Melbourne, VIC 3000
Ph: 9663 3038
Website: Movida Aqui
I've wanted to try out Movida Aqui for a while now, having enjoyed Movida a lot. Hence, when I got a response from the talented Pierrick Boyer from Le Petit Gateau that he was available to meet up for dinner, I suggested Movida Aqui. It worked out well as it Movida Aqui is very close to Le Petit Gateau, one of Melbourne's best pastry shops.
The fitout at Aqui is very relaxed and has a wonderful feel. The funky decor makes use of it's upstairs location by having a lot of massive glass windows to let natural light in. The fittings are left minimal and industrial. Simple tables and chairs at different height fill out the very large space. We were seated at a nice corner table and left to chat for a while before ordering. As Pierrick had been to Aqui many times before, I left him to do all the ordering. We decided to eat the tapas as we both wanted something light and I had to run to a show after.
The tapas were all really good, with dishes such as the Anchovies with Tomato Sorbet, Salt Cod on Toast and Tortilla all really exciting the taste buds. The way the dishes are served and plated are so appealing to the eyes as well.
My favourite dish of the night was without a doubt the Calamari Burgers. The calamari was so tender with the lightest coating and the sauce was divine. I could have easily eaten 2 more of these burgers. Almost matching the calamari for dish of the night was the Bombas, little fried golden balls of goodness (in taste not calories) filled with chorizo and cheese. Wow, taste explosion. The Potato Croquettes, as good as they were, paled into insignificance compared to the other two dishes.
To finish off, I wanted just a small sweet taste and the Peach Puree with Glazed Fruits was refreshing and a perfect end.
Throughout the meal, I got to ask Pierrick lots of questions about his philosophy on food, his ideas for his amazing desserts and his background. I thought that Pierrick might be Indonesian or Hawaiian, but it turns out he is French. He grew up and studied his trade in France, but now has decided to make Australia his home. He said that he often gets confused for being Hawaiian, and when he was holidaying there, the locals thought he was a local. For whatever reason, he loves Hawaii the most and feels a connection there. Just check out the Hawaiian inspired tattoos he has. As for food, Pierrick loves making desserts the most and has so from a young age. His creations are born out of many years of learning and working in various kitchen throughout the world and his imagination. You must visit Le Petit Gateau and try out some of his cakes. The Hazelut Gateau is just awesome.
The food at Movida Aqui, at least the tapas anyway, is brilliant. It's a relaxed meal in a great atmosphere. There is an electrifying buzz in the air despite the large space due to a full restaurant. The only slight issue I had, which was mirrored by Pierrick, was our waitress. She seemed a bit snobby, food snobby. It's probably an instruction from the restaurant but she insisted on saying all the Spanish names so that we had no clue what any of the specials were. It's kind of pointless to try and be cool when the customers have no idea what you're describing. She was also a tad rude when we tried to ask what we had ordered and what ingredients were in certain dishes. Basically we had some communication problems throughout the night with her. Apart from that, it was a delicious meal and I had an excellent time talking to Pierrick on all topics. Thanks Pierrick for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet me for dinner.
Overall Rating: 15/20, Excellent tapas in a funky atmosphere.
Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20:Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.