Friday, September 13, 2013

Melbourne eats: MoVida Next Door

On my trip to Melbourne earlier this year, I finally made it to MoVida Next Door, the neighbouring tapas and wine/sherry bar to the original MoVida restaurant in the CBD's grafitti-ed Hosier Lane. It only took about one attempt each four previous times I'd been to Melbourne and a 4pm late lunch.

At the bar at MoVida Next Door, Hosier Lane, Melbourne
Having had my first ever MoVida experience in Sydney, I was looking forward to a bit of laneway wining and grazing on small plates. It has to be said that this is my favourite way of eating: fresh and tasty morsels alongside endless glasses of wine, or indeed, sherry.

The kitchen at MoVida Next Door, Hosier Lane, Melbourne
We were seated at the bar at MoVida Next Door, next to the intimately-sized kitchen, where it was prime viewing of food preparation and even staff meals.

The pull-down stairs that led up to either a larder or fridge above the kitchen demonstrates that big things are possible in small spaces.

Ostra - freshly shucked oysters
As we were right next to the fresh seafood cabinet, freshly shucked oysters were top of mind. I can't remember exactly where in South Australia the oysters were from, but they were extremely briny and nothing like a Sydney rock oyster in flavour.

I was also disturbed by one of the oysters being pierced during shucking, which wasn't a particularly good look for the plate or the oyster-queasy.

Padrón - deep fried peppers
I'd seen the deep fried padrón green peppers at MoVida Sydney, served simply with a sprinkle of salt flakes. Somewhat comforted by the fact that only about one in ten are hot, I dug in, relishing the saltiness of the mostly capsicum-like mild, sweet peppers.

Until I got a hot one. Holy MoVida, it was one of the most intensely hot things I've ever eaten with the most sudden impact on the palate. More bread and oil didn't help, white wine didn't help, water didn't help.

With the beginnings of tears in my eyes and plenty of hand-fanning-face action, I heard the chefs have a bit of a chuckle as I pushed the remaining half of the hot padrón aside. Lesson learnt, but I still wouldn't refuse them in the future.

Boquerone - White anchovy with tomato on crouton
The anchovy boquerone is one of MoVida's signature tapa, with a single, salty anchovy lined up alongside a tomato gel and a creamy sauce, aioli perhaps, on a thin, crisp crouton. Baby capers added even more punch and saltiness to each bite, with microherbs garnishing the simple and so-right tapa.

Smoked sardine and tomato salad
A salad of smoked sardines and tomato was exactly and simply those two ingredients, with a bit of baby basil and oil-based dressing adding zing. The firm-fleshed sardines were perfection: salty and smoky, matched exquisitely with the ripe, sweet tomato segments.

Brussels sprouts cooked with bacon and onion
With our tummies intrigued over a special of Brussels sprouts, it was nice to be offered the option of a half serve, cooked with liberal amounts of butter, bacon and onion. The Brussels sprouts had a somewhat stewed but still firm texture, basking in the rich sauce.

Despite the padrón experience, I still adored this light meal at MoVida Next Door. My persistence in getting there certainly paid off, as rhere's just something about the light, casual style of MoVida that has me hook, line and sinker.

MoVida Next Door on Urbanspoon


gaby @ lateraleating said...

Sorry to hear about your pimiento de Padrón experience. It's funny to watch when it happens, though :) I haven't been to MoVida yet but thanks for sharing your photos, now I have a good idea of what to order.

Ramen Raff said...

Heading to the original Movida soon. Might check this out.

Jacq said...

I love the padron peppers but I'm always worried that I'll get the hot one! Luckily it hasn't happened yet...

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

When I tried the chillis at Hartsyard, the first one I tried was the hot one! It was hilarious :)

Tina said...

Hi gaby - I think there are variances in the MoVida and MoVida next door menus, but hope you enjoy. The chefs thought it was pretty funny as I sat there in pain...

Hi Raff - Lucky you. Really want to try Aqui next time.

Hi Jacq - I'm glad I got through most of them before the hot one. Imagine I got the hot one first off; that would have ruined the overall experience I think.

Hi Lorraine - It was seriously the hottest thing I think I've ever eaten..!

Chris @ MAB vs Food said...

Yes, the Boquerone at MoVida are awesome! And I love the concept at Next Door. Sydney could do with a "MoVida lite" of its own :)


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