Initially I'd hoped to have an early dinner at Chin Chin - a super cool new place on Flinders Lane (a bit like Sydney's Ms G's I'm told). Chin Chin gets VERY busy so I was told to get there REALLY early for a nana-dinner. No worries, except for The Boy slept through my scheduled 5.45pm eating time. By the time we got to Chin Chin it was well after 7pm and there was a TWO HOUR WAIT for a table. I was crushed - I mean, I'd stalked out Chin Chin earlier in the day and took all manner of photos of the exterior in preparation for my impending blog post. Hmmm.
Lucky I had my handy eating-list with me! Coda was just down the road so we headed there and were lucky enough to score a seat at the bar. The bar is always the best seat in the house I think - the bar staff are always friendly and it's entertaining to watch them shake their...cocktail shakers. This bar seat had the double whammy of being able to see into the kitchen - SCORE!
|Really fell in love with this Moritz beer whilst in Melbourne, and rekindled my love with G+T.|
I actually thought that Coda was a Spanish Tapas restaurant. Wrong (I obviously wasn't listening properly when my friend recommended this place to me). It turns out it is Tapas, just Asian Tapas which is something different and HEAPS of yum. There are loads of tempting small plates to start things off with and we restrain ourselves and order just three items.
After my po-boy love affair at Hartsyard I'm a determined to try EVERY SINGLE PO-BOY the world has to offer. Coda's lamb po-boy ($8.00 each) is a bit of a nod to Momofuku with a soft + squishy steamed mantou bun filled with lamb + salady stuff and served with a chilli jam. I love the lamb filling - something different that's for sure. The crispy prawn and tapioca betel leaf ($5.80 each) looks a bit like a curry puff in appearance and is very VERY tasty. The sugar cane prawn with sweet chilli sauce ($7.00 each) looks more like a fluffy lamb shank that a sugar cane prawn, but we both love the crunchy noodle outer than hides a soft, fluffy prawn past that is not unlike a croquette in texture.
We order one main between us and settle on the ‘Uhm-ma’ chicken ($38.00) mainly due to its funny name, but also as the chook is free-range. The chicken is served in spicy yet sweet sauce that is home to big pieces of meaty shitake mushrooms, sliced fish cake and shallots. Really REALLY delicious. Oh, we also had some more beer. Guzzle.
I wasn't going to have dessert, but The Boy decided to indulge and I didn't want him to be eating alone. I choose the ice-cream sandwich ($12.00) that was definitely very interesting to look at! The pastry-like "sandwich" looked more like a fried lotus root - the honeycomb and banana ice-cream = yum!
The Boy has had a life long love affair with meringue so went with the toasted meringue, vanilla chiffon cake, passionfruit curd, coconut and mango sorbet ($16.00). This was a life altering moment for him (seriously, not joking) as there were declarations of this being the THE BEST dessert he's ever had, EVER (and he's had A LOT folks)! He says he finally understands what people are talking about when they bang on bout texture, smells, flavours etc all coming together for a "party in the mouth". So there you go Coda - you changed somebodies life with your little meringue dessert.
We had a great dinner at Coda - our second choice for dinner turned out to be our #1 Melbourne meal. The staff were damn friendly and the food was great. I can't wait to come back....soon!
Coda is in the Basement of 141 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. Phone them on 03 9650 3155.