Oooh. Barra-Coda.

So, yes. I’m married now. JP turned to JT. And my blog titles are still as corny/hopeless as ever. Wife life is treating me well. As I benefit of going from P to T, red head husband and I had a brilliant celebration with our nearest and dearest and received many a lovely gift. One of which was a spectacular voucher for an evening of deliciousness at a restaurant of our choice from my work buddies. Oh yes, they know me well.

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Dranks. Beer. Sparkling. Oh the choices.

There we so many choices, but for the vibe we wanted and the food we craved, enter Adam D’Sylva’s Coda. This funky, moody, electric restaurant is nestled next to the big boy of Flinders Lane, Chin Chin and definitely holds its own. As one of Melbourne’s finest, it is very hard to score a table at this fantastic location, but never fear, unlike it’s asian fusion neighbour, it’s book-able. Mhm. Call them. now. You’ll be drooling soon.

We were welcomed by one of the numerous friendly staff and given the cosy corner seat which was awesome for both people watching and food lighting. Bravo, Coda. The restaurant was packed on this buzzing Friday night and we were loving watching the clientele and their random interactions. Oh yes, we can’t help it.

Ok. I will admit I had a post it in my bag with my menu decisions. I can’t help it! I did still peruse the menu and let Husband pretend he had some input into menu choices. But really, I knew what we would be eating before we even walked in. Sorry, husband. You married this.

I rattled off my post it notes to the waiter, who had to stop me 3/4 way through to let me know we “mayybe” had enough food. I was sceptical but trusted him. Probably wise considering I intended on being able to walk and not roll out of the restaurant at the end.

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Oyster love.

First up were a delicious sample of Barilla Bay oysters from that little island down south, good old Tassie. I love a delicious natural oyster, and the finger lime dressing was a great accompaniment. Mm I want some now. They were so fresh and yes, I could have ordered several dozen, but my portion control issues were controlled. For a moment.

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Crispy Hà Nôi style rice paper roll with pork, taro and nuoc mam dipping sauce

I was ready for a food parade. Like the Easter Parade but without the hats. Oh dear JP, that’s the best you could come up with? Clearly need something to eat. Those cripsy pork rice paper rolls would go down a treat right now. I’ve never had fried RPRs but they were great. Moist meat with that crunchy texture and freakin’ yum Nuoc Mam dipping sauce. mmmhm. They’re onto a winner there.

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Spanner crab, galangal, roasted chilli and lime betel leaf

These bad boys deserved two photos because they were twice as good. And there’s two of them so I thought I should let them both have a moment in the limelight. I haven’t had many betel leaf combos and before trying these, the favourites were found at Longrain. BUT. These were delicious. So fresh. Husband wanted to me include that he thought these were “Fresh like the Prince of Belair”….yup we deserve eachother. He’s not a huge fan of spice so these were juuuust right for him and I thought the little bit of spice just let the crab dance in your mouth. Sorry for the Masterchef language, but it’s true. They were one of my favourites for the evening.

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Blurry goodness – Calamari, green papaya and cucumber salad, with nahm jim, peanuts and crispy anchovies

Apologies for the not so crisp photo. I was in a hurry to eat this one as it looked so good, and the aromas ahh the aromas. I had heard alot about this dish in particular and it didn’t let us down. Terrific textures, flavours, the whole shebang. Definitely order this dish when you visit. I know you’re going. You know you want to. Loved the anchovies in this in particular.

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Blackened quail, daikon and shiso salad

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Master stock wagyu brisket, chilli vinegar, spring onion, peanuts and sesame salt 

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Roasted yellow duck curry

The dishes kept rolling on in and they were each as good as the last. This fine establishment deserves it’s title as one of Melbourne’s finest. From the sommelier to the food to the freakin’ bathrooms. Everything has been thought through and everything is damn perfect.

I’ve never had a blackened bird and the quail was so tender. Loooove me so tender quail. Yes it doesn’t look very appealing, but the daikon and shiso side salad lifted the initial ‘look’. The meat just fell from the bone and this teeny tiny bird gave a huge impression.

Oh the brisket. We liked this so much we ordered it again after we’d finished the savouries. Yep, we both have portion control issues. Once again, made for eachother. SO tender to the touch. Just had to place the fork on the meat and it melted. I’m drooling again. So much flavour in this little piece of heaven. Loved the chili vinegar as well. I think I need this on every dish I eat ever again.

The yellow duck curry was packed with flavour and although a tad pricey ($40), the flavours were brilliant and the duck was cooked to perfeeection. Sorry, more Masterchef talk. But it’s true! This was Husband’s favourite alongside that brisket.

The vibe of the restaurant was fantastic and although I tried to ‘accidentally’ walk into the kitchen to see if Mr D’Sylva was in there a few times, the staff were still so hospitable and just lovely! Ah I sound like a little old lady but they were!

The beer & vino selections by our sommelier were fantastic as well and I always appreciate a sommelier that speaks in ‘people language’ not just about tannins and fancy french words. Thankyou, sir!

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Toasted meringue, vanilla sponge, coconut, granny smith apple and yuzu

I really don’t know why waiters bother asking “would you like to see the dessert menu?”…there is only one obvious response that should apply to this question. Unless you’re in a first date type situation where the female or male for that matter, might do the old trick of hesitating, pretend they’re watching their figure and then order 4 desserts anyway. Husband knew from the first date that I was pretty straight down the line when it came to seeing the dessert menu. Yes I want to see it. And yes we are ordering different dishes so I a) don’t have to share mine and b) can eat some of yours. It’s just science.

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Dark chocolate dèlice, mandarin, cocoa nib, pearl barley and malt

We decided on the rather spectacular duo of the Toasted Meringue with vanilla sponge as well as THE chocolate delice. Oh the richness. These really complimented eachother as the delice was oh so rich and delicious and the meringue was so light and tangy with the apple and yuzu. They both looked like Da Vinci portraits on the plate as well. So impressed. Yet again. It would be worth going to Coda just for that delice. But then I would have to order the quail, the brisket…the betel leaves…ok just go for all the food.

Overall a freakin’ brilliant evening with the best company I could ask for (nawww) and fantastic service, vino and fare. Kudos, Coda. You got it going on. One of the best in Melbourne for so many reasons.

10/10.

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