MoVida has expanded and finally made its way to Sydney and found a home in Surry Hills. You can hear just about every Sydney-sider cheering because now there is no need for a trip to Melbourne to get a dose of Frank Camorra. I’ve not been to any MoVida locations in Melbourne so was very excited to try the one in Sydney, 6 weeks after the opening.
I tried to make a booking however it seems most weekends are fully booked for weeks in advance (already!). I was advised that there was a no reservations section so to try my luck. Knowing how popular MoVida has been thus far I thought to arrive there early to avoid the wait. We arrive at 5.15pm, 15 minutes after the doors opening for service that evening and we still encounter at least an hours wait. We were told by the waiter that people had been lining up since before 4.30pm – had I known others did it, I probably would have done this too.
Lucky it’s still early so we don’t mind waiting . We keep ourselves hydrated with an Asahi Beer ($9) and a lemon lime bitters ($4.50) but standing so close to the kitchen and the pass meant that every dish that we smelt made us hungry. It was a great opportunity to see what people were ordering as well. After about the 5th dish that went by us (which occurred no more than about 6 minutes after waiting) we were starving.
At last, with our bellies grumbling and energy down, we get a table. We are incredibly hungry at this point so we order some starters to begin with and worry about the rest later. We didn’t even look at the menu, we described some of the dishes we saw to the waiter and she knew straight away what we wanted.
Complimentary Bread and Olive Oil
Bocadulli de Chorizo $7
This seemed to have been one of the most popular tapas as many, many were ordering it. We were going to be no exception. Wedged between a fresh soft bun is a thick slice of grilled chorizo topped with a padron pepper (capsicum) and a generous dollop of what tasted like aioli, drool worthy aioli.
The chorizo is definitely like no other chorizo bought from a butcher. It’s flavoursome, it’s tender, it’s juicy and hits all the right notes. I’ve never had a padron pepper before – it looked like I was eating an oversized (on the sweet side) chilli. It was a great addition to the burger to counteract the meat.
Bocata de Ruey $12
Biggie was intrigued by the description of this dish – air baguette, rost biff wagyu, toncino de cielo, pickled and black garlic. I think he was expecting another sandwich like tapa but when we received this we were enlightened. The ‘air baguette’ was basically a crisp so this dish felt like the perfect dish to share, very much like an anti pasti platter. The wagyu was outstanding and the pickled and blackened garlic gave amazing bursts of flavour.
I love potatoes so it was a given that this was going to be ordered. Smoked potatoes are served with a spicy bravas sauce with faux bacon dust sprinkled on top. It’s not often that you get the perfect potato dish but this time I was blown away, to another world.
The potato chunks are unbelievably crispy, so crispy that with every bite you could hear the crunch sound even while it was smothered in the tomato sauce and the spicy, creamy bravo sauce. The faux bacon dust topped it all off. I was in heaven.
Air cured wagyu beef is topped with truffle foam and a poached egg. Move over steak tartare, says the Boy, air cured wagyu now reigns supreme.
We were advised that the best way to enjoy and eat this dish was just to mix it all up. Of course we couldn’t do that but instead we cracked open the egg yolk, and for every paper thin slice of air cured wagyu, we buttered on some of the truffle foam and portioned the soft poached egg. It was our favourite dish of the evening, hands down.
Glistening beef cheek is cooked in pedro Ximenez with a cauliflower puree. It’s a combination that I’ve heard lots about but haven’t been able to try until now.
The beef cheek is ridiculously tender and does not even require a knife to break up the meat. It has a deep, heavy flavour and pairs beautifully with the creamy, light cauliflower puree. A big hit and wanted so much more of it.
These spicy pork rib bad boys were cooked on charcoal. It had a dry spice rub which was flavoursome and kept the dish rather light. We could not believe how tender and juicy the ribs ended up being. There were no burnt bits which meant that every piece of meat was eaten clean off the bones. Neither of us have had ribs like that before and we surely hope we have more of it.
Churros con Chocolate $12.50
The Boy and I usually don’t spoil ourselves with dessert but because we were so impressed with dinner we thought why not? Light and fluffy but crunchy churros are generously dusted with cinnamon sugar, and served with rich drinking chocolate. The chocolate sure didn’t hold as well as normal chocolate on the churros, but what was so good about it was you would have a rich hot dark chocolate drink even after no more churros.
For 2 people I think we ordered way too much but with such a great place like this it was very hard not to, especially with so many good things to try. MoVida definitely lives up to the hype and is a fantastic place. I honestly can’t wait to try the other branches down in Melbourne, hopefully sooner rather than later.
Be sure to book ahead in advance as much as you can to ensure you get a table. Reservations can only be made via phone. There is a no reservations section which has limited seating but be prepared to wait for hours as it is a first come first serve basis, and does not cater for large parties. I will tell you though, the wait sure is worth it.
50 Holt Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Tel: +61 2 8964 7642