Freelance writer and blogger from Sydney (ex-Melbourne). Avid foodie and traveller. Loves dogs.
Published September 18th 2016
There are many places in St Kilda you can choose to spend a boozy Sunday session at. However, none of these places do it as well as United Kitchen Tapas & Dining on Fitzroy Street. Lauded as a contemporary tapas restaurant and bar, the guys at United are all about, well, uniting people from all cultures over great food. The menu itself unites Head Chef Tong Li's Chinese upbringing and his years of experience in Mexican kitchens – as a result, diners can expect to be treated to a unique range of dishes, all made using the season's freshest produce.
We heard about their 'Bottomless Bubbles' offering through a friend whereby you rock up on a Sunday and enjoy six tapas plates and unlimited sparkling wine for $88 per head. There is a two-hour limit for this though and it's there to prevent customers from hogging their seat at the marble top bar or on the leather couch all day. A minimum of two people also applies but then again, I highly doubt a Bottomless Bubbles session would be much fun on your own.
To accompany our bottomless bottles of NV Louis Perdrier, we dug into a delicious array of share plates starting with some Asian-inspired spiced edamame dressed in chilli, lime and lemongrass dressing and homemade guacamole with crispy blue corn chips. Once the starters were polished off (and very quickly, I might add), we then dug our forks into a plate of fried calamari with salsa fresca and chimichurri; light and crispy, the calamari was amazingly fresh.
We then worked out way to meatier territory with United Kitchen's crispy fried chicken. Everyone loves a good fried chicken but United Kitchen takes it to a whole new level by making sure each piece is perfectly light, crispy and dusted with smoked pimento. A bowl of chilli and lime mayo is also provided should you wish to dip your chicken into it.
My favourite dish of the afternoon was the slow cooked octopus. Just like the calamari, the octopus was tender and fresh. Served with King Edward potatoes, fresh chorizo and chimichurri, it was so full of flavours that had us wanting more. Rounding out the savouries was the chargrilled corn with Parmesan, ancho chilli, lime and blue vein cheese, another tasty dish.
Our six course meal had finished at this time and our heads were definitely on the fuzzy side. However, there was no way we were going to leave without trying United Kitchen's signature dessert, their peanut butter spring roll ($12). The gloriously crispy spring roll contained a delicious salted caramel and peanut butter filling. Served with vanilla bean ice cream on the side, it was a great way to wrap up what had been a most successful Sunday session.