Elvis Abrahanowicz, Ben Milgate and Joe Valore’s cult South American-inspired restaurant reopened in the old MoVida space on Holt Street, Surry Hills in December 2016 (the Cleveland Street site is now a dedicated functions and events space).
The revived design makes the most of the glass-walled building. The floor has been tiled, the paint lightened and the walls speckled with South American movie posters and old football iconography.
The food also changed a bit; not so much stylistically, but in scope. There’s the parilla (Argentinian barbeque) complete with a trio of sizzling, whole pigs. A charcoal asado (South American barbeque) covered in sausages, steak and even more smoke. Far away from the flames there’s a wine stack with labels from Chile, Argentina and Spain.
The South American-style flame-grilled and charcoal-roasted meats are available with sides and sauces – such as the chuleta, a dry-aged rib eye with an ox-heart-tomato salad and a hunk of wood-fired baguette soaked in the steak’s juices. A custom-built, wood-fired oven, upped the roast vegetable game.
The dessert menu has wood-fired fruit hollowed and stuffed with yoghurt sorbet and rosemary syrup; and postre balcare, a triple-layered sponge cake with chestnuts, dulce de leche and a crème caramel-like topping.
The 300-strong wine list covers large swathes of Italy and Australia along with the South American picks poured at Cleveland Street.