Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Movida Aqui - Faster Than The Speed of Sound

I was looking forward to my trip to Movida Aqui, located behind the NAB tower at 500 Bourke Street in the Melbourne CBD for some time. On multiple occasions over the past few months I sat outside the restaurant and enjoyed tacos and beer at Paco's Taco's which is also owned by the Movida Group in the courtyard. I have thought that Movida Aqui would make a good location for a relaxing lunch so it was with great expectation and pomp and circumstance when a mate was visiting from Brisbane that we booked and presented ourselves to the restaurant for a tour de force.

A custom that my Dandy Warhol's loving mate and I had before enjoying a relaxing culinary experience at lunch in Brisbane was to have a cheeky pint somewhere before fine dining to warm us up. Well, in Brisbane, there usually was no reason to get any warmer so lets just say that the pint was required to get in the spirit of the afternoon.

We decided to meet at The Irish Times on Little Collins Street at 11:45 AM as our booking at Movida Aqui was made for 12:15 PM. The look of consternation, if not disappointment was evident on my face when the barman stated that they can not serve alcohol until noon. This was an attack on tradition in the same way gay marraige would seemingly impact traditional marraige if you listen to some. Not to be outdone, we scoured the area looking for another watering hole but in the end we retreated to the restaurant on time, sullen and quite thirsty, not having satisfied our prerequisite for dining.

Our assigned table was in the back corner which in my opinion was one of the best seats in the house. This allowed us not only to see what was going outside in the laneway, keep an eye on the ever-changing weather (and laugh at those running from the wind and rain) and also keep sight of the entire customer base in the restaurant.

The server proved to be very efficient, thrusting menus at us as soon as we were seated and also pointing out the specials. We educated the server that we were intending to have a relaxing lunch, had no requirement to leave at any particular point and we would be ordering slowly and enjoying a fair amount of wine between the orders. This routine seemed to be out of the ordinary and we were repeatedly asked to place an order, any order, just to get it into the computer.

What I found to be queer is how quickly dishes were brought out as soon as they were placed into the computer. Given the "efficiency" if you look at it positively, a lunch time diner could plough through many dishes and a bottle of wine in an hour considering the dishes seem to be pre-made and also considering the efficiency of service.

I would return to Movida Aqui however I would not intend for the visit to be a long affair. There are some dishes and obviously wine that I was not able to try on the last visit and look forward to the next occasion where I can power through the food and beverage with impunity. A quick visit is actually preferred now considering the availability of restrooms, which are also explained in my e-mail to the restaurant.

As articulated in the e-mail which I am pasting below after the scoring, was sent to Movida after my experience and articulates why extremely long relaxing lunches should be experienced elsewhere. 

Perhaps being ushered out of the restaurant and not being allowed to languish there for a few more hours was good in retrospect. We were able to visit Bar Americano and Der Raum to round out the day before the footy started. It turned out to be a relaxing affair indeed.

Movida Aqui, Bourke Street, Melbourne

Movida Aqui
Link to review
500 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9663 3038
My Rating: 14.5/20
Service: 3/5
Ambiance: 3.5/5
Quality: 4.5/5
Value For Money: 4/5
Comment: the food is worth coming back for

Twitter: @epicurean3006
e-mail: epicureanofsouthbank (at) gmail (dot) com
web: www.epicureanofsouthbank.com

When I updated this post on 15/09/12, 85% of the people that reviewed Movida Aqui on Urbanspoon liked the place also.

MoVida Aqui  on Urbanspoon

To: 'info@movida.com.au'


I have had Movida Aqui on my list to visit for a while especially since I recently relocated to Melbourne from Sydney. One of my best mates in Sydney always raves about it and I have always been keen to visit especially after reading the good press. After spending a few lazy relaxing Friday lunches at Pacos y Tacos and knowing that I needed to find a venue for a mate that was visiting from Brisbane, I decided to make a booking, which was scheduled for Friday 29 June 2012.

Generally speaking I found the experience pretty good. It was on par with expectations and I was pleased that the architecture afforded a more casual and relaxing dining experience in comparison to the property on Hosier Lane.

My guest and I made it clear that we were in no rush and were happy to sample many plates and wines and make an afternoon of it. I always felt we were rushed to order something… anything… just to get something in the computer. I was also rather vexed at how quickly things would arrive after the order was placed. Sure, there are many people on a timetable but I would like to think if you announce your intention to spend many hours, which also includes many dishes and bottles of wine that the intention would be taken a bit more seriously. Given it is easy to spend eight hours at Grossi Florentino at lunch and ultimately be finishing your lunch during dinner service and the same amount of time, if not more, at Vue de Monde or even Attica if your intentions are announced, one would assume that such an opportunity for a restaurant to proverbially pick the customers pocket would be welcomed.

I suppose the only thing that truly vexed me is that there is only one cubicle in the gentleman’s lavatory. Upon presenting myself in there to conduct some urgent business (as I was still in the final stages of riding myself from the nasty flu) I needed to wait ten minutes for the cubicle to become vacant. What was surprising was one of your kitchen staff was using it. I am not saying that your employees shouldn’t be allowed to vanquish themselves of unneeded waste, but I would have thought there would be other facilities that they could use especially given it can become a critical path for your customers. Strangely I saw the same member of staff later still in uniform sitting at a table reading the newspaper whilst diners were still consuming. I thought this was out of character and unexpected for a restaurant of your calibre.

I thought that these curious events would be worth bringing to your kind attention.


** no response has been received which is disappointing.