Okay, this is my first post after short hiatus so this will be long. I visited so many restaurants during the past 3 months, and I have so many places to review. As the Food Escape team now resides in Bali, we will write more about restaurants here rather than Jakarta. But for this time, I want to write about an amazing restaurant I was invited to when I came back to Jakarta last week.

Among European cuisines, I think people here are most familiar with Italian food, so do I. That’s why I was very excited when Mr. Riz invited me to come and try his friend’s Spanish restaurant in South Jakarta. I got the invitation a couple of weeks ago but I couldn’t accept it as I now live in Bali. So when I had the chance to go back to Jakarta for a couple of days, I emailed Mr. Riz again and to my surprise, he replied almost immediately saying that we could arrange a meeting in the restaurant when we come to Jakarta.

So this restaurant, Tapas Movida, is located in Cipete area, which is actually quite close from my house in Jakarta. As planned before, we went there in a Friday evening, feeling totally excited to try some authentic Spanish cuisines. There were not many people when we arrived, I was a bit surprised as I thought the restaurant seems to be quite popular (especially during weekends) from the information I got in the internet. Nonetheless, the moment I stepped into the restaurant, I was mesmerized by how beautiful and romantic the interior is. We picked the smoking area and it was really beautiful. The table and chair design is so unique I couldn’t stop taking pictures. And the most interesting is, even the smoking area has air conditioners installed. Apparently when they were first opened, it was not like that, but because of Jakarta’s hot weather, they decided to close the area with glass windows and thank God we didn’t experience the former one.

The beautiful smoking area

The table that we picked, totally unique!
The candlestick on every table, very original and romantic.

The non-smoking area is located in the front side, with the bar and cake display. They have the booth type of seatings and I think the lightings are a bit darker than the smoking area.

Bar area with large selection of wines

Booth seats, perfect for families or friends who want more intimacy.

Great place to enjoy sip of drinks accompanied with authentic tapas.

Cake display that makes your mouth waters just thinking about it.

Small stage where they perform live music every Friday and Saturday night.

So around 8pm, Mr. Riz came and we let him ordering the recommended food because honestly we were not that familiar with Spanish cuisines. While we were waiting for the food to come, the drinks came and I was thrilled to see the size of the Sangria jug! FYI, Sangria is a wine punch typical of Spain, Portugal and Argentina. It normally consists of wine, chopped fruit, a sweetener, and a small amount of brandy (Source: Wikipedia). Here they use authentic Spanish wine and add chopped apple, orange and pear. I didn’t get to take pictures of that jug, though, but one thing for sure, the jug itself already made me excited enough. They serve two types of Sangria here, one is the Traditional Sangria (the one they served us), another one is the Deluxe Sangria, which costs about IDR 475.000+++/jug. The Deluxe Sangria is much more expensive than traditional one because it contains 14 different spirits, which I’m sure will bring totally unique taste and I will make sure to try that next time I visit there.
Traditional Sangria – IDR 295.000+++/jug
One jug can be shared with 4-6 person. The wine is sweet and soft, not strong at all. Mr. K who came with me that night is not really fond of alcoholic beverages, but he liked it so much after having the first sip. The chopped fruit give the sourness and more sweetness to the wine, clearly it was the best Sangria that I have ever had so far.
Before that though, I wanted to order ginger ale drink and the manager, who happens to be somehow informative, suggested to try one of the mocktail selection, Saint, which contains of ginger ale, mint leaves, and some lime slices. It is nice enough but not special if you ask me. If I go to Spanish restaurant, I would rather try their Sangria or wines because it’s more authentic that way.
Saint – IDR 30.000+++
Let’s start with the food. Mr. Riz selected some of the best dishes in the restaurant (based on his own opinion, which we couldn’t agree more!), mostly are tapas. What is tapas actually? Tapas are a wide variety of appetizers or snacks in Spanish cuisine. In Spain, patrons of tapas can order many different tapas and combine them to make a full meal (source: Wikipedia). The portion of every menu is actually only for one person each, so if you come with someone else, you just order two and so on. The efficiency about tapas is actually you can order many kinds of food without worrying that you will feel too full because you can start with 3-4 selections and add some more if you are still hungry. Although they come in single portion, most all of the tapas are strong in flavors and some come with rice or bread, so they’re actually quite fulfilling.
Pintxo de pollo moruno con salsa de yogur y queso – IDR 17.500+++
(Chicken skewers with yoghurt sauce and cheese)
This was the first food and I could not say anything bad about it. It is chicken breast but the texture was so good beyond belief. It was soft, juicy, and strong in flavor. Supposedly we dip the satay into the yoghurt sauce and cheese, but I was hesitating because yoghurt and cheese are just not my cup of tea. I was being curious and part of me just wanted to be polite so I did that. Oh la la, the moment I ate that, I fell in love to the sauce almost immediately. The sauce was PERFECT. It wasn’t salty but perfectly balanced and enhanced the strong flavor of the herbs in the chicken itself.  
Calamares en su tinta con arroz blanco – IDR 35.000+++
(Squid stuffed with tentacles and served with tomato rice)
I tried the rice first and I was surprised of the taste. The rice was supposed to be tomato rice, but other than that, it tasted like squid so until now I still choose to believe that it was cooked with squid broth of something. The squid was perfectly cooked, very easy to eat, and not fishy at all. Totally love this. 
Esparragos trigueros con huevos pasados por agua – IDR 30.000+++
(Pan-fried green asparagus wrapped in ham served with a 4 minutes boiled egg)
The third food that we tried was also interesting. It just looked so beautiful when they presented it on the table. The asparagus were wrapped with Spanish hams (which I had never tried before) and what made it interesting was the boiled egg on the side of the plate. So supposedly we dip the asparagus sticks to the egg and eat it like that. Using our hands, we dipped the wrapped part to the egg yolk and again, we were surprised of how wonderful the taste was! The ham itself is so salty so by dipping it into the egg, it will help neutralizing the saltiness. Seriously, this is genius concept, right? The egg was perfect (boiled exactly 4 minutes), the asparagus was nicely cooked, fresh and crunchy, well-combined with the salty ham originally imported from Spain, what else can you ask for a fine, fine tapas?

