Universal Italian Restaurant – Great Food, Great Value


Chicken Avocado
“Tomato, cheese, mushroom, grilled chicken tenders & fresh avocado” 15.9

My good friends at FOOD-Pampering-Yourself gave me and several other bloggers an opportunity to be apart of their very first food trail which landed us a special feast at Universal Italian Restaurant. I was also delighted to meet Alfie the proud owner of Universal Italian Restaurant, given a tour of the upstairs function area, was able to meet several other awesome food bloggers and to top it off had a full and very satisfied stomach.

Right in the heart of Lygon St, Universal Italian Restaurant is a personal favourite on mine and the good news is, they’re expanding. They’ve acquired the space next door and will be opening up the place to integrate as one. They’ve also converted upstairs to a very nice function & bar area, including an open balcony for some fresh air and drinks.

We were presented with a massive line-up of food, from the starters, entrée, main, pizza, pasta and home made dessert menu. I felt spoilt and was absolutely content. The food looked amazing and now looking back at the menu and prices, they were all under $20 so I have to say that’s good value for some great food. But let the photos do the talking.

Bruschetta Roma
“Homemade pesto, fresh tomatoes & feta cooked on a pizza base” 8.5

Garlic Pizza
“Cheese & garlic pizza” 7.5

Oysters Naturale
“Fresh oysters”

Oysters Kilpatrick
“Baked oysters with bacon & Worcestershire sauce”

Buffalo Wings
“Marinated & grilled BBQ chicken wings” 8.5

I Am Angus
Tomato, cheese, Grilled beef strips, roasted red capsicum,onion, jalapeños & a drizzle of garlic mayo” 14.9

Porter-House
Certified Australian Angus, 150 day grain fed – 270g” 18.9

Slow Roasted Pork Ribs
“Slow roasted tender marinated pork ribsserved with roasted butternut pumpkin & corn on the cob” 19.9

Tuscan Chicken
“Tuscan marinated chicken breast fillet grilled &served with wild mushroom risotto” 15.5

Risotto Poseidon
Creamy risotto with pan seared tiger prawns, mussels, spinach & roasted capsicum, with a touch of spicy olio & napolitana sauce”  18.5

Salmon Fillet
Grilled fresh Atlantic salmon filletserved with vegetable ratatouille & roasted garlic aoli” 19.9

Gelato Tasting Plate for Two
“A variety of Italian gelato & premium ice cream” 7.5

Tiramisu
“Coffee & liqueur soaked savoiardi biscuits, smothered inmascarpone cream & chocolate shavings” 8.5

Panna Cotta
Vanilla bean & honey flavored panna cotta,with wild berry soup, caramel toffee shard & Persian fairy floss” 8.5

Blueberry Cheesecake
“New York cheesecake mixed with fresh blueberries on a biscuit crust” 8.5

Chocolate Mud Pudding
“A dense & moist mud pudding served with chocolate fudge,corinthian wafer & macadamia nut ice cream” 8.5

What a satisfying array of food from the Universal menu. I can’t wait to go back when they’ve fully renovated the restaurant and possibly put a few new items on the menu.

Checkout their website http://www.universalrestaurant.com.au for more information on their function facilities and options and also checkout their online menu which makes my life easier 🙂

Contemplating a visit to Lygon St or just happen to drop by? Why not give Universal Italian Restaurant a go. I recommend trying the Buffalo Wings, Porter House Steak, I am Angus pizza, the Tuscan Chicken with Mushroom Risotto and my favourite dessert was the Chocolate Mud Pudding…drooool!!!

Location: 139-141 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053, (03) 9347-4393
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Miss Jen’s Secret Garden of Vegetable and Herbs

She gets super excited about growing her own vegetables and greens that she always runs off to Bunnings and buys seedlings and little plants to grow…probably her biggest proud and joy is her cherry tomatoes which she names. Yes she NAMES them, Tom and Tam. She’s persistent that the names are gender driven.

Why? Tom [left] is slightly taller and narrow build while Tam [right] grows wider and produces more fruit. Does anyone agree?

Unfortunately earlier this year the sun was too strong and they withered away…so here’s her next batch…Tom and Tam 2.0.

Look at the concentration in watering those tomatoes…any wrong move and these tomatoes might have the same fate as the previous…

Not satisfied with just cherry tomatoes, a bit of chilli and corriander is worth a shot…


With a bit of love and hypnotism, she may be able to pull this off…

I’ll have to update the progress on my Facebook Page…GOODLUCK!!!…

Whilst Miss Jen was gardening…I found myself mezmerized by the beautiful plants and scenery in the backyard…I thought i’d share a little bit of it here too…

Lemon Mustard Chicken Salad Recipe – Easy, Fresh and Delicious

Keeping it fresh for the sunny days we have been (momentarily) blessed with in Melbourne, I was inspired by a new recipe I learnt while researching at an Electrolux oven demonstration at Harvey Norman in Sunshine.

This dish was a perfect fit for what I wanted. Here’s the recipe:

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Lemon Mustard Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

– 3 Chicken breast fillets skinless (I used chicken thighs with the skin on because I like the juicy taste of it but if you have a well circulating oven you can achieve moist breast fillets)
– 3 kipfler potatoes (thinly sliced, about 1/2cm thick)
– 1 avocado
– 3 roma tomatoes
– 200g baby lettuce leaves
– 50g spinach leaves (optional)
– cracked pepper

Marinade and Dressing
– 4 tsp Dijon mustard (you can use more)
– 4 tbsp lemon juice (i used cumquat because we have a fruitful cumquat tree)
– 8 tbsp olive oil (you can use more)
– 2 cloves garlic (crushed)

Method:
– Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and whisk together. Reserve half the marinade to use for the dressing.

– Trim the chicken. Wash the potatoes and thinly slice (about 1/2cm thick). Marinade the chicken and potatoes for at least 30 mins.

– Preheat oven on fan grill function (if you have that option) at 200°C

– Cook the chicken and potatoes for around 15-20 minutes (depending on your oven cooking time may vary)

– Wash, dry and arrange baby lettuce and spinach (spinach optional) on a serving platter. Cut tomatoes into quarters and slice avocado and arrange on top of lettuce.

– Place potatoes on top of the salad and slice chicken and arrange on top of potatoes. Drizzle dressing over salad and season with freshly ground cracked pepper.

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Here’s a few tips:

Scoop out your avocado and keep it intact so you can slice it up and not have it all mushy…

Plate up some baby lettuce leaves on the bottom of the plate (this looks really good on a long rectangle plate but I just used 2 square plates). I kept the baby lettuce leaves the way they were for the bottom then cut up smaller pieces of baby lettuce and spinach, then dressed it up with the lemon mustard dressing…

Place the tomatoes, avocado and potatoes on top of the baby lettuce (I forgot to place the potatoes underneath the chicken but it was too late so I placed them on top)…

Slice up your chicken, as mentioned in the recipe I used chicken leg with the skin on but if you have a good oven it’s probably better to use skinless chicken breast but that’s up to you…make sure to drizzle more of the dressing on top of the chicken and potatoes…

There you have it, it’s not that difficult to pull off an easy summer dish for the family….and in my case a Christmas Summer Dinner!