what they are!)

There were six of us eating - and I was chosen to order as I am a bit more familiar with Spanish food than the others. I must admit, with share plating and six of us there was a lot of diving in before photos were taken. I did capture a few though.

Quail a la parilla with sweetcorn puree, pomegranate and pine nuts

I wouldn't normally order Quail, but something told me this dish would be very special. Amazing. I've definitely never tried sweetcorn puree before, and with the pine nuts and pomegranate it made for a sweet and perfect entree. Like I said, wow.

Arroz negro

The arroz negro (black rice) is a squid ink based paella with seafood. The black is totally overwhelming, it looks like the charred remnants of food when it arrived at the table, but had that beautiful paella glisten. Surprisingly the flavour is not disimilar to that of the classic paella, the squid ink almost playing a mind trick. It was divine. There really aren't many places in Australia where you could expect perfect paella, but I knew that it wouldn't disappoint.

We finished the meal with chocolate con churros and the Flan con pestinos. Simple but perfect.

The other dishes that I didn't manage to photograph were:

The mixed hams & chorizo tabla
The carrillera de buey - beef cheek in Pedro Ximenez on cauliflower puree
Alubias verdes - Sautéed green beans with Manchego and bread crumbs

We also had a jug of sangria. It's been a long time since a meal made me this happy. Bring on a trip to Sydney Movida, soon.

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