MoVida was the term used to describe the cultural youth movement born in Spain after the death of dictator Fransico Franco. Today it is also the name of Frank Camorra's most happening tapas joint. Tucked away in stencil-drenched Hosier Lane, MoVida offers a grazing extravaganza in an enchanting room akin to what you'd actually get in downtown Barcelona.
Melburnians seldom see a bland menu around town and MoVida's never been the exception. With a grand choice of Tapa (small individual pieces), Racion (plates to share amongst two or more), Conservas (tinned delicacies), and daily specials, Camorra's inner city hideaway is a well-packaged empire of Spanish goodness catering to both locals and out-of-towners.
You'd best make a booking, because the place packs out. And fast. Once you've got a table, however, any qualms about MoVida's celebrity status will soon dissolve – we suggest the 2010 Jimenez Landi 'Sotorrondero' ($13 glass), a full-bodied, heavily perfumed Shiraz – to assist in the process. If you're anything like us though, you'll be in super early and already perched at the bar by 4.30pm. And with the immense popularity of counter culture in Melbourne, don't be surprised to notice you've joined a significant number of others who have already set up shop.
To start, go for the Croquetas De Choco En Su Tinta ($4 ea), a squid ink croqueta with cuttlefish. The dish has a noteworthy contrast between the silky ink centre with the crispy croqueta shell – the perfect combination of pop and crunch. Pollo Escabache Al Miguel ($4.50 ea) is another winner, a spiced chicken escabache tapa on crisp crouton. Delicious, but perhaps 'spiced' could have ready 'spicy'. Ready to over indulge? The Queso Manchego ($4.50 ea), imported aged manchego sheep's milk cheese with quince paste is the ticket; the sweet quince a welcomed offset to the intense nuttiness of the cheese.
To down your utter satisfaction with the experience of MoVida's authentic Spanish offerings, great ambience and friendly staff (thanks, Josh), it has to be the 2012 Maranones 'Picara' Albillo ($14 gls) – a floral drop rich in stone fruits. Alternatively, a couple of Moritz Largers ($8 ea) will do it. With a sensibility towards how the real Spaniards do it, MoVida's got it down pat. Seriously though, we'd highly recommend you go right now, because what's not to love about a place that offers an evening's good time with food and drink served fast?