Do you remember how I said that I was going to take the entire day off on yesterday to celebrate my birthday? And that I predicted it would all be rather marvelous? Well, it was indeed a marvelous day. I couldn’t have had a more lovely time, thanks to all the wonderful people in my life. I’m feeling very spoilt, special and grateful right about now.
Although yesterday was a decidedly chilly day, the soft Spring sun decided to grace us with it’s presence. This allowed mum and I to wander the City at a leisurely pace, hopping cafes and browsing the shops. I was searching for a dress to wear for the Brunch we are hosting the morning after our Wedding. And I found it, right where I thought I just might. It really is true what they say, when you put on your Wedding dress (or other special occasion dress), you really do know it’s the one.
Just after noon, we casually walked into Movida, with hope in our eyes yet no expectation of securing a table. Rather we predicted we would be directed next door, to Movida Next Door, which works on a no reservations, first come first served policy. However on this day we were very lucky and were able to snag a table for three. When it’s right, it’s right, just like the dress, I suppose.
Mum, Ben and I had a beautiful lunch. It was my first visit to Movida, and it absolutely met my expectations for quality, gusto, confidence and honest deliciousness.
Loving the excuse for a cheeky wine at lunch. “Happy Birthday to me…”
Some beautiful bread with olive oil to start.
Two serves of the Empanada with Prawn and Chorizo Tapa (a special) – this pastry was insanely delicious, super flaky and well salted. Wow. Wow.
One serve of the Brioche with Sardines and Creme Fraiche Tapa (another special), the brioche was quite thin and melba toast-like. I found this to be lovely but not quite as ‘wow’ as the previous Tapa.
For our first Racione (main sharing plate) we ordered a special, the Barramundi with Clams, Broad Beans and Jamón. The fish was just spectacular, cooked perfectly, and the broth was intense, more like a slightly sweet reduction. Divine.
We also shared the Slowly Braised Beef Cheek in Pedro Ximenez on Cauliflower Puree, which was so incredibly, utterly rich and soft, it just fell apart. Truly beautiful.
And lastly the Catalan Seafood Stew. The saffron in this dish was a little too strong for my taste, but it was an incredibly beautiful dish – in terms of the quality of the seafood, the technique, the flavours and also, the nostalgia. Eating this dish yesterday took me back to sitting at a bar at the back of the bustling Mercat de La Boqueria in Barcelona, devouring a fresh seafood platter with generously poured glasses of vino. Oh, and just look at all those juices ready to be mopped up by a second round of bread.
We declined dessert (I’m not such a huge Churros fan after all), rather choosing to eat Macarons on the street. Pimm’s and Pomegranate flavour for Ben, Salted Caramel for mum and Bastille (Moet et Chandon and Blackcurrant) for me. These lovelies were from La Belle Miette on Hardware Lane, and were truly delicious.
Ben then headed back to work while mum and I delighted in more coffee and wedding chatter. It’s all about the decorating details at the moment. I’m leaning towards White Hydrangeas for our flowers. I never expected planning to be this much fun. I am so incredibly excited for February. Mum and I had such a lovely time together. We’re at a really fun stage in our relationship, in that we’re truly great friends yet she is also a mentor in many areas of my life. We talk about everything, and I love that. We don’t always agree, mind you (I can sometimes be a bit stubborn), but I so value my mum as a person and her opinions. I cherish our time together. Thanks for the beautiful day, mum.
Later on in the evening I met up with a bunch of friends for dinner at Izakaya Den. This restaurant is seriously cool. We were seated on the large table at the back and we all shared little plates. The food was absolutely delicious. Standouts were the Fried Chicken and the Sweet Corn Fritters.
Mark bought me Sake…my first try. I must say it tasted like warm, sweet vinegar to me. I can see it growing on me though. Fantastically funky bottle too.
And look at this…
Sometimes he’s just too much to handle. Ben organised a bunch of Mini Cupcakes with candles that spelt out ‘Happy Birthday’. It was far too gorgeous. Ben bought them from Little Cupcakes on Degraves Street, and we had a whole range of flavours – from Red Velvet to Passionfruit to Lamington. They all went down a treat.
Afterwards we went out for some more drinks and chatting, plus a little dancing. I feel very loved and lucky to have such beautiful people in my life. Thanks to my mum, Ben, Jackson and my friends for making my day so very very special.
Tomorrow we’re down in Red Hill for some more family birthday fun – it’s a busy time for us, with all our birthdays within 6 weeks of each other. There will be a lot more celebrating to come, folks…