We're in for an experience tonight. Meandering through the laneways of Surry Hills with our hands in our pockets and breathing fog into our glasses, we arrive at the warmly lit MoVida, like a luminescent firefly emerging from the darkness. Already a well known Spanish tapas joint in Melbourne, MoVida is making a buzz in Sydney.
We start off with the Artisan Cantabrian Anchovy with Smoked Tomato Sorbet, and I'm sold at the first bite. There's the crunch of the wafer like crouton, then the salty hit of the anchovy, and finally the refreshing chilling tomato sorbet that melts in your mouth. I feel like I've just had a early morning swim at Coogee beach, only in my mouth. Each ingredient shines individually and in combination.
And before I get the chance to turn this into a brain-numbing cereal advertisement, we are served our second tapas, Air Baguette, Rost Biff Wagyu, Tocino de Cielo, Pickled & Black Garlic. A interesting take on the humble Mexican Nacho that is delicately picked apart and reassembled into a culinary delight.
Wagyu Beef Air Baguette
The Octopus Pincho served with Potato and Paprika is decent but more or less a standard Spanish tapas dish. I'm satisfied but searching for something more in a fancy joint like this. The potato here takes away from the dish by making it too heavy and lacking in texture, imposing heavily on the palate. I must admit I'm a bit disappointed after the first two dishes of delicate flavour and balance.
Next up is the Braised Ox Tripe with Chickpeas & Chorizo with a touch of Spice. I'm used to the yum cha preparation of Ox Tripe but this time I'm served with a melt-in-your-mouth concoction of winter warming stewy, gooey goodness. This one almost as rich as confit and it's quickly filling me up.
Almond Fondant with Fennel Pollen Ice Cream
As we wait for dessert, we get some cocktails. I get the Pisco Sour and my partner gets the Carlos Chaplin. Its the sweet cocktail that she's looking for and gin is my poison of choice so it's easy to sip on. The waiter serves us dessert, Almond Fondant with Fennel Pollen Ice-Cream. The service here has been educational and efficient, taking the time to explain dishes and personal favourites. As we take our first stab into the fondant with a spoon, the velvety inside leaks out and at once we are satisfied. The pollen-ey goodness pairs well with the nutty almond flavour, which just makes the fondant oh so rich, warm and moist.
MoVida is high class affair and with tapas style dining you can always expect to rack up a bill. I give it a nine out of ten with some must try dishes including the fondant, artisan anchovy and wagyu baguette.