Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Restaurant Review: U-Village

Location: 1/29 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
Phone: 03 9537 1129
Link: http://www.u-village.com.au/
Cuisine: Asian, Malaysian, Thai
Overall Impression: 8/10

A successful chain in Malaysia since 2003, U-Village has now landed in Melbourne.
Having opened 6 months ago, U-Village aims to satisfy Melbourne’s unquenchable thirst for South East Asian cuisine in the heart of St Kilda.
The dining room is casual and contemporary with subdued grey walls complimented by comfortable light wooden furnishings. Pot plants provide a clever accent, as do the differently shaped light bulbs that hang from the ceiling.
The menu features modern South East Asian flavours with an Australian twist. Speaking to Mr Kai Yee (the owner and proprietor of U-Village), it is clear that he is passionate about food. This passion translates into the dishes that flow out of the kitchen - each dish was full of flavour and unique.
Satay prawns with cucumber reddish with peanut chilli sauce
Crispy Sardines with spicy sauce and lettuce
Five-spiced prawn, sambal, lime, caramel sugar on perilla leaves

The five-spiced prawns were absolutely delicious and were the dish of the night. The gorgeous, plump prawns were bursting with freshness and cooked perfectly. The flavours were complex and harmonious. There was the perfect amount of heat from the sambal, a wonderful tartness from the lime and a lovely sweetness from the caramel sugar.
Curry spiced crusted soft shell crab, thick red rendang, kaffir lime leaves, thai basil

U-Village's soft shell crab curry was decadent. The full-bodied, pungent rendang gravy and lovely notes of Thai basil paired beautifully with the crispy, juicy soft shell crab. The chunky hunks of eggplant and long beans were the perfect addition to the rendang.
24 hours braised sweet vinegar pork belly, cinnamon, chilli, black peppercorns with mango salad

The pork belly was another decadent dish. The acidity from the young mango salad and jammy, sweet vinegar sauce paired perfectly with the juicy pork belly.
Pineapple, crabmeat, prawn, shallots, spring onion and egg fried rice

The pineapple rice was authentic - the rice was fluffy, the cubes of pineapple were sweet and there were generous pieces of seafood throughout.

The desserts were beautiful. 
Pandan creme brulee with salted honeycomb
Deep fried taro wrapped vanilla ice-cream with gula melaka sweet and tangy sauce

Our favourite was the ice cream in deep fried taro.  The taro dough was thick, sweet and crispy and contrasted well with the cold vanilla bean ice cream.
U-Village presents a refreshing take on Modern Asian cuisine whilst remaining true to its South East Asian origins. With food this good, a delightfully casual atmosphere and prices this reasonable, U-Village is great for a catch up over cocktails with friends or a decadent feast with the family.

  U-Village Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of U-Village.

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