Uncle St Kilda
Phone | (03) 9041 2668
Uncle is a rooftop bar in St Kilda, Victoria, Australia. The restaurant aims to be genuinely Vietnamese, if not meticulously so. That means pate with crackers, steak with chilli and coconut butter – Vietnamese flavours mixed with Chinese and French influences too. Perched above Blackhearts and Sparrows, the venue was designed by Adele Winteridge of Foolscap Studio.
This furniture and crockery store is also a working bar and al fresco dining spot. The furniture is designed by Steve Edwards, with handmade crockery from Fork Ceramics (Ruth Laird Spence, Spence’s wife). The affordable dining experience is perfect for locals and tourists alike.
With award-winning head chef Dai Duong at the helm and Rene Spence (ex-Pelican) in charge of operations, you know you’re in good hands. The rooftop garden is the perfect place to relax on a balmy night, surrounded by bamboo and fairy lights.
With dark décor and red lights downstairs, it has a Miss Saigon thing going on, but it’s also got a handy waiting pit for a table. You can access the whole menu if you dig on the dimly lit upstairs, which has been done up in bright blonde furniture with a bar of glittering tiles. There are just a few geographical giveaways in the hawker cart waiter’s station and abstract lanterns, but otherwise it could be any trendy Vietnamese restaurant anywhere in the world.
The beef pho at Uncle St Kilda is a glazed bowl of firm flat noodles crowned with a fan of fine raw beef slices. It’s served with a plate of crisp bean shoots, lime and a pot of viscous, star anise forward broth. The large size is perfect if you want to get it as a side dish while you indulge in some finger-painting, pant-staining ginger and chilli sauce refreshment.
These vegetarian spring rolls are a fun and crunchy way to enjoy a delicious meal. The Shitake-filled pastry cigars are rolled in your crisp lettuce cups with grated egg and doused in a sweet chilli dressing. It lacks a little in acid and salt, but the Vietnamese coleslaw is an excellent bowl of shredded poached chicken, and threads of crisp carrot, bean sprouts and spring onion make it perfect.