A little while ago one of my friends suggested Uncle for a dinner catch-up. To be honest, when she first mentioned it, I wasn’t that taken. I couldn’t help but think another Modern Australian/Pseudo Vietnamese restaurant in Melbourne?! Really??!!
Okay, I was wrong.
Uncle, located in Carlisle Street St. Kilda, is actually a breath of fresh air.
Forget the food for a moment, the atmosphere is gorgeous, upon entering you’re greeted with cheery polite staff. Half of Uncle is an outdoor terrace so you can dine al fresco. I do like dining with fresh air. Considering I’m a nutritionist, I’ll leave the design speak to the experts but will say it is elegantly decked out in furniture and finishing’s that compliment the atmosphere and food.
Winning so far.
If that wasn’t enough in the bathroom there is Thankyou hand wash and Who Gives a Crap toilet paper. Both these companies donate significant funds to those in need, be it providing water or sanitation to developing countries. You may not know this but I get really excited over companies with a social conscience.
Another tick to Uncle.
Now for the food…
There are options for all dietary requirements. From a separate menu for the gluten avoiders to options for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. There was recently a menu change but luckily my new favourite, the lime cured hapuka, coconut, pomegranate, chili on betal leaf remains. If you look closely the betal leaf is actually a love heart, so how can you go wrong 😉 I noticed this when my sister and I were there celebrating me passing my yoga teacher training exams.
The hapuka fish is cooked beautifully. Importantly the fish is not doused in coconut rather it is respected as an ingredient. The coconut merely compliments. Pomegranates provide a bit of juicy freshness and the chili is just enough.
I recently ordered the whole fish with ginger soy and fragrant herbs. Once again, the fish was cooked beautifully, it was light and came off the bone easily. Although my favourite part was the generous supply of fragrant herbs. There’s nothing worse then receiving a plate of beautiful food with just a token green or herb. Herbs contain antioxidants, vitamin C, folate and fibre so deserve to be celebrated as much as the main item.
My only gripe was with the saltiness of the ginger soy.
I dream of a world where salt addition in food is controlled at the table but with a quota to prevent oversalting. You may think I’m a killjoy, I just worry about the implications of too much salt. There really is no denying excessive salt is disastrous to blood pressure. I can’t apologise, I’m just thinking about your health.
There is a substantial drinks menu. However, the tick for me was the friendly addition of a lemon wedge in my mineral water. Sometimes the simple things are often the best 🙂
I went to Uncle for a friends farewell dinner. We needed a special restaurant for a special friend.
Now for the nutrient analysis..
The menu is based on fresh seasonal ingredients that easily speak for themselves. The flavours are intricate but not overpowering. A talented chef, yes yes!!
It has become common place in our society to order side dishes or miss out on vegetables and salads. There are sides on the menu such as the delicious and crunchy mixed leaf salad. However, there are generous vegetable additions to the main dishes so sides are not an essential.
Food is designed to be shared which is fun but it also ensures greater variety in food intake so more gorgeous nutrients for our body-mind.
Uncle serve fresh food with flavour. There is something for everyone. However, I would love to see less salt in the dishes.
3.5 out of 5