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MoVida Bar De Tapas - Sublime Spanish Tapas in CBD

MoVida Bar De Tapas is a 2 hatted Spanish sensation that many claim to be better than the food in Spain. A big call but MoVida does invoke international acclaim. Several years after Frank Camorra's masterstroke in opening MoVida it still wows and is one of the best places to take international guests.  


MoVida is a cosy intimate affair with a degree of chic. The long bar area is sensational. One of the best ways of experiencing MoVida is to do what I did and sit at the timber bar and engage the staff. In fact this is one of my favourite things to do in any restaurant. I settled in for lunch on a sun filled Melbourne day...


You are struck by the art on the walls, the funky lighting, intimate tables, large blackboard with menu choices, ambient music, open kitchen,and just the sheer business of the place. Watching the staff is a treat as they move quickly to satisfy the many guests. This restaurant fills quickly. And the staff are all engaging and professional. You are dealing with a level of dining sophistication.


MoVida has some famous standout dishes. Being a lover of tapas I was keen to taste several of their well known offerings. Check out this delicate sublime Hand-filleted Cantabrian Artisan Anchovy on Crouton with Smoked Tomato Sorbet. Too good. Close your eyes and hear a symphony. The balance was amazing. A hit of salt from the anchovy offset by the tomato sorbet, together with the crunch of the crouton. The MoVida website tells us this dish was inspired by the Basque Bar culture. Anchovies are big business on the northern coastline of Spain and this dish combines their saltiness with a hit of tangy salty tomato. The recipe is even on their website at


The Spanish are known for their croquettes and MoVida delivers with this Squid Ink Croquette wrapped in Cuttlefish, black salt and a delicate aoli. I was tempted to pick this up with my fingers but sanely opted for my fork... The Croquette had that crispness on the outside and super creamy in the middle.


Perhaps my favourite was the Spicy chicken above with a hit of Tabasco and a trace of carrot... And it looks great like all the tapas at MoVida... The chicken was creamy with the right amount of spice and superb with the thin crouton.


MoVida certainly excels when it comes to the visual. This dish of House Cold Smoked Spanish Mackerel with Pine Nut Gazpacho Sorbet came in a pot and when the lid was lifted there was a spectacular burst of vapour.



After four amazing tapas I chose the larger signature Cecina from the raciones selection - Air-dried Wagyu with Poached Organic Egg and Truffle Foam. This was again great theatre with sensational cuisine to back it up. The staff bring out this incredible looking dish then proceed to combine the egg and the foam before your eyes with a fork.


See below...


Then the wagyu is folded over the top...



Until it is completely folded as below - ready to enjoy with knife and fork...


How good was this? There was a lighness inside of egg and foam to contrast the fine and rich wagyu meat. Wow factor.


Even the bill at MoVida is presented well... As part of Bread For Change deal you pay an extra $1 for bread to help the homeless.

Movida is a place that offers fine dining but not in a stuffy way. It's an intimate space so it's more for singles, couples or small groups - but not for large groups. MoVida Aqui is a larger venue for that. In fact the dream has grown to include a stable of MoVida, MoVida Next Door, MoVida Aqui, MoVida Bakery, Paco's Tacos, Bar Pulpo at Tullermarine and MoVida Sydney.


Check out the artistic entrance...


MoVida is located in one of the greatest gems of Melbourne - Hosier Lane. MoVida impresses at every level from visual presentation, creativity, sophistication of the cuisine, great wine list (half are Spanish) and the engaging service... David Roberts is an incredible head chef. You can even purchase some great books and access the recipes yourself. Still one of Melbourne's best.