Movida Aqui is my absolute favourite restaurant in Melbourne. ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE! It's a big call but I'm willing to put it out there. I love the warm, cosy atmosphere, I love the set up which makes it feel smaller than it is, I love sitting at the bar (and not having to book in advance) and feeling like I'm back in Spain (but with a modern twist), I love chatting to the friendly, relaxed staff, I love the open kitchen, I love the cocktails, I LOVE THE FOOD! Seriously, some of my best meals ever have been at this place (Ooh the quail and corn dish, sadly no longer on the menu, however I did manage to eat it on about 5 different occasions before they replaced it so I can't be too sad). It ticks all the boxes.
Croquettas, mine and Hubby's absolute favourite. These were leek and manchego. In my opinion the spanish version of croquettas are the absolute best. They use a thick bechemel sauce as the base instead of potato as many other countries do and the results are insainely delicious. Movida do them better than anyone.
Close up of the leeky, cheesy gooeyness. YUM!
Steamy garlic prawns. (I have to admit that Claypots in St Kilda 100% do the best garlic prawns in the world but these are pretty good)
This blew both mine and hubby's mind. He does not even like artichokes but he absolutely loved these. They were amazing. They were deep fried with a semolina coating, served with almonds prepared in some miraculously delicious way and served with a manchego custard. Yes, you read that correctly... manchego custard. I wanted more then, I want more now.
Beef cheek (possibly my favourite cut of meat, definitely my favourite cut of beef for slow cooking anyway) this was braised in Pedro Ximenez (It pops up a lot on the Movida menu, with good cause) which gives the meat a lovely hint of sweetness this breaks up the richness of the cheek perfectly. Served on a velvety smooth cauliflower puree. Perfect wintery goodness.
On to desserts...
Hubby went for the Pan Con Chocolate, a salted chocolate and pistachio cigar filled with an olive oil mousse. Good but it just could not compete with what I got...
The Sopa Inglesa; a seriously amazing layered trifle like creation of the gods. Apple, quince, Pedro Ximinez (there it is again) with gingerbread and creme catalan. This was glorious! I would fully expect to see this sort of dessert at Birch and Purchese. The combination was perfect and like nothing I've had before.
If you love Spanish flavours you must try Movida Aqui. It's my favourite of all the restaurants in the Movida family. Spanish flavours but with a bit of an untraditional twist and a lovely casual feel. I'll be back there as soon as I can.