Frank, welcome to Sydney! Its great to have you here. The MoVida “empire” is growing, with three MoVide (I’m making up my own plural) in Melbourne, a bakery and taco offshoot, and even a bar at Tullamarine airport. Rapid expansion can be worrying, so of course an investigation of the family’s new addition was required to ensure it was all up to scratch.
Geez, 10 minutes to noon on a Friday and already a queue is forming out the door. Like the Hosier Lane original, the place doesn’t have a lot of seats. But the other good copy cat feature is that there is a section for walk ins. If you time it right (ie camp out) you’ll snare a seat. This may be the way to go, as I hear dinner bookings are already very hard to come by. Also familiar are the booths for the bookings, and the bars and stools for the walk ins. I love the rich wood they’ve used for the tables and seating.
Our waiter advises that they’ve bought a few dishes across the border, but that they are trying to create something different and distinctly Sydney. I was hoping to see the pate with the Pedro Ximinez foam (devine) but it seems that one unfortunately didn’t get a passport.
One thing I’ve always really liked about MoVida is that you can order individual tapas items, rather than a serve. This means that when I’ve been with my vegacquarian husband, I can still indulge my carnivore tendancies and get to try a few different things.
Value, as always, is excellent, the food was less than $45 a person and I was comfortably full.
On the menu:
Zucchini filled with crab served with pea and mint gazpacho. A gorgeous fresh dish, almost a Japanese/Spanish fusion in my mind. Big tick to begin.
Burrata (roll those r’s baby) with vegetables, a special. Nice and creamy, as burrata should be, but not as good as what I’ve had at some Italian restaurants.
Jamon Croquetas, a visiting special from Melbourne. Crunchy outside, creamy and flavoursome inside
Beef cheek in Pedro Ximenez with cauliflower puree. Silky smooth puree (a bigger dollop next time please) and fall apart tender beef. The beef on its own is very rich, but combined with the puree it is just right.
Spicy Pork Ribs on Charcoal. Finger licking good as ribs should be.
Charcoal grilled Asparagus with Romesco Sauce. The Romesco was a standout, could have had a bowl of that alone to spread on some fresh sourdough.
Really, we could have stopped here, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try desert. Leche meringue with candied almonds and caramelized fig, a special. While they called this a meringue, it was sort of a cross between a sorbet and an ice cream. It worked, especially with the gorgeous crunchy almonds.
Eyeing off the dishes of neighbouring tables, I’ll have to come back and try the zucchini flowers and the pork belly and the bocadillos, for starters.
Melbourne, we’ve sent you down Neil Perry, Mark Best, Shaun Presland, and Martin Boetz to name a few, thanks for sending Frank Camorra our way.
MoVida, 50 Holt St Surry Hills ph (02) 8964 7642