Monday, June 5, 2017

Uncle Collins Street, CBD MELB

A week ago, I was fortunate enough to be invited by Uncle Collins Street to sample a few items on their menu, all centered around Vietnamese cuisine. Located close to the end of Collins Street, a few blocks away from the Parliament station, the restaurant exuded a warm, relaxed atmosphere, perfect for winding down after a long day at work or even for hosting a small celebration.

The menu may seem a little intimidating initially but there are always staff members available to answer any food related queries, of which, I gladly took on board. All except the fact that I shouldn't get too excited ordering more than one dish listed under the Big Guys section for the sister and I. You will see why after scrolling through the pictures.

Raw kingfish, longan, sesame, wasabi peas, soy with a coconut and tamarind foam. I loved how fresh and vibrant the flavours of this dish paired well with the subtle kingfish. I am not a fan of fishy tasting seafood and if you are like me, do give this a try. Lots of added crunch and spice from the wasabi peas and pieces of longan, seasoned beautifully with a drizzle of soy.

Peach and palm iced tea - because any alcoholic beverage is a no no until the weekend for me. Quite a refreshing little number tho.

Clarence river school prawns, silken tofu, white fungus, garlic shoots and cured egg yolk. Another delicious little number, boosting simplicity at it's finest. Again a clever play on Asian flavours, given a brilliant twist by incorporating the crunchy school prawns, soft tofu and bouncy white fungus texture.

Braised beef short rib bao with morcilla and flavours of bun bo hue - the meat alone verged on the saltier side of the scale for me but after sandwiching it with the shredded salad into the pillowy soft steamed buns, it was definitely a taste to remember. The meat was indeed juicy and glistened temptingly under the restaurant's dim lighting. Worth ordering a couple more buns just to lap up everything on the plate!

Bo luc lac, shaking porterhouse cubes with confit onions, smoked tomato salsa, garlic and watercress - the sister and I had this with a bowl of steamed coconut rice and after we finish the entire dish, it dawned on us how filled we were. That aside, this is a well presented dish, balanced in terms of vegetables and meat portions. Meat was cooked medium rare, cherry tomatoes slightly blistered and inviting; fresh herbs carefully placed atop the dish for added aroma.

Master stock crispy pork hock with banh hoi, lettuce wraps, fragrant herbs and nuoc cham. On of my favourite dishes for the night and something that I will have again (but with more reinforcements). The pork hock was so beautifully cooked that I find it hard to find any faults with it. Well, except that it makes me wish I could stomach more of it! Soft, succulent meat locked in by a crunchy, well caramelized. We were served lettuce to wrap this fella with a bit of banh hoi (vermicelli noodles) but heck, I could eat this on it's own. Highly recommended.

Strawberry tart with black vinegar curd, basil meringue and pistachio ice cream - Desserts were fashioned around the concept of a lighter way to end a meal, albeit still banging on a good flavour profile. Loved the buttery tart shell that pairs well with the cooked strawberry pieces, sweet basil meringue and pistachio ice cream. Sadly, I had to share this with my sister.

The sister and I thoroughly enjoyed our dinner here and wouldn't be surprised to find ourselves heading here again for dinner. Not stinging on flavour and value, owners Rene and Dai should be proud of how far they have traveled in their restaurateur career because darn, it is one of the better ones I have been to in Melbourne ;)

  Uncle Collins Street Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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