Melbourne Restaurants: Edgy Dining in Coda

When it was announced that Melbourne’s much-lauded young chef Adam D’Sylva (formerly of Pearl and Longrain restaurants) was teaming up with Mykal Bartholomew (last seen managing MoVida) and Kate Calder (ex–floor supervisor at Taxi) in a new city-center eatery, anticipation was at an all-time high in Australia’s culinary capital. No one has been disappointed. Coda continues downtown Melbourne’s tradition of edgy basement spaces and menus focused on small plates. Hanging light bulbs wrapped in mesh onion bags illuminate the monochromatic room, where an enthusiastic following samples a medley of Asian (mostly Vietnamese and Thai) dishes and European bistro staples. The steak tartare is memorable, as is the duck-liver parfait; but it’s D’Sylva’s feisty Asian flavors that stand out. Be sure to try the artfully presented sugarcane prawns, the roast chicken wings stuffed with pork, glass noodles, and jicama, and the spanner crab wrapped in betel leaf (141 Flinders Ln.; 61-3/9650-3155).–Carrie Hutchinson

Originally appeared in the October/November 2009 print issue of
DestinAsian magazine (“Coda/Melbourne”)

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