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UNCLE BRINGS THE PANKO

Modern Vietnamese dining triple threat! Restaurant, bar and rooftop.

Head chef and co-owner Dai Duong teamed up with Rene Spence 3 years ago when they opened up their funky fresh modern spun Vietnamese restaurant Uncle on Carlisle Street St Kilda. Since that day there hasn’t been an empty seat in the house and its clear to see why.

Their emphasis is on you having a cracking time whilst enjoying amazing food. It all starts with the venue itself. Its stylish and fresh layout consists of the main dining area that flows out onto a bamboo lined rooftop courtyard, which is perfect to enjoy those summer days and nights. Then down stairs sits a funky bar where you can cleanse the palate before your meal. Everything about Uncle arouses all of your senses. Its fun, bright, colourful and busy just the way Vietnamese food and culture is meant to be. All while the aromas and flavour bombs being created in the kitchen will leave your taste buds suffering from, sensory overload!!

The worst and best thing about the menu is deciding what to order. Duong brings you a style inspired by the teachings from his mother’s cooking from the homeland, now accompanied perfectly with his spin on things to make Uncle an absolute MUST! In Vietnamese culture ‘Uncle’ is a term of respect and familiarity. It’s what you call people you admire. We call Duong ‘Uncle’ for his delicious modern Vietnamese menu.

Here’s where it gets exciting! Tucker Street brings you our second Smudge Eats ‘Cook the Book’ series of Flavours of Urban Melbourne where we hand select recipes from this Melbournian Foodie Bible for you to recreate at home! Playing the staring roll across our menu this week, Tucker Street’s collaboration with Uncle gives you the chance to recreate in your own kitchen their Black Wild Rice with Panko Crumbed Egg accompanied with nuts, grains, chilli and fragrant herbs.

Modern Vietnamese at its finest!

So make sure you don’t miss out on this Uncle special and get your orders in by 10pmWednesday 2nd November.

Take a quick read below to find out a bit more about Head Chef Dai Duong and how Uncle came about.

Oh, 1 more thing! Duong and Spence will be opening up a second Uncle at the Paris end of Collins Street. Will be open mid-late November. Can’t wait!

 

WHY UNCLE?

Uncle is a term of respect and endearment in Vietnamese culture. We love the reference to the familiar and trusted and feel like all of our customers are part of the family.

WHAT’S YOUR FIRST MEMORY OF COOKING?

Getting home from school everyday and having to cook the steam rice for dinner. One of my chores, but I didn’t seem to mind doing it.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO USE IN THE KITCHEN? WHY?

My mortar and pestel, its more versitle than you think…….

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE SOUND IN THE KITCHEN?

Beer tops getting opened, After a hard and long day in the kitchen it’s the best sound.

COFFEE, TEA, KOMBUCHA OR JUST YOUR DRINK OF CHOICE?

Anything strong I normally go for a strong flat white or if its past midday a negroni is always considered….

 WHAT’S ONE FLAVOUR (OR THING) YOU WISH YOU COULD BOTTLE AND TAKE WITH YOU?

Fish sauce, I’m currently barrel aging fish sauce in oak barrels.

LOW AND SLOW OR HOT AND QUICK?

Depending on my mood…..is this a cooking question?

WHO’S YOUR FAVOURITE CHEF? WHY?

David Chang…he’s ever changing, reinventing and starting trends. He’s not afraid to step out of his comfort zone and trying new ideas.

MEAL FOR TWO OR MEAL FOR TWENTY?

I prefer 20 these days. Much easier to please strangers than just cooking for the wife these days.

IF YOU COULD GET A COOKING LESSON FROM ANYONE, WHO WOULD IT BE? WHY?

Im still getting cooking lessons from my mother, she is the one that taught me what I know and understand about Vietnamese cuisine.

WHAT IS YOUR FOOD PHILOSOPHY?

Cooking most times don’t require a recipe just go with your gut feeling. Making mistakes along the way, is the only way you can improve.

IF WE LOOKED IN YOUR FRIDGE RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD WE FIND?

A shelf dedicated to condiments, kids snacks and treats, as I have a 4 and 2 year old.

WHAT WOULD YOUR LAST SUPPER BE?

Mums home cooked meal of bun xeo.

FAVOURITE MELBOURNE FOOD SPOT?

Supper inn for late night shenanigans and first on the list to try is Nora.

ANY SECRET COOKING TIP/S TO SHARE?

Always have a sharp knife, a clean work station and plan ahead.