MoVida Aqui

Level 1, 500 Bourke St (Access via Lt Bourke St)
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9663 3038

Bloody hell, what’s with the weather today?! Too cold to sit in Flagstaff Gardens during lunch. Too cold to go out for Friday night drinks (I was dressed for Summer and wasn’t going to risk getting a cold). But not too cold to duck into MoVida Aqui after work with Adam for a quick nibble before heading home to crawl under the doona with a bag of chicken-flavoured chips, a cup of green tea and downloaded episodes of ‘The Good Wife’ (I don’t normally watch legal dramas but I like Julianna Margulies and Logan Huntzberger Matt Czuchry is in it).

Situated in the heart of Melbourne’s legal district (i.e. a block and a half from my work, YAY!), MoVida Aqui is one of Frank Camorra’s newest ventures, the other one being MoVida Terraza which is a sashay away from MoVida Aqui. Unlike Terraza, a very casual outdoor kiosk, Aqui closely resembles the original MoVida in that it was an actual restaurant. The main difference, I guess, is that the original MoVida divides its menu evenly between tapas and raciones (shared plates) whereas raciones rule the roost at Aqui, with only a small number of tapas on offer.

The drinks list contained an impressive list of both Spanish and local wines, with a few beer options and fewer cocktails on offer. Adam chose a Spanish cider ($9), the name of which I failed to take down – sorry. It was very dry, but delivered a very mellow yet complex taste.Β  Meanwhile, I ordered a glass of Morilla Estate pinor gris ($13) which, unfortunately, was a little too flat for my liking. Bad move.

Bread and olive oil

Bocadillo de calamares ($6.50 each). Each crusty sandwich contained tender calamari pieces that were lightly fried in floured batter which were then smothered with an egg mayonnaise. I loved how the guindilla (peppers pickled in white vinegar) created an exciting contrast, both in taste and texture, to the creamy calamari and mayonnaise mixture.

Buey (Rost Biff wagyu, $17.50). The small rectangular plate was lined with five paper-thin sheets of what looked like wagyu pastrami. The black and white objects are two varieties of garlics (the white one was pickled while the black one was mashed; both had a subtle, sweet taste), potato crisps and chives. My favourite bits, however, were the little orange cubes that formed blocks of sweet, mushy horseradish custard. A very unique dish which I considered a success.

Finally, we have the codorniz ($16.50). Two quail breasts were charcoal-grilled and served simply with sauteed chickpeas and morcilla, a Spanish blood sausage. A simple yet tasty dish to cap off a lovely late afternoon grazing session, though I did feel that the dish would have been MUCH better if it was less oily and less salty.

$69 for an afternoon “snack” is not cheap so I would not recommend this place if are on a budget (I’d make you go to MoVida Terraza next door instead). If going for the dinner option though, I’d probably suggest three dishes if you are dining alone or 5-6 dishes if you are with a companion, which would easily add up to $100. I felt that the food here was on par with the original MoVida, plus the service was friendlier (though sometimes a bit slow) so that was a plus one to them. I could definitely see myself coming back here for another grazing session or even dinner with a couple of friends. MoVida Aqui may still be in its infancy stages but judging by the number of NAB employees and legal eagles flocking here tonight, I have a feeling that this place would be just as successful as the original MoVida.

Re: doppelganger week on facebook. Someone on my facebook list has as his status: “this doppleganger thing… hmmm… lol @ the people overrating themselves.” – hahaha!

So, who was YOUR doppelganger?

Have a lovely weekend, folks!
oxo Libby Tricia Takanawa

MoVida Aqui and Terraza on Urbanspoon

I eat too much.


  1. peach_water
    February 5, 2010

    I really love your photos Libby! πŸ˜€ You’re improving!!! <3Wow.. those Doppelganger are impressive!Cant wait to catch up with you over lunch :D:D

  2. Gurumi_Sunday
    February 6, 2010

    LOL@overating….oh man, so true XDAnd MAN i can totally see the Tricia Takanawa in u (or is it vice versa, heheh)

  3. DivisionSix6
    February 6, 2010

    Lib, is Movida Aqui anywhere near Flagstaff Station??If it is, I wanna transfer to our Latrobe St Office!!!!!!!But our Lonsdale St Office would be heaven mahahahahaha.A meal a week with quite a few nice places in walking didstance.

    February 8, 2010

    @peach_water – Thanks! But seriously, it all comes down to loads of practice and good lighting. And having a DSLR helps too hahaha. Looking forward to lunch too πŸ™‚@Gurumi_Sunday – Dunno, all I know is that I’m Asian and she’s Asian so BINGO! :p@DivisionSix6 – MoVida Aqui/MoVida Terraza is 1.5 blocks away from my work/Flagstaff station… but they are the only good places near my work – everything else sucks!!

  5. nadszybababo0
    February 8, 2010

    hahahahahahaha πŸ˜› you really do look like tricia. same hairstyle too. how cute is that heh. that wagyu thing looks so so so good yumm

  6. Davy
    March 27, 2010

    Hi, just wondering which camera/lens you use?

    1. libishski
      March 27, 2010

      Hi Davy,

      These particular photos were taken with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 (except for the first photo). The camera I’m currently using is the Canon 1000D, not the best DLSR from the Canon range but very good for beginners like myself πŸ™‚

  7. […] things started to change. Last year, Frank Camorra popped out not one but two MoVida restaurants less than two blocks from my work. Then came EARL Canteen and their beautiful […]

  8. […] share price may have gone to shite but when you have the option of going to places such as MoVida Aqui or Terraza, or EARL Canteen for lunch, who cares? I’ll try not to waffle on for too long as […]


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