Another blog by James. Another ripper review. And yes, the cheeky bugger is still only 11 years old!
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Coda Bar and Restaurant
141 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. Ph: 9650 3155
For my dad's birthday we went to Coda in Flinders Lane (its entry is off Oliver Lane). Zoe, the lady who helps run this website, reckons it's considered by some to be the hottest new restaurant in Melbourne.
When we arrived, the menu gave us a choice of 20 smaller offerings and six larger (and much more expensive) courses.
So to start with we ordered sugar cane prawns with a hot mint and sweet chilli, sweet potato and Clarence River prawn fritter with roasted chilli dip, roasted chicken wings stuffed with pork, glass noodle, jicama and spring onion relish, and baked snails with preserved lemon, garlic and thyme with a butter puff pastry.
After a short wait the prawn fritter arrived. It was really crunchy and tasted very nice and sweet.
Next came the sugar cane prawns - some say it is Coda's "signature'' dish - and they tasted really good.
After another short wait, the snails arrived. I had ordered these because I enjoyed them so much at Bistro Guillaume, but I thought they were my least favourite dish at Coda. They didn't taste right and there wasn't enough garlic in the sauce.
Our final entree was the chicken wings with the bones taken out and stuffed with pork. The taste reminded me of a dumpling and it was probably the best small offering. We did a Masterchef-style Taste Test and thought there must have been a lot of ingredients, but none were too overpowering.
For the larger courses we ordered roasted yellow duck curry with lotus root, whole fish (King George whiting) cooked in a bag and charcoal-grilled Hopkins River steak bearnaise.
After another short wait, all three dishes arrived at once and we shared.
The fish was cooked well but desperately needed a sauce with more flavour (Dad was complaining about bones).
Next I tried the steak. It was cooked medium-rare - very dark on the outside but red on the inside - and tasted very nice. I couldn't decide if I liked or disliked the bernaise sauce.
Last but not least I tried the duck curry. It was the best dish of the day - spicy but not overwhelming and the duck was cooked exceptionally well.
Overall in my opinion it was a nice restaurant and a good meal, but I wouldn't call it Melbourne's hottest new restaurant.