MoVida's reputaton precedes it and isn't it wonderful when such high expectations are blown out of the water? MoVida opened it's doors back in 2003 on the graffiti covered Hosier Lane in the heart of Melbourne. Tapa and raciones are it's thing so it was well ahead on the trend of small plates and sharing. Me I love the small plates and sharing as it means you get to try everything!
Lunch was made up of little bite sized tapa to start followed by a few raciones or larger sharing plates. After the first tapa there was a lot to live up to. The first one was my favourite. The Caballa Ahumado (House Cold Smoked Spanish Mackerel with Pine Nut Gazpacho Sorbet) was light and delicate, the creamy, nutty sorbet perfect with the delicately smoked mackerel. Not to mentions the incredibly cute little cast iron dish it was presented in. Next for me was the one of the specials, baby corn roasted in it's husk. Simple yes, but simple is often best when it comes to food and this was sweet with a hint of roasted smokiness. To finish of the tapa Cordero Al Chilindorn (Pyrenees Wet Roast Lamb Breast with Fino and Paprika Sauce). Melt in your mouth lamb, sherry and paprika the perfect counterparts.
On to the raciones and Boquerones (Marinated White Anchovy, Caperberry and Parsley Salad). This was my pick as I have become a lover of white anchovies since having this salad and matched with caperberries and parsley it made for a fresh, sharp salad. If anyone knows where I can get some white anchovies please let me know.
On the side some Puerros (Slow Cooked Baby Leeks with Butter and Garlic) which were melt in the mouth. Slow cooked leeks that had then a little time on the grill to add a little char grill smokiness. For a little salad we ordered the Salpicon (Fresh Seafood Salad of Octopus, Prawn, Scallop and Mussels). I am not usually a fan of octopus but this was cooked perfectly, so tender. Along with prawns, scallops and mussels a little seafood feast accompanied with little cubes of melon that had been marinated in wine vinegar.
To finish off this veritable feast Carrillera de Buey (Slowly Braised Beef Cheeks in Pedro Ximinez on Cauliflower Puree). MoVida cleverly go from light to heavier dishes. This was one of the table favourites of the day. So wonderfully rich and meaty, yet meltingly tender atop a creamy caulifower puree. Cauliflower is not my favourite vegetable but when it is pureed it transforms in to this silky smooth creamy essence of cauliflower which is something else entirely. We also couldn't go past the Seta Asadas Con Jerez (Oven-roasted Portobello Mushrooms Finihsed with Sherry Vinegar) again simplicity proving to be the winner, so incredibly simple but so wonderfully delicious. Meaty, earthy mushrooms and a little sweet acidity from the sherry vinegar, it couldn't be any simpler.
And to finish a little cheese and membrrillo and of course we couldn't go past the Churros…one can never go past churros. Most deinifnelty up there with the best lunhces ever had. The put it perefectly the spirit of Spain in the heart of Melbourne.
If you love good food you will love this give away.
Nespresso is launching their new coffee machines; the Maestria and the Grand Mastria; and to celebrate the launch they are hosting a what will be a fabulous degustation menu specially designed by rising star Nick Honeyman. Nick is designing a degustation menu which incorporates the flavours of Nespresso coffee. The dinner is next Wednesady 21 March at 6:30pm at a yet to be disclosed Auckland city location and the lovely people at Nespresso are inviting one of you to come along.
If you want to make coffee like a barista at home then the new Nepsresso Maestria could be the machine for you. Not only will you get the perfect cup of coffee every time, you will have a gorgeous retro looking Maestria sitting on your bench. I know us Kiwi's can get quite particular aout our coffee and the Maestria delivers on that front too allowing easy adjustment of the amount of coffee. If you like frothy milk, no problem there's a handy steam wand on the side.
And what I like about Nespresso is that you can choose your coffee from one of their 16 grand crus, whether you like espresso, dark roasted or even decaffienated, there is something for every coffee lover. Not only that they have a real focus on using coffee from sustainable sources and have a collection scheme to recycle used capsules and that is before we even get on to their spokeperson George Clooney…. The Maestria and Gran Maestria they will be available from April 1st, 2012.
So back to that give away, you will need to be in Auckland (sorry out of towners and out of New Zealand readers) on Wednesday 21 March and available to make your way to dinner at 6:30pm at an Auckland City location TBC. If you would like to be in with the chance to come along; to what I have no doubt will be an amazing dinner, please leave a comment below. (1 entry per person!) I will randomly draw the winner at 8pm Monday 19 March. Good luck!