Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Coda - Melbourne

Name: Coda

Address: 141 Flinders La
Melbourne 3000 VIC
Phone: (03) 9650 3155

Food: Asian, European
Average price: small - $3-$17, bigger - $18-30, desserts - $13-$18

Complimentary: Nothing (but some ordered dishes were comped).

Entree: Sweet potato fritter, roasted chilli dip - $5 (adjusted to be vegetarian)

This was nicely spiced and crispy with a spicy, creamy chilli sauce, it was however a little on the oily side.

Crispy prawn and tapioca betel leaf - $5

The boys loved these so much that they ordered another two to eat. Ryan thought it was cool and asked me to at least smell it.

Sugar cane prawn with sweet chilli sauce - $5

This was ok but paled in comparison to the crispy prawn above.

Eggplant and tofu lettuce delight, enoki mushroom, crispy garlic and black vinegar -$5

I enjoyed this - it was tangy and deep in flavour with a crisp lettuce and variety of textures, a little messy to eat (would have liked a small water bowl to rinse my fingers) but I enjoyed it.

Roasted Coffin Bay scallop, pearl tapioca and Yarra Valley salmon caviar -$6

Steph liked this overall, but felt it didn't need the green leaf dressing that just got stuck in her teeth - it would be the same without it.

Roasted chicken wings stuffed with pork, glass noodle, jicama and spring onion relish -$9.80

Ryan enjoyed this.

Coda roll, crisp parcel of bone marrow, ginger, shitake mushroom and rice paddy herb -$8.80

From what I remember Steph and George liked this.

Seven spiced cuttlefish and ponzu soy - $15

There was nothing wrong with this, but it wasn't special either. Generous proportion to the rest of the dishes.

Main: Roasted yellow duck curry and lotus root -$29

Ryan liked this, it was pretty good, but you do need a side dish like the Jasmine rice to go with it. The duck was tender and everything was balanced.

Hopkins River steak Bearnaise charcoal grilled - $29

George thought this looked a bit small but it was surprisingly filling.

Sides: Wok fried snake beans, yellow soya bean sauce and caramelised shallots - $8

We were under the impression that this would only be enough for 1 so we ordered two, it is definitely large enough for two people to share. The beans are super soft with a lovely salty sweetness and crunchy fried shallots.

Pomme frites - $8

Decent sized serving of well cooked and well salted fries.

Jasmin rice - $5

This was a touch on the crunchy side but fine to eat with the other dishes.

Dessert: Valrhona chocolate custard pot hazelnut brittle & pumpkin foam with a banana souffle with Pedro Ximenez and drunken date ice cream - $16

This was supposed to be the tasting platter but the original lemon tart fell apart so they gave us a chocolate pot each (rather than 1 for 2 people) and a souffle to share (which is $16 on its own). The souffle was light and dissolved in your mouth with a sweet banana taste and a hint of Pedro Ximenez. The ice cream was studded with chunky, sticky dates and was the lingering flavour.

The chocolate pots were lovely. The pumpkin foam was like a super light mousse that tasted a little more like honeycomb to me. It gave way to silky Valhrona custard that was similar to Nutella in texture, not eggy like a custard at all. There were also crunchy pieces of sweet hazelnut brittle, overall it was the perfect sized little dessert.

Cost: $202.60 - 12 small sizes, 2 large sizes, 4 sides, 2 dessert platters, 2 beers, 1 glass chardonnay (1 side and 1 dessert were complimentary).

Service: Great. The service was extremely friendly and informal. Through a miscommunication my rice didn't come out with the rest of the dishes so we were given it for free. Also with the dessert we ordered the tasting plate and as one of the components was unable to be used we were given individual desserts as well as a large souffle for the same price.

Atmosphere: Trendy casual. The decor is quite industrial with splashes of colour from hanging lanterns and the like. The seating was comfortable and whilst the noise level was a little boisterous you didn't need to yell. The tables are also well spaced, although the bathrooms are a bit of a hike. There was a slight draught towards the end of the night.

Parking: Ample - street parking might be scarce but there are plenty of paid parking garages available.


Hours: Tue-Sun noon-11pm (closing time may vary)

Would I return: Yes.

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