Damn! Caught in the glass again!
For someone that hasn't visited Melbourne for a good five years, I seem to be visiting it a lot lately. Five times in the last few months to be exact. This story is a bit of a blast from the past as it is from a few months ago and it was the first time I was visiting to meet with my book publisher Penguin Books. They suggested lunch at Movida Aqui on Bourke Street which had me clapping like a seal.
I cab it to Movida where I meet my literary agent Miss S. I'm a touch confused as there are three Movidas but then again I could get lost in a square room. We walk up the stairs and take a seat in the spacious, glass walled room. We're awaiting Miss K, Miss L and Miss A and when they arrive Miss K just asks the staff to bring us food but with a special instruction that we would all like the calamari sandwich and the anchovy with tomato sorbet. I adore her already.
Anchoa $4.50 each
The Anchoa are hand filleted Cantabrian artisan anchovies on croutons with a smoked tomato sorbet. The anchovies are brown anchovies and give it a salty kick on the fragile, lacey crackers. We spread the sorbet across it and pop the morsel in our mouths and at once I feel a slightly startling crunchy, salty and frosty sensation. It is like the food equivalent of throwing back a shot.
_Bocadillo de calamares $6.50 each
The calamari sandwich is filled with lightly floured deep fried calamari with Basque guindilla (slightly spicy green chilli) and mayonnaise. The bread is spongy and thick and despite it looking like there is too much bread, the ratio of filling to bread does work well.
One of my favourite dishes was the cuttlefish on the plancha with onion and squid ink sauce accented with deep fried pieces of seaweed. The squid is lovely and tender and the squid ink sauce lends it a mysteriousness beyond a traditional pairing of say lemon and salt with squid.
The Codorniz or quail is charcoal grilled with housemade morcilla (black or blood pudding) and chickpeas. It is a nice dish although I'm not in love with the quail as it has a strongly gamey tasting almost kidney-ish.
Ensalade de Tomate Heirloom tomato salad $16
We love the simple heirloom tomato salad with a cheese that tastes similar to buffalo mozarella.
Special dish of the day
A special dish of the day was a watercress and coriander salad topped with sardines and smoked fish with a creamy sauce underneath. Despite how strange that sounds, it's absolutely delicious.
I always get excited when I see a crumbed golden ball (don't read anything into that please :P) and the piminetos are crumbed piquilo peppers stuffed with confit potato and spanner crab served with coriander aioli. When I cut into it the filling is so soft with the crunchy outer so thin which I marvel at as it is always so difficult to do.
We complete the afternoon with a cup of tea in a gorgeous tea cup. Is there no better way to end a meal?
I also had the chance to catch up with Ed at St. ALi , a coffee purveyor that specialises in Syphon coffee. And what is Syphon coffee you may ask (as I did)? It's coffee that is brewed in a syphon filter (see above) and is said to be ideal for single origin beans as it preserves the flavour without giving it a bitterness. It also looks a bit like a science experiment which is rather cool. Said to be weaker than a coffee, the colour is more like a tea.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like tapas?
Level 1/500 Bourke Street, Melbourne (entry via Little Bourke Street)
Tel: +61 (03) 9663 3038
12 - 18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne
Tel: +61 (03) 9686.2990
Outside St. ALi