Last year, a friend had told me how much she enjoyed a meal at Moda, situated near the botanical gardens side of Edward Street. Being quite curious about Spanish food, I relished in the opportunity to try it out, however having also been told that the seating is quasi alfresco, my companions and I waited until the weather was perfect (not too hot that we are sweating like pigs, nor too cold that the food becomes chilled too quickly) before heading there for dinner last week.
The setting was quite casual, with a Spanish theme to the decor. As mentioned, the restaurant was in an open area, so I would be somewhat concerned about flies during the summer, but I imagine it would have quite a bit of ambiance if eating in the rain.
The menu was somewhat short but consise, and contained a lot of foods that I hadn't tried before.
Being quite indecisive, one of my companions, who is quite adventurous in her tastes, suggested that we try out Javier's Table Experience, which consists of a three course meal selected by the chef. Considering the notoriety of the acclaimed chef, Javier Codina, we decided we would be in safe hands, so we opted for this alternative.
The first of our courses, the Entremeses were served not long afterwards, and consisted of a very large assortment of entrees, most of which were on our definite "to try" list.
First up, we had a Duck Liver Parfait and PX jelly served with some bread. For those who are unfamiliar, pate in its usual form consists of a ground up cooked liver combined with a few base ingredients, by contrast, parfait involves siphoning the liver through a sieve to remove any sinewy bits, which in turn results in a far smoother texture. It was served coated with a bit of animal fat, and a side of Pedro Ximenez (a Spanish white dessert wine) jelly. I found it to be somewhat similar in taste to a more meaty flavoured cream cheese, with the freshness of jelly which was very enjoyable.
This was the Half Shell Tasmanian Scallops, served with Saffron Escabeche and Jamon. We really appreciated the delicious softness of scallop and how this was highlighted and contrasted by the tougher texture of the Jamon,
For entrees, we also had Chicken Croquettes with Romesco Sauce. The croquettes were reminiscent of the Japanese ones that I so frequently have, but with quite a meaty twist to it. The romesco sauce gave it an added red chilli twist tang, which gave it a bit more dimension.
On the platter was also a WA Octopus with tropical fruits, whilst I appreciated the soft texture of the octopus, I felt that the added orange didnt really mix well with the other flavours in the dish.
The last entree I had was the Pork Belly with Apple and Celeriac Remoulade, like the WA Octopus, it was a meat/fruit combination, which I am usually quite hesitant about, but with the light taste of the apple, and the strong flavours of the herbs, it ended up adding far more crunch and texture to the dish than sweetness.
After finishing our five entrees, our three mains also arrived. The first that I tried was the Kingfish with pipis in white seafood sauce and herbs. It was quite a conservative, mild sort of start to our mains, with a warm comforting, mellow sort of flavour. The fish itself erred on the well done side, as did the pipis.
Our second mains consisted of three little New England rabbit pies, served with gnocchi and carrot puree with witlof. The pies had a deliciously flaky pastry, whilst the rabbit was very tender and strongly seasoned, but the meat had a bit of a stringy texture.
The final and most grand main was the lamb shoulder served with trinxat and tomatoes. Seeing the gigantic size of the lamb shoulder, I offered to debone it for the rest of my companions, to find that it had no bones in it. It was literally a massive chunk of meat. The lamb was super tender and broke apart very easily. I liked its nice sweet caramelised sauce, and the seasoned potatoes, which soaked up quite a bit of the meat juices, whist the tomato kept it fresh.
After the savoury food, our glorious dessert platter came.
First on the tray was the Valrhona Chocolate mousse with mixed berries. We found it to be rich and smooth in texture, with a strong dark chocolate-y taste, and we loved the assortment of fresh berries that balanced out the dessert.
In the middle were the freshly fried churros with chocolate sauce. I particularly liked how the churros had a doughy texture akin to doughnuts. It was crispy and warm on the outside with a nice chewy centre to it.
Our last dessert was the Creme Caramel. Judging by the appearance of it, I had expected a somewhat jelly-like texture, but it immediately melted upon entering my mouth to leave a very smooth, sweet and creamy taste, which rounded off the evening very nicely.