MELBOURNE | Balaclava favourite Uncle recently opened a second location, at the Parliament Station end of Collins Street and, being fans of the original, we were keen to check out the CBD spot when invited to the launch party. For those who are unaware, Uncle is a modern Vietnamese restaurant by Rene Spence and Dai Duong that fuses Vietnamese flavours and influences with modern Australian ingredients and other Asian flavours.
The space is located on the first floor of an old office tower and looks out onto the city below. It’s a casual spot which makes use of woven cane partitions and furniture, wood, hanging pink and yellow shaded lights and greenery for a breezy, tropical look. Perfect for an after work drink and feed.
For the CBD store, a mostly new menu has been created, with only around 20% of the dishes from the original making their way over. One of these dishes is a favourite of ours, the wonderfully crispy and flavoursome pig’s ear bánh mì. A new dish which we thoroughly enjoyed is the burrata with heirloom tomatoes, pickled papaya, Thai basil and puffed wild rice, which features a whisky barrel aged fish sauce that Duong has been testing.
A sharp range of cocktails is available, with flavour profiles that follow the same philosophy as the food. A favourite of ours has carried over from the original Uncle – the Mekong Splice with white rum, mango sorbet and coconut foam. Beer and wine is mostly local, and we were pleased to see beers from Stomping Ground and Bad Shepherd on tap when we visited.
Level 1, 15 Collins Street
Telephone: (03) 9654 0829
Mon – Sat: 12:00pm to 11:00pm