I mean, how else can you explain a city that has, in the space of two trips/eight days, caused me to experience the following:
- Reliving SeaChange at Barwon Heads. (Awesome)
- Being forced to take my pants off in public. (Demoralising)
- Eleven desserts in one night. (Incredible)
- Being forced (ahem) to eat pickle gloop pretzels. (Traumatising)
- Raw cheesecake. (Brilliant)
- My brother breaking his friend’s nose. (Questionable basketball prowess.)
And that’s not even all of it. However, despite Melbourne’s attempts to poke and prod me into submission, I can’t stop loving it. I also can’t stop writing about it, particularly when I suddenly realise that I never told you about my lunch at Movida Next Door. So what if it took place in December last year? My happy memories, and my gratitude towards to the BFF who so kindly treated me, live on in my heart.
After a morning of wandering around various nooks and crannies of Melbourne in deliciously burning heat, my BFF led us to the gorgeous restaurant Movida Next Door which is, unsurprisingly, located next door to the original Movida. We ordered up a storm, and you know what? I didn’t even mind that there was no dessert.
The first morsels to be placed before us were two bread rolls that, in one bite, wiped away all my usual apathy towards bread. (I’m sorry to all you bread-lovers, but it just doesn’t do it for me. Bread at restaurants takes up valuable stomach space that would be much better spent on dessert.)
People, these weren’t just bread rolls. These were deep-fried breaf rolls generously dusted with sea salt flakes.
Oh, the crackling oiliness. Oh, the salt. Ohhh.
Hey look! It’s my BFF’s hands! Doesn’t she have pretty hands? She also has a pretty face, but I’m not allowed to show you that.
The first dish to arrive that we actually ordered turned out to be my favourite. (No prizes for guessing that it involved nuts and sweetness.) What you see above is the Ajo Blanco, a savoury chilled almond soup with grape granita. The interplay of chilled and slightly-salty, slightly-nutty, stock-and-maybe-bread flavours against the colder and sweeter grape granita was marvellous, and I only wish Agnes had hated it so I could’ve stolen hers.
Our next order was the Bomba, a chorizo-filled Catalan potato bomb with spicy sauce. It was rather delightful, with a crispy shell encasing incredibly silky mashed potato which, in turn, hid a nubbin of spicy sausage.
What came next were the pretty and tasty boquerones. These were marinated white anchovy fillets over cherry tomatoes, atop something that might once have been a crouton before being liberally doused in oil and vinegar. Overall, delicious.
The chipirones, or baby calamari in ink, came with more fried bread, but I must admit that I thought this the least spectacular dish of the day. After the popping flavours of the previous dishes, this seemed a bit ho-hum, and so after I’d entertained myself with the idea of eating black food, I oh-so-generously let Agnes eat my share.
Last up came a cured sheep’s cheese drizzled with honey (I think) and served with a few tiny pieces of dried fig which, though pleasant enough in its cheesiness, didn’t quite blow us away. If only I’d thought to order another Ajo Blanco to finish…
Dear Agnes, thank you for treating me to this wonderful lunch; I had a magnificent time. (It makes my soul cry to think of how long ago this visit was, though.)
For Agnes’ take on our Movida Next Door extravaganza, make sure to check out her post here.