Sunday, May 08, 2011

Coda Melbourne 05/2011

It's a bit late to be reviewing Coda, a restaurant that has remained at the top of the pops for two years since it opened. Looking at reviews from that period suggest it has not changed much. It still takes weeks, even months, to get a reservation, especially for a table on a Saturday night. The menu remains a curious mixture of Vietnamese/Thai/Chinese influenced dishes. The small and larger dishes which can be eaten as individual meals but lend themselves better to sharing. The venue is a good representation of the modern minimalist style with plain bare wood tables, not schmancy, not even a little bit fancy.
We tried a variety of dishes starting with soft rice paper rolled with pork, prawn perilla and chive bud ($6ea) with a peanut dipping sauce, optional chili.

Pleasant enough but nothing special.
Next we had a Ha Noi style, Hanoi I presume, crispy rice paper roll with nuoc nam dipping sauce simple. ($6.8)

Again very nicely made and presented but nothing to put your taste buds into a spin. Buffalo mozzarella, zucchini fritters, mint and pea salad, ($22)
was very nice as was the quail lettuce delight, lup cheong, shitake mushrooms, coriander and water chestnuts, ($7.8 ea)
I wonder how they work out these prices, at least they're not $7.99 cents! This nicely balanced snack was not dominated by the coriander and tasted and felt very good. My favourite among the starters though Sandra preferred the mozzarella.
For me mains were not a hit either. and they were most unphotogenic!. A spicy Kung Poa chicken, a dish with a long history, (See Wikepedia if you're interested) was just OK. The few bones turned out to be a challenge in most of the chicken pieces. A curry duck, not on the menu, was even less impressive but who cares. the place is thriving so it's got something we seem to be missing.
For a change of scenery we drifted around the corner to PM24, where Phillipe welcomed us, for dessert and sent around some complimentary marshmallow.
OK so everyone gets it.
Score: We feel pressured to give it more but have to settle for 13.5/20.

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