Patata confitada con salmon y compota de manzana – IDR 30.000+++
(Candied potato layered with smoked salmon and apple compote)

Here comes my favorite of the day! You know, potatoes and salmon are totally my favorite, and here I got them in one plate, topped with cinnamon, too! I couldn’t even stop admiring how beautiful the presentation was. The layered potatoes topped with a slice of smoked salmon, added with Spanish green olive, it was just amazing. I cut small portion first and ARGHH I love how perfect the collaboration between sweetness of candied potatoes and saltiness of the smoked salmon was. It was absolutely delightful and memorable.

Tosta de queso brie y cebolla caramelizada – IDR 20.000+++
(Pinchos topped with brie cheese and caramelized onion)

Contrary to the one above, this was the only one menu that I didn’t really like that day. I am not a cheese fan, especially I can never enjoy any type of blue cheese, so I kind of expected that. I tried a small amount of the cheese first before I started, and I just couldn’t like it. The caramelized onion was slightly overcooked and too sweet for my taste, but the bread and meat did help, a lot.

Galician Octopus

When I had my first bite, I didn’t know that it was octopus. The texture was so tender I thought it was some kind of sausage wrapped with octopus slices or something. It was interesting because I had never eaten octopus this soft, like eating effortless. Later we found out that the octopuses are actually imported directly from Atlantic ocean (if my memory doesn’t fail me), so that’s why their octopuses are just different from the ones we get here in Indonesia. It was nice and fresh, a bit too salty but maybe I have to get used to the strong flavors of the cuisines as they use large varieties of herbs.

Champinones rellenos – IDR 30.000+++
(Mushroom cooked in garlic butter filled with ham, mozzarella cheese topped with a fried egg)
I love this. You know, when they serve something salty combined with eggs, I couldn’t resist it. The mushroom was perfectly cooked, I could feel the taste of the mozzarella cheese (one of cheese that I love) and the egg was also beautifully done. I will definitely order it the next time I come back there.
Gambas al ajillo – IDR 55.000+++
(Traditional Spanish prawns in olive oil, garlic and white wine)
Usually I don’t really find prawns appealing, and I was surprised when I tasted this. I actually loved the prawns. They were so well-cleaned and cooked I couldn’t even smell anything prawns, yet they tasted prawns. Confused? You just gotta try them yourselves, maybe you will understand what I mean. Apparently they cooked it using Irish butter, which made it tasty and rich. We put that on the bread, which was served fresh and very delicious, and we couldn’t stop admiring it. 
Panceta asada – IDR 70.000+++
(Roast pork belly with red wine juice)

One word to describe this: SUPERB. Love the pork: crispy skin and tender meat, love the red wine sauce. Definitely one of their very best.

