I first fell in love with the food at Movida when exploring Melbourne and splurging on a nice meal at Movida Aqui. When I heard that the Movida team were opening a restaurant in Sydney I was super excited, and determined to share the fabulous food with my family.
To say that they are busy is a bit of an understatement. I booked weeks in advance to secure a table on a Saturday night but trust me, it was worth the wait because the food was just as amazing (if not better) than my experience of Movida in Melbourne.
The menu is divided up into a few different sections of smaller tapas to larger raciones dishes. The tapas are served as individual portions so it was up to us to select how many we wanted of each. I’d heard so much about the Anchoa dish, which is one of Movida’s signatures, that I had to try it this time. The salty Calabrian anchovy with the cool smoked tomato sorbet was an amazing combination of flavours and I would definitely recommend this to anyone visiting Movida.
We tried the sticky pork croquettes with sauce gribiche which were little deep fried pucks of goodness. The sweet and sticky pulled pork inside the croquettes was tender and flavoursome and the sauce gribiche provided a bit of creaminess to the dish.
The octopus pinxto with potato and paprika sounds quite ordinary but this tapa was out of this world! The octopus was so incredibly tender and I wished we had ordered one each of these so I could have one all to myself!
This padron and chorizo sandwich also looked kind of ordinary but it was anything but. The chorizo was much juicier than others one I’ve had, and it also had more complex flavours. The padron pepper thankfully was not one of the super hot ones but was a nice addition to the fatty chorizo.
One of the more substantial tapas dishes was a half quail stuffed with chicken liver pate and confit portobello mushrooms. The quail was meaty and cooked to perfect. When eaten with the liver and mushrooms, the combination of flavours was wonderfully deep and earthy.
Compared to the previous tapas, the txangurro was much more delicate and subtle in flavour and texture. Soft pieces of crab meat were layered with leeks and carrots and topped with super crunchy parsley and garlic crumbs. There was quite a substantial amount of crab meat in there which was good to see.
Onto the raciones! The first one we tried was a special that night, and was a mixture of seafood including gemfish, prawns and mussels in a bright red romesco sauce. The seafood was fresh and enormous, especially the prawns! We asked for some bread to mop up the sauce because it was that good – we totally cleared out that plate!
I’d seen pictures and heard rave reviews about this dish so I knew I had to get it. Who would’ve thought that a combination of air cured wagyu with truffle foam and a poached egg could be so mindblowingly good? It all looks a bit messy once the egg yolk is pierced and it’s just a jumble of beef slices, egg and foamy stuff, but trust me – it’s amazing!
I’ve tried this beef cheek dish before and loved it so much that I had to share it with others. It’s a generous hunk of tender braised beef cheek cooked in Pedro Ximinez and the most luxurious, silkiest cauliflower puree ever. It’s perfect winter comfort food with the soft textures and the richness of the dish.
This dessert was Movida’s take on an ice cream sandwich. Sandwiched between two rounds of mantecados (Spanish shortbread) was a creamy dulce de leche ice cream, and the whole cylinder was coated with biscuit crumbs. Underneath were caramelised bananas with spun sugar around the outside and butterscotch sauce. The whole thing reminded me of a banana-flavoured Golden Gaytime!
We also couldn’t resist the lure of churros served with a rich drinking chocolate. They were perfectly crunchy on the outside and I loved the drinking chocolate dip. Of course, the leftover drinking chocolate didn’t go to waste as Sir D just ended up drinking it hehe.
It might be hard to get a booking but dining at Movida is well worth it. We were all very impressed by the amazing food and service. The waitstaff were also very helpful when we were ordering, as they were able to give some recommendations on how much to order. We ended up feeling satisfied but not heavy and overstuffed. I would have no hesitation in going back – either in Melbourne or here in Sydney!
50 Holt St (cnr Gladstone St)
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Ph: +61 2 8964 7642
Open Monday to Friday, 12pm-late and Saturday, 2pm-late