Union Dining combines modern Australian sensibilities with provincial European style to create a sophisticated experience that’s infused with a contemporary Melbourne identity. In other words, it offers a combination of all the good things in life.
After working together as Head Chef and Manager for a busy restaurant group, co-owners, Nicky Riemer and Adam Cash, decided to create something they could call their own. Previous to this, Adam gained invaluable management experience at Vue de Monde, Ezard and Cutler & Co. Meanwhile, Nicky worked as head chef at The George Melbourne Wine Room for Karen Martini, in Hong Kong as an executive chef for a high-profile restaurant group and trained under and then worked as head chef for Stephanie Alexander. Bringing their skillset together this dynamic duo set out to create a timeless dining destination for Melburnians to enjoy.
The heritage-listed building that houses this foodie destination, Union House, had a strong influence on the restaurant’s identity, but Nicky and Adam wanted the name to leave no doubt as to what the business is about. Since opening in 2011 Nicky and Adam have witnessed the area grow in quality dining making Richmond a drawcard for visitors to Melbourne.
Naturally, Nicky takes the reins in the kitchen. Her culinary team source and serve local produce from well known businesses such as Yarra Valley Gourmet Greenhouse, Green Eggs and Meredith Dairy, as well as the freshest meat and seafood such as Portland snapper, Portarlington mussels, Western Plains pork and Hopkins River beef.
Union Dining also churns its own butter, which is served with baguettes baked by Tivoli Road Bakery. Put your butter knife down at some point and move on to a delicious selection of appetisers such as Stracciatella, grilled asparagus, romesco sauce, almonds and saba. Entrées come in two sizes so sneak in a small plate of the risotto with double chicken stock, ricotta and pecorino before continuing on to an abbacchio of spring saltbush lamb with fetta, green chilli and pickled red onion. Add a side of the warm salad with roasted cauliflower, chickpeas, hazelnuts and goat’s curd dressing and prepare yourself for a truly special dining experience.
Choosing from the menu can be hard so there are a number of special offers that keep nearby residents coming back for more. The Monday Night Locals Dinner features a set menu of three courses and includes a glass of wine, while every Wednesday to Friday the team offers a Locals Lunch special. Pop by on Tuesday for BYO Cellar Night, where you can bring along a bottle from home and the staff will suggest matches from the menu. On the weekend you can also enjoy breakfast from 8am.
With a Victorian and European-leaning wine list that was awarded two ‘goblets’ at the 2015 Gourmet Traveller Wine Guide, a selection of local beers and ciders and a curated cocktail list, there’s a drink to complement every meal. During the warmer months the beautiful rooftop garden trades as a bar and casual dining space – the perfect place for a Negroni as the sun goes down over the Richmond rooftops.