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Lunch at Movida and a Recipe for Smoked Sardines

On a recent trip to Melbourne I was lucky enough to score a table for two for lunch at Movida.  Movida is an awesome little Tapas bar tucked away down a graffiti adorned laneway.  I’m a little partial to good Tapas. I have a soft spot for those little tasting plates that were made to share, as Tapas was my first experience of restaurant dining in my teenage years.  I’ve been looking for a good Tapas restaurant for those evenings when I want a trip down memory lane, however I haven’t managed to find anything decent in Sydney (any recommendations welcome). So when I found myself in Melbourne, there was no question I would have to give Movida a go, as I have only ever heard great things about the place.

Whenever there is a lot of hype about a restaurant I always go along with my critical eye, hoping to pick fault. but I have nothing to fault. We called ahead to book a table; we were told they were full, but as there were only two of us it would probably be OK to walk on in, and sure enough, they found us a table. You can’t argue with that, we called at 11:30 for a table at 12 the same day.

The menu consists of single serve Tapas dishes and slightly larger portions to share.  We struggled to choose as there was nothing on the menu that didn’t take our fancy. Between us we managed to sample the following:

Anchovy on crouton with smoked tomato sorbet. This was a tough dish to start with as I wasn’t sure how the others could keep up with the standards.

Preserved tuna with piquillo pepper and brik pastry.

Sardine sandwich with compressed capsicum. So refined it could be served to the queen.

Squid ink croqueta with cuttlefish.

Manchego with quince paste. Simple yet divine. This dish gives me a licence to eat slices of cheese straight from the fridge. Why mess with something to perfect?

And then onto the meat. First we sample the quail. Pressed quail with blood sausage, apple and garlic.

The finale. Slow cooked duck shank with hazelnuts, raisins and onions. We started on a high, and ended on a high, and everything in between wasn’t that low.

I left the restaurant on a high, so the first thing I thought of when I got back to Sydney was how to recreate this experience at home. It is impossible to recreate such refined Tapas, but with the help of Jamie Does… and the inspiration of these dishes I created a feast for two.

Jamie Oliver’s recipe for croquetas is superb. You will never achieve the squid ink version at home but these ones were a pretty good second best. And you can’t cook up a Tapas feast without the obligatory Patatas Bravas.

The highlight of my homemade Tapas feast? Inspired by the smoked anchovies and tomato sorbet and the sardine sandwich, I combined the two to make smoked sardines with tomato sauce served on crispy bread.

I salted and smoked the six sardines as per my recipe for smoked trout, except I dramatically reduced the times for both due to the small size of the sardines.

Once smoked I removed the flesh of the sardines and combined it with three tablespoons of the tomato sauce (from the patatas bravas before I added the paprika), seasoned to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice and served on some crispy French bread.

Movida is open 7 days from noon until late. Tapas dishes start at $3.50

MoVida Bar de Tapas on Urbanspoon


Comment from chocolatesuze
Time December 16, 2011 at 9:46 pm

yum everything looks delish and now im dying for some sardines

Comment from Miss Piggy
Time December 17, 2011 at 7:19 am

Movida has been on my wish list for longer than I care to admit. Last year it was shut when we went to Melbs and I was BEYOND devestated…BEYOND! 2012 is going to be my Movida year though…for sure.

Comment from gastronomous anonymous
Time December 17, 2011 at 8:47 am

love movida! everything looks delish and that sardines looks fantastic!!!! can’t wait to head back to melbourne

Comment from nic
Time December 18, 2011 at 9:03 am

ChocolateSuze, do it! Sardines are highly underrated, but I love them :)

Miss Piggy, I’d say it was worth a trip to Melbourne just to go to Movida. I’d like to go again to sample the other half of the menu I didn’t do this time around.

Comment from Colin
Time December 19, 2011 at 12:45 am

I dont know if you have heard of this one Nic,it may be possible for you to recreate the smoked tomato sorbet.Its a smoke gun marketed by,PolyScience,Innovative culinary technology.You load it with the wood chip of your choice,turn on the fan,and ignite the wood chips.It blows a thick stream of smoke from its nozzle,and you can then trap it in a dish with the food you wish to smoke.i:e,under clingfilm.

Comment from Gaby
Time December 19, 2011 at 11:29 am

Ditto on the Manchego, simple yet delicious. Haven’t tried smoked sardines, sounds like an interesting kitchen experiment.

Comment from Amanda
Time December 20, 2011 at 8:36 am

Movida is on my wishlist – but it is a long one & I keep adding to it. Sigh.
Good on you for giving it all a go at home too – love those sardines.

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