Tuesday, 13 January 2009

The yabbies at Movida Next Door

Movida Next Door
1 Hosier Lane, Melbourne (map)
9663 3038
No bookings, closed Sundays and Mondays

Movida Next Door

I'll admit that it wasn't until mid December that I finally got around to checking out Movida Next Door. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Movida itself, mainly because they seem to always be conveniently booked out whenever I crave their cured wagyu beef with truffle foam and poached egg (though to be fair I do tend to leave my booking attempts to the last minute).

By contrast, MND has a no bookings policy... but of course this combined with MND's popularity means that it can be equally impossible to get a table there! The night we went, best-friend-K and I had already been to see a show at the Spiegeltent, so it was about 8:30pm and we only had to wait about 5 minutes to be seated.

Movida Next Door

I insisted that we start with a pair of the Cantabrian anchovies with fresh curd ($4.50 each), having read about them on Eating with Jack. Truth be told, Jack's description of these beauties was the catalyst that finally made me visit MND, so thank you Jack! :)

And yes, they tasted even better than they look.

MND anchovies and curd

We ordered b-f-K's favourite, charcoaled asparagus spears with romesco sauce ($11). They were wonderfully smoky and had just the right amount of bite to them... simple dishes like this are such a joy when done really well!

MND asparagus

B-f-K ordered a Moorish lamb skewer (which I didn't photograph), but instead I ordered the quail breast stuffed with chicken liver pate ($7), a dish I remembered Lethlean writing about. Just as well it was so small as it was outrageously rich and delicious. We also enjoyed the patatas bravas ($9).

MND quailMND patatas bravas

But the dish that really had us waxing rhapsodic was one of the specials: $20 worth of yabbies. They had been split down the middle and grilled with lashings of garlic and parsley. We grabbed them with both hands, squeezed lemon juice on them and happily tore into them, making a complete mess in the process. Most definitely NOT a "date" dish, but boy those yabbies were absolutely sensational.

MND yabbies

Yes, worth a second photo. B-f-K and I keep talking about how good they were!

MND yabbies

We decided to share a dessert to finish. Having loved the one at Anada, I lobbied for the Crema Catalana ($10). It was very rich and creamy (definitely a share dish, it'd be hard to finish on one's own), but had a really nice hint of cinnamon mixed in with the citrusy aftertaste.

Crema Catalana

So at the risk of sounding just like almost every other review I've read of the place, I've gotta say that I really loved Movida Next Door. Service was helpful and friendly, atmosphere less pretentious than at Movida. I know which one I prefer, even if it means forgoing truffle foam!

Movida Next Door


Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Those anchovies with fresh curd look amazing! Ahhh I only wish it wasn't a plane ride away! :(

Squishy said...

I really have to do Tapas in Melbourne when I am there in a couple of weeks. Can you suggest a really great place or is the Movida Next Door the best place to go?


claire said...

Hi Lorraine! Yes, they were indeed brilliant. Can you give me a good tapas recommendation for next time I'm up in SYD? :)

Hi Amelita, well hopefully my review makes it clear that the tapas at MND are awesome! The other suggestion you might like is Anada - read my review of it here. Enjoy!

Squishy said...

Yes your review definitely does that. I have yet to experience a Tapas bar and I am in Melbourne for 4 nights and I want to make sure I am not disappointed with a restaurant that I go to. Being up here in NQ food hell makes you all the more picky. Thanks for the advice and keep up the great work :)

claire said...

Aha, I see. Well of course no recommendation is a 100% guarantee of an amazing night out... but I certainly hope you have an amazing tapas experience here, and I look forward to reading it on your blog!
ps Surely the access to amazing fresh seafood and other produce for cooking is some compensation for NQ food hell?? :)

Squishy said...

To be honest with you, I have seen a massive decline on the quality of seafood here in the last six months. I was just recently in Brisbane and I was shocked at the difference and the availability there compared to here. There are so many items I can't get here and it's not like we live in a back water. The fruit and veg that is here, even the stuff that is grown here, travels all the way down to the Brisbane or Melbourne markets first and then comes back up here to Woolworths for us, not one good fruit shop here. I actually cried when we got on the plane to come home from Brisbane on Saturday. Give me the city and the endless opportunities any day. :)

jamesbluntknife said...

what about movida itself?
i mean it's more of a "tapas in a restaurant" environment, but the food is really good there!

mmmm, those anchovies look so sexy, i think i have to go there soon...

bunchesmcginty said...

Oh, I love Movida Next Door, the anchovy dish is a winner, but I think I have to make a visit for those yabbies.


Natasha said...

After being so tempted by your write up of Movida Next Door, B and I trekked along after work today only to discover that it has closed until 26 January! We were a bit sad until our resourcefulness kicked in. We trotted up to Cumulus Inc for an amazing dinner - and we ordered the freekah salad in your honour!

claire said...

Gosh Amelita, I didn't realise things were so bad up there!! Hopefully you'll have a foodie bonanza when you come to Melbourne in a few weeks. :)

Yeah James, like I said, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Movida. Love some of the dishes, but staff/vibe of the place has rubbed me up the wrong way in the past... MND is more my style.

Bunches, the yabs are totally nomworthy. Pray that there are some available upon your next visit!

Tashie!! Glad to hear you and B used your resourcefulness (but know that you can always call me!) oooh I'm jealous, as you know I lurve Cumulus Inc. If I hadn't been sick I wanted to go there for breakfast on my birthday. Let's organise a pre-work power-breakfast there soon with the girls, hmm? :)

Jack said...

Hi ya

Thanks for the link!
I have a special surprise next week about this dish... a video about the making of it filmed at MND.
Its was so fun, and the fresh curd so easy to make.
I'll let you know when its up.

ice tea: sugar high said...

Absolutely LOVE Movida & Movida Next Door! The best tapas restaurant in Melbourne. I tried others, but nothing really compares. Especially the cechinas... mmm, even the tought of it makes my mouth waters. It's a shame that Movida normally has at least 2 weeks - 1 month waiting list.

Love your blog btw.. =)

claire said...

Thanks IT:SH, glad you like the blog! I was pretty wary checking out Movida Next Door given all the hype, but they really did deliver the goods. :)