July 31, 2012 4 Comments
Mon – Fri: 7:30am – 4:30pm
Sat – Sun: 7:30am – 5pm
“Movida didn’t just open a bakery for the sake of exposure. They have been baking bread since the time they first opened their doors. Even Movida Terazza (now replaced by Paco’s Tacos) had a portion of their kitchen space dedicated to baking their lovely fresh baguettes. According to one of my favourite cookbooks, Movida - “Bread is to Spanish cooking what rice is to Asian cuisine and potatoes to the Irish”. With Movida starting every working day baking bread, in the specific order of unlocking the doors, turning on the light, switching on the coffee machine and lighting the oven- it was only a matter of time before the birth of Movida Bakery.
Moving away from their traditional CBD haunts, Movida Bakery has crossed the river and is located in South Yarra. In a side street off Toorak Road, it’s the perfect location that retains the Movida vibe, stocked full of various food products and Movida literature.
The first thing you will notice when entering Movida Bakery is the no fuss, clean decor setting. The cafe space is portioned into two sections – one half consisting of the barista station with a window and breakfast bench. The other section holds a communal table with a full view of where the magic happens. It’s not only a fabulous bakery with the option to purchase extremely well-crafted sourdough and bread products, but it also meeting the demands of the sweet tooth and lunch cravings.
It was time to try the coffee and enjoy the delights on offer. My long black [$3.50] was from AllPress which came out with a nice tan-coloured head. There was a dark taste with this coffee with a slightly bitter flavour. Miss SL’s short black was a better tasting coffee (given the strength of the shot of coffee was stronger) and I was able to identify a slight caramel flavour. By all means it was an enjoyable coffee, however, comparing the quality of the coffee against others in this area my long black didn’t cut the coffee mustard.
As we waited for our coffees, I couldn’t help but notice the jams in the middle of the communal table. I’m a big fan of home style jams with the unbeatable authentic taste that no big label supermarket jam can achieved. The offerings on this occasion was Rhubarb and Fig, and given it was just sitting there we couldn’t just waste this fabulous opportunity. So we did what any jam lover would do- cheeky taste testing. As expected the rhubarb was the sweetest of the two with a well-balanced flavour. What was unexpected – and Miss SL was the first of us to pick this up – was the slightly sour taste that lingered in the back of the palate.
The fig jam had the right amount of subtle spices to complement the soft flavours of the figs. It was certainly the savoury out of the two but they were both exceptional.
My stomach had been craving brunch desert, however my mind was being consumed by The Saturday Age. Given Miss SL was only in Melbourne for the weekend before flying back to Perth, I gave her the honor of selecting the delectable delights. Plus, knowing Miss SL, she rarely makes a poor choice. We first tried the Peanut butter and jelly donut [$3.50] and whilst this was Miss SL’s first Movida donut, it wasn’t mine. On this occasion the dough of the donut was a little dry, which was a bit disappointing. However, looking passed this oversight it was still quite enjoyable. The peanut butter filling had a fantastic, strong and true peanut taste. It was the right amount of sweetness to satisfy my sweet tooth. I’m still a fan of the Movida donut and if you see one with custards filling, you must seize the opportunity opportunity.
Next up was the Pear and almond tart [$5]. As the tart came out, my first impression was that the tart was going to be tad dry. From my first bite I was quite wrong. Not only did the top layer have a great, sweet texture but the inner layer was soft and lovely. The almonds had been lightly toasted which allowed the full flavours to be achieved. There was a lovely crunch, but it was the pear that made this dish. It was still full of vibrant flavour and certainly delivered the right amount of sweetness to carry the tart into the territory of amazing brunch dessert.
All in all, Movida Bakery is a great addition to the growing Movida brand. Before we left I couldn’t help myself by buying a sourdough loaf to go with my home cooked soup. I’ve been shopping around to find the best sourdough Melbourne has to offer and I do have to say Movida Bakery has one of the best sourdoughs going around. In fact after speaking to one of the waiters, one patron had previously bought a sourdough, asked it to be sliced, sat down and casually ate it with the complimentary jams on the communal table. I think this bloke was onto something, as the sourdough had a good crunchy crust but also a lovely soft dough inside. It’s the perfect sourdough for any occasion. Movida Bakery is worth the visit and a must to try of their extensive range of breads.”
“Bakeries appear to be the new Mexican in Melbourne as more and more of them become the feature of articles circulating the streets and online. Places like Noisette, The Pantry and Brasserie Bread have been around for a while with heavy reputations that would deter a lot of contenders. When fine-dining restaurant Movida decided to branch out into this industry creating Movida Bakery, the internet was alive with chatter (or should we say, tweets?).
We arrived to find a beautiful cafe-meets-bakery fit out. Immediately upon entrance is the counter with the menu hanging on the right. To the left is the dining area that is separated by bags of flour to the bakery area. I’d read a few reviews on their donuts which seem to be ever-growing in popularity, particular as they have interesting fillings such as rhubarb.
There were no signs in front of the display cabinets suggesting what each item was, so as I attempted to order a couple of donuts off the menu I kept getting told they had none left. I finally got exasperated and asked what was on display, as everything on the menu seemed incorrect in accordance with what was actually available. We were told that there was only a Peanut butter and jelly donut [$3.50] left and a Pear and almond tart [$5]. I LOVE peanut butter so we decided to get one of each to share.
The peanut butter donut had a lovely colour on the outside and was dusted in a delicious cinnamon sugar. The donut itself, however, seems to have been sitting there for a little while as the dough inside was dry. The peanut butter and jam filling was tasty but overall it seemed to be overpowered by the cinnamon flavours. I think it’s the luck of the draw when it comes to the donuts though, as I’ve read some blogs raving about how good they are when they’re fresh out of the oven. Personally, I still prefer the beignettes from Noisette over this one.
The pear tart, on the other hand was amazing! I believe the base was made out of semolina flour as there was a lovely nutty flavour throughout the cake which was carried from the first layer. The poached pears on the top of the cake were just superb – firm and full of flavour.
Overall Movida Bakery was a nice visit and had a lovely feel to the dining area. There is still room for improvement though – matching up their menus to the actual cake displays would be a good start and perhaps offering a cook-on-order option for the donuts (if donut king can manage this then surely a top restaurant like Movida can?). In Mr LBs eyes, they’ve trumped Noisette for best sourdough bread, so if anything, use that as an excuse to check it out for yourself!”
Final Thought: “Beautiful sourdough bread as a take home or enjoy-in option”