Paella de Marisco – IDR 330.000+++
(Chicken and Seafood with Spanish yellow rice)

Paella is one of original Spanish cuisines which is usually served on the pan itself and can be shared for 4-6 person. We were already full when it came out, but because it just looked so beautiful we couldn’t resist it (err, excuse, excuse). The pan was really big, literally big, because it immediately occupied the table XD We were just amazed by the paella itself, the size, the beauty, the color, and the taste. I personally think that it was the best paella I have ever had until now, all I can think is just, perfect, perfect, and perfect.

Solomillo de ternera con vegetales – IDR 395.000+++
(Beef tenderloin -Wagyu grade 7- with sauteed potatoes, pan-fried asparagus and rich red wine sauce)

This was the menu that Mr. Riz ordered for himself, but we got to try the beef. Oh God, I literally wanted to cry! The beef was cooked medium-well, which was perfect, the meat was juicy and tender, the sauce helped enhancing the taste of the meat, the asparagus were perfectly pan-fried, and the potatoes were looking great. I even liked all the plates they serve the food on, they are so beautiful and very Mediterranean in my opinion.

We also got the chance to meet the owner (and head chef) of Tapas Movida, Mr. Manuel Verdaguer, who is a very fine man with warm personality. He didn’t join us most all the time though, as he had to manage the kitchen when the food were served, but later we got the chance to ask some questions that he answered generously. From what we concluded, he seems to really know what he does, and he really puts his heart into it. One thing for sure, everything in the menu seems very original, maybe you can find the same menu in other Spanish restaurants, but here everything is done with personal touch and that’s what makes it special.

They offered us some desserts, and although we were very full that time, we thought, why not?

Churros con chocolate – IDR 30.000+++
(Spanish strips of fried doughnut)

I was overjoyed when a plate of churros was served on our table. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love churros? I am not a sweet-tooth, but I can never, ever resist churros served with chocolate. And there in front of me, I got a beautiful plate of golden brown churros topped with fresh strawberry, accompanied with a cute cup of yummy-looking chocolate. I remember Mr. K was like, ARGHHH YUMMY when he took the first bite. I was like “….”, but geez, it was SO DELICIOUS! The churros had slight taste of cinammon and I totally fell in love to it. When we dipped it into the chocolate, I swear I could have just stayed there forever munching on their churros. Yes, it was THAT good. And since I love dark chocolate, it was totally perfect for me because they use 58% one, which was perfect.

Honestly, I am really impressed by the quality of food this restaurant serves. I can’t even find anything to complain about. Some of the ingredients which I usually don’t like, I could eat there and even really love it, like for example, the yoghurt sauce and cheese. Both of these ingredients are really not my cup of tea, but there, I actually took the liberty to spoon some to my plate and I used that for practically every other dishes that I ate. Amazing, isn’t it?

If you plan to eat many types of tapas, you can also order the set menu, ranging from IDR 150.000+++/person for 8 types of tapas to IDR 300.000+++/person for 13 types of tapas and a portion of Paella. It is not a bad price for all the variety you can try, and trust me, it’s worth every cents you pay because the food are so good and satisfying.

I think the only disappointing aspect is the service. It was not bad, but I just didn’t get to feel the friendliness. The manager on duty was great, though. He was informative, helpful and knowledgeable, that is much more than we can ask for.

Nevertheless, it was such an amazing experience during our short trip to Jakarta this time, and I hope that I can come back there again in the near future.

Tapas Movida
Jl. Cipete Raya No. 66
Jakarta Selatan 12410
Ph. 021-751 0851
Facebook: Tapas Movida Jakarta
Twitter: @tapasmovida