[Melbourne, Australia] Spanish food was never really in my food radar, perhaps because I never tried anything exceptional here, until MoVida.

Winning awards like Two Chef’s Hat in The Age Good Food Guide Awards and the Dish of the Year for its Cecina, you need to book extremely early (say a month) for MoVida.

Fortunately, my friend Stragen residing in Melbourne booked MoVida Aqui. He is a lawyer, who probably tried everything good in Melbourne, and was also looking forward to its virgin visit to the famed restaurant.

This 3rd installment of the MoVida family occupies a much bigger space by the dome of the Melbourne Supreme Court. And the ambience is exhilarating.

Not trying to exaggerate too much, the inside is what I imagined a real Spanish restaurant to look like – fire pit in the middle, chefs cooking right before you, and personalities of every sort having a drink. It is an energetic happy place. Or a freaking awesome place!

The menu which has words like “Para Empezar”, “A La Parrilla”, “Verduras” and “Arroces” did not make much sense to me. But the bubbly waitress was sprouting out every recommendation and must-haves as though she is my much-needed friend.

I did not know what made me order my most expensive prawns ever. The Gamba Con Sobrasada (AUD$8.50) was so ridiculously delicious that I felt good parting SGD$11.05 for ONE smoked prawn.

Another must-have is the Arroz Ahumado (AUD$29.50) – smoked wet rice with duck shanks and duck ragu. The duck meat was tender delicious, and you could actually taste the quality of the rice. It was Paella in its very delicious form. My friend subsequently spent his next 5 meals in Melbourne eating rice hoping to find that same taste. He didn’t.

Every dish from the Cured Pork Loin Truffle Salami (AUD$28.50), Fig Salad (AUD$17.00) and Calamari Sandwich ($7.00) was nothing short of brilliant.

The recommended desserts are the Flan ($14.50) crème caramel served with pestinos and Spanish Churros ($12.50) with rich chocolate you can dip into. Or drink the whole cup like I did.

A wonderful Spanish meal. “Muchas gracias” to my friend Stragen and the team at MoVida!

MoVida Aqui
Level 1, 500 Bourke Street, city (access via Little Bourke Street), Melbourne Australia Tel:+61 3 9663 3038
Reserve Online
Opening Hours: 12pm – Late (Mon-Fri), 5pm – Late (Sat)

Other Related Entries
Birdman Eating (Melbourne)
The Journal (Melbourne)
Cupcake Central (Melbourne)
Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne)
Brunetti Carlton (Melbourne)

* Follow @DanielFoodDiary on Facebook and Instagram for more food news, food videos and travel highlights. Daniel’s Food Diary paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.


  1. hello! i’m a new reader who lives in melbourne – and chanced upon your posts on journal cafe, movida aqui and cupcake central. they are definitely places that locals frequent. love your posts and your writing!

    i last visited movida aqui last year and the food is seriously nothing short of brilliant. if i had unlimited funds, i’d eat there more often. (:

  2. next time you go pop by las chicas and bar lourinha. definitely two of my favs when i used to love there. missing melbourne 🙁


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