Saturday, 8 March 2014

Movida, Surry Hills

I'm excited but also a little nervous, considering this is my first food review. I have always enjoyed writing reviews, generally on urban spoon or trip advisor, but I think it's always better if there are pictures so you can see how something looks like. And, if I read a good review on the Thousands, Timeout Sydney or a review blog like Not Quite Nigella, it really helps me in making my decision whether to go there or not. So I thought, why not? If I had a great dinner I might as well share it with you right?

I knew that it would be difficult to get a table at
 Movida on a Saturday night. No booking and we just rocked up around 7.30. The place was packed. We were welcomed and were told we could put our name on the list and come back in 45 minutes. That worked out well because we could pay a visit to our old local around the corner, the Dove and Olive, which was packed too, not very surprising.

I miss Surry Hills sometimes. When we lived on Bourke Street it was so easy to walk out on a Saturday night and go for some drinks and a nice dinner. Not that Newtown doesn't have nice places to go to, but it seems like Surry Hills has changed a lot the last few months, with new places popping up everywhere.

I think Movida has been in Surry Hills (Holt Street, near central) for a while. I was surprised to find out that it is actually part of a chain. There is another Movida in Melbourne (which is good news for my friends in VIC) and even one at the airport.

When we returned after 45 minutes there was still no table left, not even some places at the bar. I would soon find out why. This place is popular for a reason!

Mr BehomeforT and I ordered some wines which we drank while waiting for our spot at the bar/counter. Mr behomeforT had a Chenin Blanc which was absolutely beautiful. I wish I had written down the name because I would certainly order this another time. I thought I could easily find it back at the online menu, but unfortunately it's not on there. Well, now I know for the next review that I will have to take a picture of the wine menu too. I had a really nice Spanish wine, the 2010 Maranones ‘Picarana’ Albillo Madrid, Spain ($15). This was by far my favourite wine of the evening. It was unlike the Australian or New Zealand wines I normally drink. A lot milder, not overly sweet but definitely fruity, and easy to drink. I thought it was special and wish I had ordered another glass of it.

After 10 minutes or so we were seated at the bar and we had a look at the menu. Wow! So many good things. There were definitely a few items on the menu I would want to try. 

Bar seat

The lovely lady behind the bar recommended we took two 'tapa' and two 'racion'. The tapas were small bites whereas the racion were larger share plates. MrBehomeforT ordered one Rock Oyster ($4.50) for himself. I eat almost everything but I cannot stand oysters. So I was happy not to have an oyster when he did. 

Rock Oyster

It looked pretty though. I asked for his review and he said: "it tastes like the ocean". Fair enough, I'd say. 

Soon after we were brought the 'cigarillo de queso' ($5.50 each) which were two beautiful cigars stuffed with goat's curd and quince. The cigars were crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. They had a beautiful sweet and creamy flavour, which was nicely complimented with a tomato sauce with a bit of a kick, but not too much. I don't like spicy food and too much of a kick would not make me happy. This was really nice.

Cigarillo de queso

Pretty much immediately after this we were brought the 'croqueta de jamon Iberico' ($8.50 for two) which were iberico ham croquettes. They were crunchy and nice and creamy on the inside. The flavour was lovely and there were a few bits of ham in there, which was a nice change to the smooth texture. Unfortunately these were not served with a sauce. I think a little sauce would have been nice, but the croquettes were nice without sauce too. All good. 

Croqueta de jamon Iberico

We ordered some more wine and this time I opted for an Aussie wine, a Pinot Noir. Again, I should have taken a picture as this wine cannot be found on the menu on the website either. This was Mr BehomeforT's favourite, and it would surely have been wise to write it down. MrbehomeforT had the 2012 Oliviere Riviere ‘Rayos Uva’ Tempranillo Gracian, Rioja, Spain, which was 'alright', in his words. I knew he really wanted my wine! I thought it was ok too. I should have ordered another glass of the Spanish wine I had first. Ah well...

We saw that some other guests got some bread, and MrBehomeforT complained to me (a bit too loud) that we did not have any. Well, our bread drought did not last long as we were given some bread within a few minutes after that (thanks for being too loud MrBehomeforT). The bread was (I think) a soda bread served with some olive oil. I never had soda bread before but it is really nice. This one was almost like a sourdough, nice and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Maybe it was a sourdough, who knows. It was pretty good. 

Bread with olive oil

I love vegies, MrBehomeforT does not. All good, more vegies for me! I ordered the mixed seasonal vegetables with artichoke, purple and orange carrot, tomato, grilled capsicum and spinach (I think it was $15, but not completely sure!) The artichoke was pickled or confit, not sure either. Doesn't matter, because what they did with it made it very nice. I could eat a whole bowl of this and may even consider becoming a vegetarian. I ate the whole plate myself. 

Seasonal vegetables

We also ordered the crispy pork with potatoes and scallops. Big juicy scallops. Again, not on the online menu, but I think it was in the $25 range. I thought the pork was deepfried, because the outside was crunchy and the fat which is normally, how would you describe it, fatty (yes, no shit sherlock) was very nice and chewy, almost cheesy. The potatoes were crispy too which worked really well with the scallops. This was nice, but not my favourite dish.

Crispy pork with potatoes and scallops

My favourite dish was the duck. The beautiful 'pato gf/df' ($24.50). The crispy duck leg was served in Moscatel wine and served with a pickled cabbage. Oh, that pickled cabbage! It was so good! It worked so well with the duck which was crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside. The sauce was (as Manu Feidel would say) 'to die for'. Normally I would say there was not enough of it, but there was, because I was so full. I was so full I could not eat a single bite anymore. Which means it was good, really good. 

Pato gf/df

I left Movida really happy (slightly nauseous, I really ate too much). I would definitely eat here again. I give this place a 8.5/10 (because an 8 was just not enough).


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