Tuesday 13 March 2012

Coda, Melbourne

Betel leaves

What to say about Coda? It's uber-cool with a funky, industrial, concrete shell setting, lots of buzz and some of the dishes have spark. It does modern Thai and Vietnamese sharing dishes with a big side of hype. But, in the end, save yourself a walk down the stairs (and quite a few dollars), and go to my now beloved Chin Chin down the road or luscious Longrain a few blocks away.

Fried betel leaves

Harsh? Well, I did have a great night with Ms Gourmet Chick, MTV Husband and TPG. But, after the last martini was spilled (literally - sorry Ms Gourmet Chick) the lasting memories of the food were that it was patchy. I loved the spanner crab betel leaves - zingy and fresh with a lively array of flavours and textures. And I quite liked the crisp zucchini fritters with oozy mozzarella, fresh slithers of zucchini, punchy peas and mint. But other than that, I mostly remember the downers.

Not so special pork belly "special"

The recommended pork belly special was a huge disappointment - boring, slimy texture, no rich porky flavour and no crackling. NO CRACKLING! Big fail. The Scotch fillet may have been cooked straight from the fridge - still slightly cold in the middle and lacking that full sublime flavour of the fabulous steaks I had in the King Valley this weekend (more later). The banana fritters had a raw doughy flabbiness about them.

Octopus with sour green mango

Neither was the magic there with Coda's much talked about wine selection either. Perhaps we were unlucky, but we didn't have the normal sommelier, Travis Howe, at hand and the selection of wines chosen by the sommelier of the evening left us non-plussed.

 Zucchini fritters with mozzarella

I had high hopes for Coda. It looks like all that I love about Melbourne restaurants. It fell short for me.

Banana fritters

Coda on Urbanspoon

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