Movida, Port Baku Towers, 153 Neftchilar, Baku. www.saffron.az Tel.: (012) 404 8203
For reasons I’m not altogether clear on, the street where the popular and very smart health club and gym, Port Baku, is situated, is colloquially known as Fashion Street. Sure, at one end of it is ‘Emporium’ which, as the name suggests, is a super trendy fashion emporium over several floors, a go to destination if you are looking for high end designer clothes, shoes and accessories but otherwise, it’s more of a restaurant street. There are two wonderful bakeries (one of them Paul’s Cafe, see review ‘Strawberry Tarts Forever’), a Jean’s Coffee Shop outlet, a beauty parlour and hairdresser by the name of Chic & Chic, which many people rave about but where I had a most horrendous experience, a soon to be opened and highly anticipated WH Smith and a row of restaurants, all run by the Saffron Group: Masu (reviewed under Easy Peasy Japanesey), Harbour (see review ‘Hello Sailor!’), Madigan and Movida.
To Londoners, Movida is know as the super cool nightclub that was, and there are many other Movidas in Dubai, Sydney, Delhi and elsewhere but none other than the Baku restaurant are, I believe, under the management of the Saffron Hospitality Group. Indeed, Movida is Spanish for ‘scene’, so with Fashion Street’s ambition to be Baku’s hot spot for the beautiful people, this Lebanese restaurant is well placed at the heart of the Baku scene. It’s all gussied up in black and white with turquoise and fuchsia chairs and funky longhorn heads on the walls, a look that works well during the day but also doubles up nicely for a nightclub ambience in the evening. The generous rattan seating outside gives the place an Ibiza style chill out vibe and invites guests to linger over a coffee or a drink.
My daughter and her brand new fiancé were visiting from London, so I wanted to show these two sophisticated world travellers the Baku highlife and we took ourselves off for a light lunch at Movida. Now, it’s no secret that I am very keen on Lebanese cuisine. I like the mezze style platters which are usually light fare and allow you to mix and share, so I was in my element here. We ordered a delicious Jalapeño humous with pitta, labneh, firmer than normal and more like a Greek yoghurt but very palatable none the less, a wonderfully minty, lemony fatoush salad, some tasty little lamb kebabs, lovely garlicky shrimps and some beautifully presented chickpea falafel.
All were fresh and excellent! Service too, was friendly and efficient. All in all, this was a very successful lunch, finished off with coffees in the sunshine outside. We paid AZN46 for the three of us, including water.