After my previous flawless dining experience with Coda, this Asian inspired restaurant quickly became one of my 'New Faves' in Melbourne. Unfortunately, on this occasion of dining, the same praise of 'flawlessness' could not be said.
Situated in the foodie precinct at 141 Flinders Lane, and sister to Tonka and Oter, Coda is a Melbourne institution. On this occasion we ordered the calamari, green papaya and cucumber salad with nahm jim, peanuts and crispy anchovies, the sizzling plate of Moreton Bay bugs, mussels and XO sauce, the roasted yellow duck curry and the buffalo mozzarella zucchini frittera with mint and pea salad.
The dish of the night was surprisingly the zucchini frittera. A dish epitomising spring, it was fresh, vibrant and full of flavour.
The calamari papaya salad was the biggest disappointment - the calamari was tough and incredibly fishy, contaminating the enjoyment of the rest of the meal.
The Moreton Bay bugs and the yellow duck curry however, were cooked to perfection, with the duck mouth-wateringly shredding off the bone.
Whilst always crowded and sometimes booked out weeks in advance, on my previous visit to Coda, you wouldn't have guessed that they were filled to the brim with the staff being incredibly attentive. However, on this occasion the service was slow and we found ourselves having to waive down someone to place our food order and to fill up our wine.
Nonetheless, with its incredible food, and in light of my precious dining experience, I would definitely be willing to give Coda another chance.
Verdict: love - get around to trying it soon