PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
If you like MoVida, you'll love MoVida Next Door, which is exactly where and what it says it is. Entry is from the same laneway, but this eatery inhabits a different premises. It's small, dominated by a central bar, with bare tables and wooden chairs. It is dimly lit, always busy and possesses a great buzz about the place. People wait at the door, or at the bar, and sit when and where there is space. It's a place to meet for a drink and a snack, not a place to linger. It reminded us very much of the tapas bars we knew in northern Spain.
The menu is small, and the wine list smaller. The food choices are tapas and racion (a larger portion), supplemented by the seafood whose Spanish names are chalked on to a blackboard. A waiter will explain how the atun (tuna) or the calamares is cooked.
The tapas dishes range from the very simple and entirely delicious, such as goat's curd topped with a fried anchovy or the croquetas (little crisp-outside-creamy-inside fritters). Raciones include batons of eggplant, crisp as chips, served in a tall earthenware serving glass. There's also an intriguing braise of pumpkin and quince that goes extremely well with the small skewers of char-grilled lamb. The wine list is resolutely Spanish, although it does make room for non-Spanish spirits such as malt whisky. There are Spanish beers and sherry, too, of course.