The new menu packs many of the MoVida classics plus signature rice dishes and charred goodness from the Spanish charcoal oven, among a bunch of delicious newness, like the spanner crab with shallot, chive, nata agria and saffron sauce, for example.
It’s very good gear; here’s chef and owner Frank Camorra with the skinny on Aqui 2.0.
How about a drink?
Spain’s rich gin culture has inspired us to create our own Spanish riff on an Australian gin in collaboration with gin maker Andrew Marks of Melbourne Gin Company. We’ve added bay leaf and paprika to the distillation process for a gin that works wonderfully in a gin and tonic.
I’m also always partial to a bottle of Rioja. The 2018 La Rioja Alta Viña Alberdi is a particular favourite of mine at the moment.
I’m here for a good time, not a long time.
Naturally, you’ll want a glass of sherry. Manzanilla en rama (“en rama” means unfiltered) with oysters is a good fix. You can’t go past our house-made smallgoods, and the marinated Flinders Island lamb skewer cooked over coals fills the gap – that one’s dad’s recipe.
Got anything light and fresh?
Each section of the menu has something light and refreshing. The bluefin tuna loin crudo with aji amarillo and charred orange is my current pick for a light bite.
What if I like tasty food but don’t eat animals?
Our head chef Ado Clemmens works magic with vegetables. His philosophy is that you don’t need to overwork a dish to make it delicious; high-quality produce, sourced twice a week from local farmers like Day’s Walk Farm and Glenora, takes centre stage. Be sure to try the salt-baked Jerusalem artichoke tapa with chickpea and curry leaf. Another standout is the woodfire-roasted broccoli served with ajo blanco and fermented cauliflower leaves.
This is a new chapter for MoVida Aqui – tell us more about that. Which dish best captures the new vibe?
Big flavours created with exceptional produce – this will always be our trademark. The arroz de cordoniz is a great example of that. Classic Spanish – the rice cooked to order, how it should be. The dish features rice, saffron, sofrito, globe artichoke and amazing extra-large Brisbane Valley quails – the world’s largest. Cooked with fire and smoke inside the Josper, our Spanish woodfire oven. The result: a crisp top layer with punchy flavour.
Let’s go big. Let’s go crazy. What have you got for me?
¡Los especiales! Try the daily specials; there’s always a range of dishes, allowing our chefs to experiment and elevate. Recently, we served up a deluxe wet-style rice with Flinders Island crayfish and Shark Bay prawn bisque. The specials also feature rotating premium cuts sourced from Sher Wagyu and other awesome producers cooked over coals.
And to close?
The flan is a must-taste dish. You’ll find this in almost every little restaurant you step into in Spain, and it’s been on our menu since day dot (2003). Our crème caramel is a rich baked custard with a layer of bittersweet caramel and served with sweet pestiños. Pair it with an oloroso or Pedro Ximenez sherry (depending on how sweet your tooth is), and you’re in for a fantastic finish.