Archive for March, 2008

It’s taken me an absurdly long time to write about my much-anticipated outing at Movida, but the truth is…it was so authentic that my anticipation overshadowed the actual experience.

Let me explain…I went to uni in Spain and spent 3 years living there. I came to know my vegetarian options quite well, which were actually quite limited. I lived in the university halls, share-house and with a host family in both Madrid and Sevilla. I went to Valencia to eat paella at the very place Hemingway once did, only I had to get mine next door because we made it to the beach-side restaurant a few minutes to late. I’m not claiming to know everything about Spanish food, but I know vegetarian tapas!

As soon as I was handed the menu I opened it up hoping my eyes would be star struck by terms such as “foam” or “sorbet” or any other word associated with molecular gastronomy. But, there was nothing. To kick start my Spanish experience, I chose with the sidra, Spanish cider to quench my curiosity. Sidra is a carbonated beverage one could easily purchase for 2 euros a bottle in Spain a few years ago. At $7 a glass, which came with a smart glass to drink from at my own leisure, it was decidedly much tastier than any of the stuff I guzzled during my uni days in Spain. As a sipped on my bubbly, the server placed a complimentary bowl of sourdough bread in front of us, which was quickly devoured with lashings of fruity extra virgin olive oil.

I’ll keep this short and sweet: I found the vegetarian options rather boring for the following reason.

I ordered queso manchego ($3, not suited to sharing) because it reminds me of the bocadillos, baguette sandwiches, I snacked on in between classes. The miniature wedge of cheese was followed the croqueta ($3, share-able if everyone takes one bite) and then patatas a lo pobre, which is a mixture of potatoes slow-cooked with olive oil, strips of red capsicum and brown onions. I ate patatas a lo porbre several times a week when I lived with my host mum in Sevilla and I also make it from time to time when I want something filling and reminiscent of my time in Spain. The vegetarian options were not exciting because I eaten so much of these dishes in the past seven years!

This is by far the most authentic Spanish restaurant I’ve eaten at outside of Spain; prices were acceptable, the menu options were acceptable, the atmosphere was acceptable. It was all really Spanish, in my opinion.

Other vegetarian options include:
Asadillo ($10), Marinated roast capsicum and tomato salad, in Moorish spices; Espinacas con garbanzos ($9), sauteed spinich with chickpeas & spices, and Ensalada valenciana ($8), Valencian salad, endive, orange, palm hearts and manzanillo olives.

The entire meal cost me about $15, which was fantastic for my pocket, but I was rather disappointed that my all-time favourite Spanish dish (tortilla española), which is traditionally vegetarian, was laced with cod.

Overall, it was pleasant. If I were a meat-eater, perhaps it would have been out of this world. Either way, reservation as essential.

Movida Bar de Tapas y Vino
1 Hosier Lane, Melbourne

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Full On

I have photos upon photos on my memory card just waiting to be download from my adventure to the last Wednesday night market of the summer and my much-awaited visit to the Spanish tapas place Movida. Getting back into school mode has proved more challenging that I had originally imagined. Any foreign national in this country knows that any dealings with DIMIA are never straight forward. I was only just finally enrolled in my course (4 weeks after the start date), which allowed me to apply for my visa renewal (1 week before its expiry).

In addition to all the school hubbub in my life, in the past 2 weeks 2 individuals have been let go from the kitchen staff team, consequently leading up the week when the head chef and pastry chef were to go on holiday for a week. So, life is full on the moment. No time for my partner, not time for fun cooking, no time for real food, no time for me!

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