A gift for special occasions hidden in the suburbs
Cod’s Gift is a fine dining restaurant, created by the owners, Caroline Neill Ryan and Che Vogler, of Wolfe and Co. which is situated only a minute’s drive away. The restaurant is great for parties of all sizes: couples, families, larger parties, and even functions for a classy sit-down dinner or a cocktail party. To cater for a more upbeat atmosphere, there is a speaker and a DJ table at the front of the table. By providing a range of services from casual take away options of classic Aussie favourites, fish and chips and the like, to attentive table service to complete the fine dining experience, Cod’s Gift is accessible for the whole community.
Driving through, I was concerned about parking but there was a small car park for the shops underneath the restaurant which was very convenient; however, it would be difficult to find parking in the busier evenings.
My first impression of the restaurant was that it was charming with the blue and white chairs and bar stools. Cod’s Gift stands out with their white exterior shining amidst the other brick shops. There is a small window for “Take Out” and the restaurant has large windows, allowing natural light to illuminate the interior.
The interior of the restaurant can be described as a mixture between nautical and classy. The illuminated bar, their dark navy walls, marble tables, and warm yellow light fixtures instantly make you feel as if you’re stepping into a mixture of comfortable elegance. My friend and I were there at lunchtime and the restaurant was relatively empty, filling up slowly as we left. During the weekdays I would say it is a good place for families and intimate conversations, unhindered by bustling tables and loud noises.
There was only one server when we came in and he was very efficient in taking us to our choice of table and sharing with us their specials and recommendations. He was very accommodating and attentive to our needs, recommending their mock-tail when we were hesitant about having alcohol with our lunch. He provided just the right amount of table service, not excessively hovering over us but I could see he continued to glance at our table to see if we had finished or needed anything.
The menu was limited but had a variety of meats, not just seafood, and the server recommended the chicken dish which was new on the menu. There were familiar and classic dishes, but we could see that they all had interesting adjustments and upgrades. We ordered the lobster doughnuts to share, vongole and diamond clam squid ink pasta, and the chicken dish to try a good range of the menu. They also offered a specials weekday lunch menu, a set dish with a glass of Pinot Gris or Pinot Noir for only $25.
The lobster doughnuts were a novel concept to us, but the flavours worked well together, after I got over the surprise that it was cold. The pasta and chicken were visually impressive and smelled delicious. The pasta was surprisingly flavourful, and the clams were generously piled on the black pasta. The chicken dish was arranged with different vegetables and came with a small jar of jus.
The seafood tasted very fresh which was surprising as we were so far from the coast. Our favourite dish was the squid ink pasta and the lobster doughnuts came second. The chicken dish was slightly disappointing as the chicken was dry and the vegetables were slightly under-cooked and hard. We were provided with salt and pepper which I needed to season the chicken with and the jus helped to moisten the chicken.
Pros and Cons
The atmosphere and service were impeccable and it was truly a special experience. The lunch deal was amazing and allowed us to experience fine dining without paying an arm and a leg. However, as many other visitors found, while the quality of the ingredients seemed to be fresh, the meat came out overcooked. Hopefully, as time passes and the restaurant continues to develop, the kitchen will find consistency in cooking their meats and seafood. I look forward to visiting again!
My friend and I had a lovely dining experience at Cod’s Gift, an opportunity to step out of our busy lives and treat ourselves with interesting food and someone to wait on us. I will be bookmarking this restaurant for a special occasion and take advantage of the lunch promotion which allows us to experience fine dining at a fraction of the price. I would recommend the restaurant for those who want to take their time drinking and eating whilst spending quality time with their friends and families. Cod’s Gift is a treat for the Hills, providing excitement in the tranquil and relaxing neighbourhood of Dural.
Address: Shop 4-6/3 Ward Place, Dural
Phone: 02 9651 3366
Monday – Sunday | 11am-late