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


  1. It's not a good night until a martini or two has been spilled in my book. Very accurate description of our experience. Good to hear Chin Chin is now a favourite and TPG finally let you go there with him! We must do it again soon...

  2. I love foods, i like the last dish .

  3. What's up with the pork belly! Love an honest review. Looking forward to Chin Chin one of these days.

  4. Shame about the pork belly as it look delicious....

  5. Very nice, thanks for sharing.

  6. Great review! Their plating looks really fabulous, sad and disappointed to hear their food is not that delicious.

  7. The Melbourne restaurants offer tremendously delicious food all round for the visitors who come by flights to Melbourne or take cruises in order to reach one of Australia's best. The restaurants and eat outs are a must visit once in Melbourne.

  8. Looks can be terribly deceiving. The pork belly special and banana fritters look scrummy. It's a beastly feeling when something does not live up to expectations. At least, the fried betel leaves were as delicious as it looks in the picture.

  9. Any pork with no crackling is a major fail. The banana fritters look interesting though!


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