50 Holt Street Surry Hills, New South Wales 2010
The supersized interest in MoVida has not died down. Frank Camorra’s popular Melbourne tapas empire made its cross-border incursion in 2012 and this first Sydney outpost opened to instant buzz and queues. Hype has since given way to unstoppable diner loyalty - for good reason. This lively restaurant boasts open-kitchen thrills and a smart urban interior that’s basically a passport for people-watching. Quick-witted waiters steer you through a menu that makes ‘order it all!’ temptation hard to fight. The flamenco dance of flavours is as vibrant as the Galician patterns adorning most dishes. A caramelised onion tortilla is rich, jammy and showered with truffle flakes; a nifty bocadillo sambo becomes a Padron collider with grilled chorizo; moscatel-braised duck is well underscored by pickled cabbage; and crisp half moons of potato - topped with aioli, herbs and a lightly spiced sauce - is a glorious take on patatas bravas.
And ... Travellers can try MoVida @ The Airport.
Vibe Smart, contemporary interpretation of the Spanish playbook in a buzzy setting.
Best bit Excellent service to match excellent menu.
Worst bit Narrowing your choices.