03 Dec Movida Aqui, Melbourne CBD
Mum has been hanging out for a paella before she leaves for her overseas trip. After looking at prices for paella at various restaurants we went with Movida Aqui, which had a $63 paella that feeds 2-4 people (other restaurants charged up to $30 pp).
Since we were there, we thought we may as well order some tapas and other dishes to supplement our rice meal, though dad isn’t a big eater so we refrained from ordering everything that looked interesting. We ordered the rice first, before deciding on the other side dishes, as we knew it would take 30-40 minutes to prepare. So, I know arroz negro isn’t technically paella, but it sounded very tempting and was sufficient to quench mum’s paella-craving.
– Anchoa: Hand filleted Cantabrian artisan anchovy on crouton with smoked tomato sorbet ($4.50 per piece)
– Tartare: Wallaby Tartare w. Quail Egg, White Achovies, Green Chilli and Potato Crisps (16.50)
– Arroz Negro: Bomba rice cooked with cuttlefish and squid ink served with aioli $63)
One of the waiters informed us that the anchoa and bomba tapas are the most popular on the menu at the moment. Since mum and I aren’t that into fried/breaded things we picked the anchoa. This had to be eaten promptly, otherwise the sorbet would melt. When the menu said ‘crouton’ I expected it to be a thick piece of bread. Instead, the thin, crispy version of a crouton allowed us to taste the other ingredients better. Both the anchovy and sorbet were salty, which could have been a bit too much if we ate more than one (we had half each), but it was a refreshing, taste sensation, which I would definitely order again.
The wallaby tartare was one of the dishes of the day. We chose it because it sounded very different. I hadn’t had tartare before, let alone one with unusual ingredients, but the flavours went well together.
The paella did not disappoint. When it arrived at the table the inviting smell of seafood wafted everywhere, tempting our nearby fellow patrons. I wasn’t able to pick out many of the ingredients in the dish, only squid, baby octopus. It possibly contained capsicum but I’m not sure. The aioli was very smooth and gave a nice texture and finish when mixed with the rice. The paella also had some sweetness in it. The soffrito was incredibly tasty and I tried to savour the socarrat as much as possible.
All together it was about $28 per person, which isn’t really that expensive, especially for a top-end restaurant. Mum suggested that if we return with a larger group, it would be a good idea to order the small paella to share (not the $85 one that feeds 4-8 people), and because the servings would be smaller, there’d be more stomach space to try other dishes. Perhaps we’ll do that next time.
Level 1 500 Bourke St
Melbourne, VIC, 3000
(03) 9663 3038