There are people for whom dining is cyclic – circling the same restaurants on the same evenings, time after time. These people are likely the same individuals who read the one novel Summer after Summer, lest he or she pick something different that turns out to be lacking in plot or suffering from a painful protagonist.
I am entirely familiar with this type, being one of those myself, and it's experiences like last Saturday that give me a swift kick, validating why I should be looking further afield for my next meal.
I was pushed squarely from my New Farm nest and brought into Moda restaurant in the City to celebrate my father's 62nd birthday. The front of house staff greeted us warmly and swept us through to a circular table at the centre of the courtyard, directly below the chandelier, pouring glasses of Jaquesson. (This table was clearly the prized seating arrangement and if given the chance, I'd encourage you to request it if you're heading in for dinner with a group – 6 or more.)
The Moda tables were groaning with bowls of bright orange persimmons – a teaser that set the tone for the bold, clean, fresh flavours to come.
It's safe to say that chef, Javier Codina went to town on our four-course meal. Rather than ordering a la carte, we were lead on a provincial Spanish journey through course after course of culinary generosity. Instead of serving one option per course, the table was resplendent with a minimum of three dishes, all served family style adding to the Moda's convivial atmosphere.
After deliciously warmed olives and house made sourdough, wait staff arrived with traditional Spanish ceramics laden with flash fried gambas with hazlenut aioli, quail served with roasted artichokes and raspberries, scallops on the half shell with micro greens (and something else delicious that I don't recall), and cauliflower puree with caviar.
At which point we were full.
But stomachs opened as the next course arrived and it was demolished as though none of us had eaten for a week. Bread boards stacked with roast hare pies and rhubarb compote. Perfectly pink duck with green beans and celeriac puree. The snapper dish was the table favourite and among the best fish meals I have ever had. And tender Jerusalem artichokes on the side.
And because we just hadn't had enough…
Dessert arrived. Lord be with me. Unbelievable. Moda's signature churros with coffee dipping sauce. Crème catalan, trembling perfectly alongside crisp meringue and tart raspberry. Two pots of deliciously creamy ice creams whose flavours fail me (I want to say vanilla bean and orange blossom, though I can't be 100% sure). And a rousing round of happy birthday from the restaurant as a whole.
If you haven't been and are eager to head to somewhere new for a meal, do book in to Moda restaurant as it's an absolute culinary treat. The restaurant was completely booked the evening we went, so I recommend you plan in advance. And if you are interested in the feast we enjoyed rather than a la carte, I'm guessing you need to provide about a month's notice and have a group of 6-8 or more. (Clarify that last part with the restaurant. I'm not entirely sure.)
Where: Moda Restaurant is opposite the Stanford Plaza at 12 Edward Street in Brisbane City
Have you been to Moda? What did you think? Let us know...