I love it when I get to tick off a restaurant from my wish list. And I love it more when the restaurant meets my expectations, which fortunately was the case with MoVida. My sister and I couldn’t get to try the original branches in Melbourne when we were there a couple of years ago (they closed for the holiday season), but Sydney was no excuse.
We chose MoVida to celebrate our 5 years in Australia. My sister came along for the celebration and we both picked an unknown red for the toast. The Monastrel was light and fruity, the way I like my wine.
Bodegas Ponce Monastrel ($10 per glass)
I did something unusual and ordered something just for myself. Just because Gladys doesn’t like oysters and Alvaro wasn’t particularly interested that day, I started dinner with the ostra especial, a Wapengo Lake organic oyster with house-cured NZ king salmon and Mt Barker pickles. Quite a mouthful… a delicious mouthful I should say.
Ostra especial ($5.50)
Apart from that selfish nibble we ordered a bunch of raciones (bigger dishes) to share, plus a veggie side. First came the cecina, air-cured Wagyu beef with truffle foam & poached egg. This was very different to the cecina we know in Perú, in a very good way. I hate to spoil the post at the very beginning but this was THE dish of the night. You can stop reading now.
Next up was the panceta, confit crisp pork belly with pickled clams & seaweed. Pork belly is usually my favourite and this one was nice but lacked wow factor IMO.
Next came the patatas bravas, confit potatoes with spicy sauce, which were aesthetically a nicer version of the Spanish classic.
Patatas bravas ($13.00)
Next was the menestra, which again thankfully means something else in Spanish from Spain than it does for us. They were seasonal organic vegetables (mainly baby heirloom carrots) with jamón & confit baby globe artichokes. Very nice side dish, I like it more than the potatoes, but I would have preferred they arrived to the table at the same time as any of the meat dishes.
Finally, the carrillera de buey, beef cheek in Pedro Ximenez with cauliflower purée, became our top 2 dish of the night with the help of a sprinkle of salt.
Carrillera de buey ($29.50)
As many reviewers have reported the portions at MoVida are not particularly big, but we didn’t feel like eating any of the available gluten-free desserts (flan and ice cream).
50 Holt Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 8964 7642