The Union Kitchen (“TUK”) offers globally inspired cuisine sourced from the freshest ingredients around. TUK serves a massive helping of Southern hospitality and is described by Restaurant Owner Paul Miller as “a place where friends and family come together.”
The Union Kitchen (TUK) has four locations in Houston and the surrounding cities. All offering the perfect union of good friends and great food. I visited their Bellaire location for the release of The Union Kitchen’s special edition of Mount Gay Rum. To commemorate this occasion, Chefs Victor Velasquez (Bellaire) and Henry Hopkes (Memorial) crafted a delicious pairing menu to enjoy alongside their delicious specialty rum cocktails.
MOUNT GAY RUM
Their “TUK Rum Martini” is not only pure greatness but its beautifully golden layers of Mount Gay Rum, Blue Chair Bay Vanilla Rum, fresh squeezed orange juice and a kiss of grenadine reminded me of a summer sunset. A very drunk summer sunset with a high alcohol content.
General Manager, Mike Lilly warned that the first sip of TUK’s House Martini may be a bit “stout,” of which was very accurate, but the new aged barreling process used to create their house batch of Barbadian rum, provided a sweet and almost silky, smooth finish. The stills, specifically column stills, used to age their house batch is what creates this smooth, sweet finish. I prefer my drinks “neat” and am constantly searching for “sip-able” spirits. I’ve found just that with TUK’s house batch of Mount Gay Rum!
Obviously the martini received 5 stars and left us anxiously waiting to learn and taste Chef Arellano’s paired compliments. We were presented with three superb dishes that that left us licking out plates!
RUM PAIRINGS MENU
For the record, I am not a huge red meat eater and can count on one hand the number of times I have had lamb. I ordered mine medium, because that’s what they say on television. To be honest I had no idea, but one thing I do know is that ordering anything “well done” gets you labeled as an ass with a cow’s palate! The Herb Crusted Rack Of Lamb was delish and the risotto perfectly cooked. The peppercorn demi-glace was an intense smack of heat that I wasn’t prepared for because I thought they were capers. Nope…tiny little bombs of black pepper.
Their Cajun Seafood Pasta Pizza confirmed that there is a God in heaven. It was so good that I want more, like now! The Cajun cream sauce brought out the flavors of the scallops, clams and shrimp while the mussels collected it like little bowls. I wasn’t sure if I should eat it with my hands or a fork, so I used both! Most noteworthy was the Shrimp & Andouille Mac n’ Cheese. Though I don’t care for pasta this was yummy. My assistant, who is quite picky, literally licked our bowl clean!
As we finished our meal we were selected as guinea pig testers for TUK’s newest dessert concept that will soon be offered to patrons. The Union Kitchen Crème Brûlée Bread Pudding lightly drizzled with RUM!! The mash-up of Crème Brûlée and bread pudding was something I’d never tried but it was the perfect combinations of textures. The rich milk chocolate drizzle, fresh fruit and whipped cream made it even more exquisite.
The Union Kitchen offers brunch, lunch and dinner at all four locations, but unfortunately the special edition rum is only available at the Bellaire and Memorial locations.