Service was friendly from beginning to end and it good fun to sit at the bar and peer into the kitchen. Coda does that Melbournian industrial chic thing as it's decor with haphazardly painted walls and metal grilles and lampshades made from chicken wire.
My lychee martini was delicious and certainly helped me calm down and face the weekend. We decided to order a selection of the small tapas dishes before deciding on main courses.
Quail lettuce delight with lup cheong, shitake mushroom, coriander and water chestnuts
Very savoury and tasty meat mixture that was juicy and full of texture - crunch of the water chestnuts and the chew of the shitake mushrooms all surrounded by crispy lettuce. Yum!
Herb crumbed lambchop - looks a bit like something from McDonalds or KFC but far superior. Tender meat with a crispy crumb and a delicate herby flavour.
We also ordered the crispy rice paper rolls which we started eating before we could take a picture. They were deliciously moreish; crunchy and fresh with a zingy dipping sauce.
Steve had the Hervey Bay scallop, pearl tapioca and Yarra Valley salmon caviar and I went for Spanner crab, galangal, roasted chilli and lime betel leaf. Steve enjoyed the scallop and I loved the zingy citrus flavour of the crab brought on by the pink grapefruit. The roasted chilli wasn't as pronounced as I'd hoped it would be.
Said solo lady diner had one of these brought out to her and we couldn't resist copying. Sugar cane prawn - a prawn mousse surrounded by crispy vermicelli that was still crackling as it was brought out to us. Reminiscent of one of Steve's favourites, prawn toast, it was entirely enjoyable.
Moving onto mains we got stuck into the yellow duck curry which comprised of two meaty confit duck legs in a rich and fragrant sauce. The curry is not Thai style or Indian; quite unique really. It has a spicy kick to it but one that creeps up on you starting with a gentle warmth. It's a peppery kind of heat. The duck meat was beautiful that just flaked of the bone into rich chunks of meat.
We both really enjoyed dinner at Coda. I have to say that given my blocked nose my tastebuds weren't on great form so I needed some full on flavours to excite me and Coda really delivered. What was also good was we felt in no way rushed and were home by 8pm so I could have an early night and recover from illness!