MoVida: wine selectors dinner

Disclosure: I dined courtesy of Wine Selectors.

Movida, Movida, Movida. Last week was my first visit to the original Movida. I’d only previously had a lovely lunch at Movida Next Door but never visited the original. The reason for my visit was due to Wine Selectors – along with Haz and Thanh, we were there to try Frank Camorra’s signature wine that had been produced in association with Wine Selectors.

Wine Selectors started 35 years ago as a small retail space in the Hunter Valley and has morphed into Australia’s largest independent direct marketer of wine. Recently, they teamed up with several chefs and wine producers to create a wine collection designed to match each of the chefs’ cuisine styles.


MoVida Next Door

What’s the recipe for an awesome weekend?

Take one BFF, a Costco visit, mini Reese’s peanut butter cups (1.5kg thank you very much), glorious sunshine, 30°C temperatures, and top it all off with lunch at MoVida Next Door.

But first, a confession: before the weekend, I hadn’t eaten at ANY of the MoVidas before. Not the original (who can even manage to get a booking for it, anyway?), not Next Door, not Aqui, not Terraza. What kind of Melbournian does that make me? A Failbournian?

So the visit from my BFF was the perfect excuse to finally check one of them out and complete her Melbourne experience.

Naked for Satan: Siblings who Lunch

Thank goodness for the Melbourne Cup. If it wasn’t for the fact that in Melbourne we get the day off for a horse race, there would be a long, cold stretch between June and December with no public holidays to look forward to. The other good thing about the Melbourne Cup? Since it’s always on a Tuesday, taking the Monday off means a four day weekend. Hooray for long weekends!

Bro and I both took the Monday before Melbourne Cup off, so I suggested we go out for lunch. We headed to Naked for Satan, a newly(ish) opened bar in Fitzroy that serves pintxos. Pintxos are a typical snack of the Basque region in Spain, and are related to tapas – they consist of a mixture of ingredients on top of a small slice of bread and fastened with a toothpick.

Simply Spanish

It’s Friday, and I’m home today! This is not a fun at home day, this is more I’m home because there’s tradies on my roof and WHAT THE HELL IS THAT NOISE? Are they fixing the roof or whacking pigeons with a baseball bat? It sounds like the roof is going to cave in. Hopefully a spot of food blogging will take my mind off it…

I think I may have mentioned this previously, but South Melbourne Market is my favourite place to go for fruit and veg. It started operating in 1867, and went through a refurbishment and upgrade over the past couple of years. As part of the upgrade, new food stalls opened up on the Cecil Street frontage.

We popped into one of those newish ones, Simply Spanish, for brunch a few weeks back. The brunch menu had all the usual favourites, but with a little twist. For example, bacon and eggs came with a caramelised onion and tomato relish, scrambled eggs were served with sliced chorizo and eggs benedict had a saffron lime hollandaise.

Unfortunately we arrived too early for paella – a massive pan had just started cooking when we were seated. The smells kept wafting our way as we had our brunch, making me wish we had shown up just a little bit later!

Simply Spanish

Instead of paella, I had the Gypsy Eggs – soft poached eggs rolled in a Middle Eastern dukkah served with wilted spinach on grilled sourdough and a romesco spread ($15.50).

Simply Spanish

The eggs were perfectly poached – check out that oozy goodness! The sprinkled dukkah helped lift the eggs and complemented the capsciumish tasting spread on the toast.

Simply Spanish

Both of the boys had the Spanish claypot eggs with smoked chorizo ($16.50). This was a poached egg in a tomato and herb salsa, served in a claypot with toasted sour dough. This looked rich and full of flavour, although I noticed that the salsa seemed quite watery.

Simply Spanish

Unfortunately the coffee was a little lacking – I found it too sour to drink, much less enjoy! But the food was fine, and I’m sure that we will visit again. Perhaps next time we’ll time it right and try the paella!

Simply Spanish
116 Cecil Street,
South Melbourne 3205
Phone: 03 9682 6100

De Los Santos

We went to IMAX the other week to see Beowulf. Like Thanh, I think that the movie is worth seeing just for the 3D. It was quite an average movie, but the 3D was amazing and made it much more engrossing than a regular movie (despite the weak storyline).

Before the movie, Alastair and I had dinner at De Los Santos on Brunswick Street. We arrived around 7:30pm, and the restaurant was buzzing. The restaurant has exposed brick walls and hard floors, and with almost all tables full it was fairly noisy. As we hadn’t made a booking, we took a seat at the bar to wait for a table. Fortunately we only waited about 10 minutes and it gave us the opportunity to peruse the menu and decide on what we were going to eat. Despite our short wait, the staff still took time to stop by to give us an update on the table.


Croquetas de Espinacas

Once we were seated at a table near the back of the room, we ordered two plates of tapas and the seafood paella to share. The first dish to come out was the Croquetas de Espinacas – Crispy spinach & cheese croquettes served with red pepper relish ($10.00). We got 4 largish croquettes – they had a crisp golden crust, with a very soft almost gooey centre. The red pepper relish was slightly sweet and spicy. Very delicious.


Costillas de Cordero

The other tapas dish was Costillas de Cordero – Roasted lamb ribs marinated with rosemary & cumin salt, served with a lemon & yoghurt sauce ($12.00). The ribs were salty, slightly smoky and fatty but the lemon helped cut through some of the fattiness. This was another good sized serving – there were 9 small ribs on the plate.


Paella Marinera

After the tapas there was a short wait for the Paella Marinera – paella with mussels, prawns, pippies, fish, caramelized onion, fresh green beans & roasted tomato finished with a Seville orange glaze & fresh herbs ($24 per person, minimum 2 people). It looks quite impressive with all the seafood laid out on the top. The paella was generous with the seafood and was quite a large serve, particularly after the two plates of tapas we had eaten! Some parts were a tad salty and some of the pippies seemed slightly bitter, but I really enjoyed the occasional bits of crunchy rice I came across.

All in all, it was an enjoyable meal. I was impressed with the size of the tapas that we had. I would like to go again but would skip the paella and instead just order tapas so I could finish off with dessert. I had wanted to have churros that evening, but unfortunately we didn’t have time nor space in our tummies!

De Los Santos
175 Brunswick St , Fitzroy 3065
Phone: 9417 1567

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