United Kitchen Dining & Tapas launch
This week, The World Loves Melbourne was invited to an intimate introduction to the flavours and colours of United Kitchen Dining & Tapas on Fitzroy Street, St Kilda.
Opened 4 weeks ago by award-winning owner and Head Chef Tong Li, the restaurant and bar has an ever changing menu of tapas and culinary inspired cocktails. Tong Li was born and raised in Qingdao, China but mastered his chef skills in Mexico and so has brought his experience of the culture, flavours and people he met to this new Melbourne dining destination.
On arrival to the restaurant, we couldn’t help but fall in love with the interior design...an incredibly striking, marble topped, centre bar which wrapped around the room, surrounded by inviting leather sofas, intimate dining spots and eclectic artwork on the walls.
Tong Li introduced himself to the guests and explained that throughout the evening we would be taken on a culinary journey, exploring his creative Latin American, fusion street food inspired tapas dishes and signature creative cocktails.
We began, as all the best Latin American meals begin, with an authentic guacamole and corn chips. Before trying a unique tempura style tiger prawn and juicy corn served with a chilli mayo, and succulent slow cooked pork belly with Chimichurri sauce, peas and fresh pineapple. What a great combination!
The beautifully presented Watermelon Salad with infused fresh ginger & mint watermelon, wild rocket, toasted pine nuts and fresh ricotta is by all definitions - the ultimate summer salad. Each of the watermelon pieces had a unique kick and had been infused in the days prior in the kitchen.
This was followed by fresh soft shell crab served with Chimichurri sauce and fresh lime, another stand out dish, accompanied by a side order of Mexican style grilled corn loaded with ricotta, ancho chilli mayo and fresh coriander.
The ‘Watermelon Margarita’ is a must try! Beautifully coral in colour and mixed with tequila, watermelon liqueur, watermelon syrup, fresh lime, served with sea salt & watermelon infused with ginger. ‘The Sphere’ cocktail also attracted a lot of attention as the bar team made it in front of us and carefully placed a vodka raspberry frozen sphere in a glass, before covering it in Semillion Sauvignon Blanc, raspberry syrup, watermelon syrup, cranberry juice and fresh lime. Delicious.
The evening ended on the ultimate sweet high with a ‘Caffeine & Walnuts’ espresso martini style cocktail; peanut butter spring rolls served with vanilla bean ice cream and caramel sauce; and a duo of mini salted caramel stuffed doughnuts drizzled with salted caramel. Unbelievably sweet, and unbelievably great!
Thank you to United Kitchen, Little Big Marketing and the lovely staff for such a great evening.
United Kitchen Dining & Tapas
2/52 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, Melbourne 3182
Opening Hours: Tues - Fri: 5pm- 11pm and Sat - Sun: 12pm - 11pm