I had previously dined at U-Village a few months ago using a voucher and i really liked their food. So, when the chance came again, I snagged a voucher and made a second visit to this restaurant situated in the heart of St Kilda.
U-Village pride themselves as a modern Asian Fusion restaurant that was first established in Malaysia since 2003. Their communal dining style with modern design couple with a long bar that presents a wide array of unique cocktails, beer, wine and spirits. As experienced during my first visit there, the service was very attentive. To start with, I ordered a glass of Lychee lemonade to refresh myself before the entrees and mains arrive.
The menu was pre-selected but we were glad that they did not leave out their signature mains and that is truly awesome! The entrees arrived together in tapas style plates which is presented beautifully. The first entree that I tasted was a deconstructed Duck san choy bao with pomegranate pine nuts and sweet soy sauce. The ingredients were presented in a little cup which is filled to the brim! It’s a little hard to spoon them out of the cup without creating a little mess at the side. This dish tasted beautiful with the right blend of textures from the freshness of the lettuce when wrapped with crunchy pine nuts to bits of carrots and pomegranate and a dazzle of sweetness from the soy sauce.
The next entree tasted was the Crispy chilli basil chicken served with sweet vinegar cucumber relish. I love the crispiness of the basil leaves and also adds a wonderful aroma to this dish. The bite-size chicken is lightly crumbed and fried to perfection and when eaten with sweet vinegar cucumber salad – it’s Ooh la la.
Last entree was the Crispy school prawns, cumin spiced with chunky tomato relish. Truly a kid’s favourite. Meaty school prawns are spiced with cumin (one of the most aromatic spices) and its pungent earthiness lands some sweet hints of pine and lemon to this dish. Very good dish to go with a jug of beer!
The entrees were super and spiced! I can’t wait for the mains as I am expecting them to be as good – having tasted them before. The first main to arrive was Thick red rendang soft shell crab with kaffir lime leaves, eggplant & mint. This dish should be described as red curry dish. The soft shell crabs were crisp, crunchy and goes so well with the thick spicy curry. Having come from Malaysia, spicy curry is in my blood and I really really like this dish. The green beans and mint leaves added some extra taste and texture to this dish.
The last main to arrive was their signature dish and is also my favourite dish of the night – 24 hours braised sweet vinegar pork belly, cinnamon, chilli, black peppercorns with paw paw and mango salad. This is truly a pork belly lover’s dish. The first bite into the chunky pork belly is crunchy, followed by softness and juiciness, which comes from the fatty bits in the pork belly. The sweet vinegar sauce adds sweetness and sourness while the salad brings a refreshing feeling to this dish.
The final dish to arrive was the Singapore noodles with turmeric spiced king prawn, cashew nut, chicken and bean sprouts. I have to say unfortunately that the dish is salty and a little damp. We informed the restaurant and they were very receptive to our comments.
Lastly, we had the Dessert tasting platter with four different desserts to try – coconut panna cotta, pandan creme brulee, five-spiced flour less chocolate cake and the black rice pudding. I personally love the pandan creme brulee and was told that it’s one of the most popular dessert served in the restaurant. The five-spiced flour less chocolate cake was interesting as I am not used to tasting five spice in dessert but it goes really well with the bland black rice pudding.
Verdict : I thoroughly enjoyed my meal. U-Village’s menu is interesting and has a variety of dishes influenced by thai, malay and chinese cooking. The food is presented nicely, fresh and of good quality. The braised pork and soft shell crab is enough to keep me coming back to this restaurant!
“The secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside”
– Mark Twain
1/29 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, Victoria
P: 03 9537 1129
Sun-Mon: Lunch & Dinner
Thus-Sat: Lunch, Dinner & Late
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