Coda is an amazing restaurant tucked beneath the hustle and bustle of the city. In a basement off Flinders lane, this hidden gem has a sensational menu and provides a memorable eating experience. The food is inventive, inspiring and undeniably delicious.
The venue was dimly lit and had an intimate feel and a great wine selection. The service was great, the staff were friendly and attentive.
The spanner crab was cold and fresh. It had galangal, roasted chilli, lime and fresh tomato. It was a perfect starter to the meal. You fold up the lime betel leaf and eat it like a little taco. The flavours were light and refreshing.
The lettuce delight was nice, it was a san choi bao w eggplant, tofu, enoki mushroom, crispy garlic and black vinegar.
The Hervey bay scallop was amazing. It was seared perfectly and the pearl tapioca was buttery and creamy and had a brilliant texture. It was topped with Yarra Valley salmon caviar. I don’t usually eat salmon caviar because it reminds me of the opening scene of ‘finding Nemo’ but I thought it would be a shame to set this aside because it looked really pretty. Turns out it is delicious! The caviar pops in your mouth with bursts of saltiness it was exciting and absolutely divine.
The tempura bugs were lightly battered and cooked to perfection. Simply amazing! I wanted to order more of these, they were so light, tasty and easy to eat. They were paired with a caramelised chilli sauce that had quite a kick and a side slaw. It was delicious! It was presented with the deep-fried bug shell, which was impressive and tasted similar to pork crackling. It was yum!
We had the fried cauliflower as a side. It was topped with pine nuts, pomegranate and covered in a goat’s cheese dressing. It was tasty. There were lots of different textures and flavours it was great.
The zucchini fritters were delicious little croquettes, they were creamy and moreish, good comfort food. The simplicity of the smashed peas, pickled shavings of zucchini, mint and That’s amore buffalo mozzarella made this a very sophisticated dish. All the flavours went so well together.
The Aperol cured Huon ocean trout looked like art. It had beautiful colours and textures scattered across the plate. The pickled beetroot was cut into tiny little cubes. They were so small that they created an interesting texture that really complimented the smooth silky trout. Then there was the perfect quenelle of crème fraiche sorbet and perfectly smooth carrot mousse. Yum! The flavours were amazing. The trout was delicious and the finesse of those tiny beetroot squares made this dish something remarkable.
Then for dessert we ordered the sweet corn parfait. There were lots of different elements on the plate. There was caramel popcorn, passionfruit, a bright pink fresh strawberry sorbet and bits of strawberry fruit leather (like roll ups). There were sweet syrup cake balls and white chocolate bits. It was really fun to explore the dish and find surprises of deliciousness.
We also ordered the dark chocolate ganache w chocolate crunch, aero, mandarin and licorice. I was hesitant at first because I’m not a huge fan of licorice and it seemed strange to have chocolate, mandarin and licorice. I was wrong. It was delicious. I was going to just avoid the licorice areas if I didn’t like it, but it ended up being my favourite part of the dish. There were little parfait balls of licorice, which were creamy with a really subtle and delicious licorice flavour. I can’t believe I almost didn’t order it because of the word licorice. The licorice parfait was incredible. There was a bar of rich dark chocolate ganache in the middle with big rustic chunks of aerated chocolate sitting on topped, sprinkled with a chocolate crumb, dots of mandarin gel and dehydrated mandarin pieces. The mandarin balanced the sweetness of the chocolate and gave it a touch of citrus. It was sensational.
The toasted meringue looked beautiful. It was covered in this white snowy dust. There were big soft peaks of toasted meringue, which had a toasted outer and melted in your mouth. They tasted like camp-fire roasted marshmallows yum! There were also little crunchy meringues, fluffy vanilla sponge, coconut cream, pineapple and yuzu which was really citrusy to cut through all the sweet. It was fantastic.
Everything we ate was exciting and delicious. Each meal took you on an exciting journey where you became completely immersed in the dish you were currently eating until the next dish arrived and you became completely immersed in that one. The service was great, the venue had a good atmosphere and the food was outstanding. It was truly an inspiring experience.
I heart Coda!
Address: Basement 141 Flinders Lane
Phone: 03 9650 3155
Trading Hours: Mon–Sun (7 days) Lunch 12pm-3pm, Dinner: 6pm – 10.30pm