I’ve been hitting the restaurants recently, mostly because October was like birthday month and my mom was over and stuff. We originally intended for the bdays to be done at MoVida but because they were booked out, we decided to get 4Fourteen instead. On a previous year, we tried to get to Porteno which was a horrible night for all involved. Not Porteno’s fault but just my housemate’s shit planning for his girl.

Anyway, cycle forward to two days ago (wednesday) and my old workmates just happened to be off so we schedule an impromptu gettogether. MoVida was booked out again but we got the tip from my ex manager that they just give out half the restaurant for bookings and you can still walk in, which we did without much hassle on the condition that we leave at 8.15pm, which gave us 2 hours.

We start with some Moritz lagers and they give out some free bread, which is dense and cake like whilst we check out the menu. It’s a tapas restaurant, so there’s small individually portioned tapas, bigger raciones or share plates and meat off the grill plus greens, jamones and sweets. Everytime I think jamon, I think MJ’s Bad. Ja’Mon, ja’mon! You know I’m bad!

Um yea, I am the glutton of the group because I get like 5 tapas. The other wimpasses get like 3 at most. Hello?

My curated options

  • Smoked Eel & Horseradish Croquettes (excellent, I recommended this because I knew MoVida do great croquettes)
  • Anchovy w Smoked Tomato Sorbet (rich and salty vs bright and tart but sweet and smokey, lots of flavour)
  • Smoked Prawn w Bottarga and Piquillo Peppers (not much smokiness from the prawn but the sweet peppers and bottarga complement excellently)
  • Quail Terrine w Black Pudding (muy delish, tender quail muddied with blood sausage and brightened with apple and blackcurrant)
  • Manchego Custard w Burnt Onion & Truffle Consomme (you get a cheese crisp that is soggy at the bottom where it touches the custard, which isn’t very big on cheesiness and a little overpowered by the consomme, maybe I just like more cheese)

A mate gets the oyster kilpatrick, which arrives in a little bowl, without the shell and sitting in a broth with a crisp bit of jamon on top. It looked good.

For the sharing, we get

  • Squid Stuffed w Black Rice (really fucking good, just big good flavour and wonderfully cooked, perfect from squid to rice)
  • Beef Cheeks w Cauliflower Puree and PX (how many times will this pop up on menus I don’t know but this was the best version I’ve had of it, ever)
  • Pig’s Ears w Guindillas (you get sweet pickled little peppers and sorta chewy pig’s ears with cheese wafers in between, lacking in flavour and not that great)
  • Patatas Bravas (good potatoes get paprika and a bowl of mojo picon to get better with)
  • Salt Cod Fritters (like the croquettes, these are excellent, so smooth inside, nice modern interpretation)
  • Spicy Pork Ribs (it’s not heat spicy, but amazing smokey spicy and tender delicious pork ribs that I would return for)
  • 700gm Rib Eye w Mash (cooked beautifully pink, it needs some salt but when you do get it, it’s just well cooked meat with lovely fat and juice and all sitting over smooth mash)
  • Chargrilled Vegetables (eggplant in a mashy puree together with peppers and stuff that’s just great)

I couldn’t remember too much about the chargrilled veg because we were onto our 3rd bottle of Michel Sarrazin 2010 Burgundy. It’s a little overpriced maybe at $70 a pop but it was easy, good drinking, popping with bright cherry flavour and did it’s job.

We didn’t have time for dessert because we ordered the beef after getting the rest and the waiter reminded us of the 8.15pm thing so we had to leave after they dropped the bill on us. Not the most gracious but all in all, the food was excellent. I think we ended up just over $100 pax which isn’t bad given the 3 bottles, beers and quite a bit of food. I’d go back for the pork ribs and a glass of rose/pinot. We end up at Gelato Messina on Crown Street and then Low 302 and later The Columbian for a slew of drinks after leaving MoVida.

Welcome to iPhone pix eating out on a long, alcohol fuelled night that left me sleeping at 5:30am but strangely not hungover at work 4 hours later.

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