It started with a dream and a phrase Mi casa es su casa, spanish for ‘my house is your house’. Owner and Chef Tong Li, brought it to life through a Latin American-inspired tapas and cocktails dining establishment. Located on the colourful Fitzroy street, this is where United Kitchen stood out charmingly with its warmth and exuberance.
I was invited to join an intimate tasting session of the Chef’s specials ranging from full flavoured tapas to their signature margarita using the freshest seasonal produce that Australia has to offer.
As the evening commences, we were spoiled with a variety of margarita and cocktails.
Starting from my 2 new faves – Lemon Thyme Margarita (Tequila Altoviso with homemade lemon, thyme syrup and fresh lemon), Watermelon Margarita infused with ginger and mint, then moving on to heavier-dose cocktails like The Sphere, Donkey – concoction of Mescal & Altoviso, fresh ginger & lime, ginger beer, served with a sprig of mint, and ending with a dessert-like cocktail, Cafe De Ximinez (double espresso, espresso infused Tequila and Pedro Ximinez).
And you know what? That’s not even half the cocktails menu. Seriously? The menu is just crazy yum!
Cafe De Ximinez, Watermelon Margarita, Donkey
Then, comes the highlight of the night – the food. Owner and Chef Tong Li was born and bred in China, trained in culinary skills with some of the best chefs in Mexico. His food was greatly inspired by his heritage and travels thus showcasing a menu that is flavoursome from the use of Australia’s fresh produce, herbs and spices.
Watermelon Salad, Parmesan Cauliflower, Grilled Corn
The menu features a wide variety of tapas-style dishes, which is great for sharing – from fresh farm produce, tostado to the meat and seafood. Another added advantage is that most of the dishes are gluten-free. I especially loved their fresh Watermelon Salad, made from ginger & mint-infused watermelon cubes served with wild rocket, toasted pine nuts, fresh ricotta and dressed with balsamic & apple vinaigrette. The Parmesan Cauliflower is may I say, out-of-this-world.
Pork Belly, Soft Shell Crab, Scrumptious Salty Caramel Doughnut, Peanut Butter Spring Roll
I love a good-tasting succulent pork belly and when it comes with crispy skin, I couldn’t resist! And that’s how the Pork Belly was cooked and served with Chimichurri sauce, peas & fresh pineapple. Soft Shell Crab was the winner for me – crispy, fresh and tangy.
Of course, if you’re a dessert lover like me, you will be amazed with the Peanut Butter Spring Roll, which is insanely decadent!
Verdict : If you’re looking to have a chill relax place where you can be yourself with your friends, this is it! With a few cosy seatings and a large bar surrounding the open kitchen, United Kitchen is all about having a good time sipping margaritas and cocktails while enjoying the bites. As for me, I will be back with my troupe 🙂
A great big thank you to Little Big Marketing & United Kitchen for the preview.
To die for : Cocktails, Sweet Corn & Prawn, Watermelon Salad, Soft Shell Crab, Peanut Butter Spring Roll
Price : $$
Yummy Factor : +4
Noise Level : Moderate
[United Kitchen Dining & Tapas]
2/52 Fitzroy St, St. Kilda, Victoria
P: 03 9534 4470
Tue-Sun: from 5pm ’til late
Sat-Sun: from 12pm