Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Paco's Pintxos pop-up at MoVida for Good Food Month

Paco's Pintxos pop-up at MoVida, 20 October 2013, Holt Street, Surry Hills
As Good Food Month comes to an end already, I was glad that I at least made the booking months ago for the Paco's Pintxos pop-up event at MoVida Sydney a couple Sundays ago.

The Paco's Pintxos crowd at MoVida, 
Immediately taken in by the promise of Basque pintxos - that is, yummy San Sebastian-style pub/bar food, almost always with a skewer through it - it was a good deal at $55 a head for four hours worth of pintxos at one of Sydney's finest, two-hatted Spanish sherry and tapas venues, as well as two alcoholic beverages.

The bar top, covered in pintxos
The venue was comfortably jam-packed for the one-off long lunch event, which may well have been testing ground for a permanent gig, as the MoVida group is currently looking for a second Sydney venue.

The pintxos concept is all about eating while you drink; helping yourself to tasty, alcohol-soaking morsels on a bar top while drinking and socialising, and then - in San Sebastian at least - paying for your eaten food by counting the number of toothpicsk or skewers you've left behind.

Smoked salmon, avocado, cornichon pintxos
At Paco's Pintxos however, it was an all-you-can-eat affair with two bar tops covered in platters of individually skewered tidbits, starting mostly with slices of bread topped with Spanish and other delicacies - and no menu listing.

Chicken and chilli pintxos
Indeed, I thought the Surry Hills venue worked exceptionally well as a pintxos bar with an additional bar set up at the far end of the restaurant and two areas for drinkers and diners to load up on pintxos.

MoVida owner and Executive Chef, Frank Camorra (in the fuzzy background
It was nice to see Frank Camorra, MoVida owner and executive chef, in the kitchen hustle and bustle as platter after platter came from the kitchen. There was no going hungry on dainty canapés here - this was going to be a pintxos feast.

Sardine, tomato and olive pintxos
Having had some simply amazing smoked sardines at MoVida Next Door in Melbourne last time, I made a beeline for the small, oily fish pintxos, paired most pleasantly with refreshingly sweet diced tomato on bread, skewered with a fat, meaty green olive.

Potato bocadillos
I got the carb-on-carb saffron-spiced potato mini roll unknowingly, but it was a great relief from the strongly salted pintxos like the olive and anchovy on a skewer with half a boiled quail's egg and pickled green guindilla chillies.

Lobster and Russian salad pintxos
I don't think I've ever refused lobster, especially not if it comes generously with a deposit of caviar on a creamy Russian salad.

Lobster and Russian salad pintxos
The lobster itself was cooked to perfection - firm but not overcooked - and enhanced by its fishy accompaniment, as too the carbohydrate ones.

Jamon and cheese bocadillos
I missed the jamon cured ham and cheese bocadillo mini bread rolls, which was a shame as that would have been a sandwich of two of my favourite things.

Morcilla and truffled eggs pintxos
I was happy to skip the dark slices of grilled morcilla blood sausage, positioned contrastingly with soft, fluffy truffled scrambled eggs on bread.

Tomato salmorejo
The subtle salmorejo chilled tomato and bread soup from Camorra's home town in Spain was a break from all the bread - well, in one form. The tiny cups of soup were topped with chopped egg white and served with a crunchy bread stick.

Potato tortilla
I couldn't go past the beautifully presented potato tortilla omelette, cut into wedges and speared with yet more green olives. The eggy tortilla seemed to also contain caramelised onion and was comfort food at its picnic best.

Cheese croquettes and white wine
There was a rush for the hot, cheesy croquettes which made for great friends with the sangria and cans of Moritz beer, as well as the quite acidic, young-tasting white wine or La Goya dry sherry.

Crumbed mussels
The golden crumbed mussels in the half shell were also in hot demand, though a little difficult to eat without a spoon. The panko crumbs hid quite the creamy: a diced mix of mussels and vegetables in a creamy sauce.

Octopus pintxos with potato puree
The hot grilled sections of octopus, impressively tender and full of caramelised herbaceous flavours, were served in a ceramic cup with a smooth potato puree in what seems to be a classic Mediterranean pairing.

Anchoa and sherry
To finish the savouries, trays of one of MoVida's signature tapas were brought around: the anchoa with a single fillet of super salty anchovy paired with a smoked tomato sorbet to try and balance the saltiness, all on a thin, crisp crouton.

Having had this tapa before in a less salty version, it was a bit to take in, but washed down well enough with the dry sherry.

There wasn't dessert as such - just little chocolate truffles, also on toothpicks - which was fine by me. I adore the concept of pintxos and if this is what Paco / MoVida want to do, I'm sure there's more than just a pop-up market for it.

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Tina @ bitemeshowme said...

ohhh i love all their pintxos! what a great way to celebrate good food month!

Jacq said...

I really wanted to go to this event but I was a bit slow in booking and missed out. The food looks amazing!

missklicious said...

yum - this looks like a great event!

Sherrie Huang said...

Pinxtos are the perfect snacks to go with drinks! :D

Annie said...

was gonna attend this event but it was sold out! so sad! hope they do another one sometime soon

excusemewaiter said...

Kicking myself for not booking this in for Good Food Month!

Tina said...

Hi Tina - Yes, I'm hoping they consider it as a permanent fixture somewhere :)

Hi Jacq - Aw, what a shame. I'm glad I booked pretty early on now...

Hi missklicious - Yeah, something different too.

Hi Sherrie - And drinks go perfectly with pintxos!!

Hi Annie - Yeah, I hope so too. It was nice and not overly packed though, and very well organised.

Hi EMW - Ah well, hopefully it will come around again at some point.


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