Movida feels a little like it's everywhere these days. Airports, laneways — it's even in Sydney for Christ's sake. But we'll forgive them for going to Sydney. So, what happens when a good thing branches out and does other good things? Well, at the risk of sounding repetitive, good things. Movida Aqui, the newest of the Melbourne venues — albeit not very new — is still going very strong despite the many Movidas filling the southern states.
Would you believe us if we told you we got a little lost on our revisit? It happens to even the most seasoned eater. This is probably because Movida Aqui is down the lawyer, courtroom, suit-wearing end of the city. Everyone is a little busier down there. Upstairs down Little William Street (although technically on Bourke Street) is where you'll find the largest of the venues. More room for paella, I hear you whisper. Yes, you're right.
In true Spanish tapas style the menu is divided into a million sections resulting in it being completely overwhelming. The waitstaff, however, will tell you exactly how much to order and from where. They kick things off with tinned goods. Think sardines ($11) and tuna belly ($14.50), all served with sourdough and lemon.
When you get to the Tapas Clasicas, these bad boys are one to a serve. Just a warning, you may need to order 1500 of the bocadillo de calamares, tiny buns filled with calamari, pickles and mayonnaise ($8 each). And if the idea of a potato ball filled with chorizo is up your alley, the 'bomba' ($4.80) is another must. Moving on to the Raciones — or small sharing dishes — the slow-braised beef cheek in Pedro Ximenez served on cauliflower puree ($24.50) is rich and decadent, and so worth it. The jumbo Spring Bay mussels cooked a la plancha with parsley, garlic, and fino with quail egg and caper berries ($18), on the other hand, is a lighter and more seafood friendly dish.
If you're a part of a group, you should try one of the paellas — either the cuttlefish and squid ($63 for small) or the rabbit loin wrapped in pancetta, braised duck leg and silverbeet ($70 for small). If you're still not feeling over indulged enough, there are chocolate churros ($12.50) and a creme caramel ($14.50) on the dessert menu.
The wine list is just as compelling as the food menu. There is all the sherry one could want and a wine list that covers Italian, Spanish, French, and Australian wines. An '07 Louis Roederer Champagne ($199) sits next to a rich and perfumed Spanish Olivier Riviere 'Basquevenas' Albillo Ribera del Arlanza ($230), in its first drop to Australia.
Just be careful rolling down the stairs on your way out.