Working on William Street means that lunch options are pretty limited. Apart from Don Too being the only semi-decent eatery to purchase lunch, the area comprises mostly of personality-lacking cafes that make soggy sandwiches, lukewarm potato cakes and burnt coffee. So when I heard that Frank Camorra of MoVida fame was going to build two eateries on this end of town, you can imagine how stoked I was. Even though I may not have given the original MoVida a favourable review, I still believe that Mr Camorra remains Melbourne’s King of Spanish cuisine and this was exemplified in our much more pleasant visit to his second restaurant, MoVida Next Door.
The new restaurants, MoVida Aqui and MoVida Terraza are situated on level 1, 500 Bourke Street but instructions on MoVida’s website tell us to enter via Little Bourke Street. Upon seeing the above, one would figure that the flight of stairs will lead you to the two restaurants. I guess that made a lot of sense in hindsight, but stupid me initially went through the huge NAB building doors and wandered aimlessly in the lobby before going back out and then finding myself in some dodgy alley *facepalm*
While MoVida Aqui seems like a more “corporate-ised” MoVida proper, MoVida Terraza is a very casual kiosk, with tables outside. With only enough money for a meal at MoVida Terraza, I decided to sit myself at one of the outside tables while vowing to visit MoVida Aqui another time. From your table, you can gawk at the Supreme Court Library dome while you sip on some vino (which I did for $6.50) and eat from the very limited lunch menu which changes daily. There are five dishes you can choose from, two desserts or if you’re in a hurry, rolls filled with whatever takes your fancy – chicken, chorizo, jamon and others.
Out of the five options on offer there were only two that interested me, one being the carne asado (roast beef with rosemary garlic potatoes and onion jam $17.50). I would have gone with that if it weren’t for the fact that I was going to have roast beef for dinner later tonight (slow-cooked, for eight hours *drool*). Instead, I told the waitress that I wanted the pescado (cured ocean trout with scallops, prawns and padron pepper salad $16.50).
Okay, this was NOT what I ordered. For some reason, they gave me their version of the ensalada, their sole vegetarian dish on the menu ($13.50). I am not normally in the habit of ordering vegetarian dishes so I was momentarily cheesed off and considered calling the waitress back. For some reason, though, I didn’t. I decided to give the dish a try and that move was something that I do not regret at all. On the plate were three mahon cheese and leek croquetas positioned on the three points of a triangle, all of which were resting on a small bed of soft goat’s cheese. Amongst the croquetas was a tangle of sauteed runner beans, toasted almonds and crispy fried shallots. The whole thing was then held together with a very lovely tangy goats cheese dressing. It was DIVINE. Although it wasn’t an overly large salad, it was perfect for a late lunch.
I guess one good thing about MoVida Terraza’s changing menu is that you never know what to expect when you walk in. The downside, however, would be trying to work out which day they will serve that beautiful salad *sniff* MoVida Terraza is not only open for dinner (where a grazing menu is available), but they also do breakfast – something that will give me the incentive to wake up extra early one of these mornings!