Who would have ever thought York Street could be cool? In a stretch of town formerly known for depressing beer barns (and there are still a few of those), there has been a refreshing change when it comes to bars. And so wander along York Street these days and you'll find Spooning Goats, Mojo Record Bar and Stitch Bar. And just past those bars, you'll find Uncle Ming's.
Inside, the lighting is murky, the tones a dark red and all throughout the scent of incense wafts. There are several nooks and crannies, which combined with the moody lighting, makes this a good place to keep a low profile. Other design aspects worth noting are the profusion of red lamps, woks turned into basins in the bathroom and the large feature wall containing a collage of Asian pin-up girls.
To drink, there's Hitachino, Yebisu and Coedo ales, alongside standards such as Tsingtao, Hite and Kirin. They've got a hip Japanese whiskey list, as well as a choice selection of shochu and sake. Cocktails are weird: there's the Chuck Norris, Lucy Liu and the Peanut Chong Asian Margarita. They also do a good trade with their share teapot cocktails which are filled to the brim with snappy, fruity mixes.
For eats, the kitchen cranks out seven varieties of dumplings to soak up the booze. Try the pork and chive or chicken and coriander parcels. The BBQ duck buns also hit the spot. And it's best to fill up, because Chinatown is a long walk away.
Uncle Ming's might have some serious competition down the road, but it'd be a mistake to pass it by. Its spectacularly over-the-top interiors are worth a visit alone, while the friendly bar staff and interesting drinks list just wrap up the whole thing into a neat, boozy package. Next time you're in town, pop in and see Uncle Ming's.