500 Bourke St, Level 1, Melbourne
Phone: 9663 3038
I’ve lived in Melbourne (on and off) for about fourteen years. MoVida has been open for about half of that time. You would think that seven years would be ample time to arrange a visit to what is consistently deemed one of Melbourne’s culinary highlights, right? Apparently not. Up until late last year, I had remained a MoVida virgin.
My awesome housemates Messrs J and N had given me a gift voucher for MoVida for my birthday last year, which I hadn’t gotten around to using, so when Mr J’s birthday rolled around, I thought it was apt to finally pop my MoVida cherry with him.
I called a week ahead, but the original MoVida was fully booked – on a Monday night! – so I booked at MoVida Aqui instead. I was a little apprehensive, because often the original is best when a restaurant becomes a chain. But I was reassured by a few friends who had been to both restaurants that the food and the experience at the much larger Aqui was just as good as at the original MoVida.
I kicked off with a tromba margarita; an interesting twist on a margarita – the addition of honey to the lime and the use of smoked salt really took this cocktail to another level. Mr J had the Pisco sour to start.
Then the tapas started arriving. There were certain items I knew I had to try, the first of them being the anchoa. This tiny little item packed so much complexity – in textures, flavours, and even temperature. The smoked tomato sorbet was an amazingly bright contrast to the beautifully salty anchovy. I love anchovies, and these were superb.
The croquetas were composed of a sweet, sticky pork mixture – there was collagen a-plenty going on there – and a light crumb.
Now surprisingly, given the amount of food I normally consume, and the relative – I stress relative – small servings here, I was completely satisfied at this point. But Mr J has quite the sweet tooth, and I’m not one to shy away from desserts, so we shared the Sopa Inglesa. A trifle with PX-soaked sponge, rhubarb jelly and candied almonds, this was possibly the best trifle I’ve ever eaten. And I don’t even like rhubarb! I think the menu has since changed from rhubarb to quince.