Five Nines doesn’t have a spectacular interior. In fact, it’s so understated that I’ve walked past a few times thinking it’s a bar that serves the typical bar grub and a long list of alcoholic beverages. It was after a recommendation from a friend that I knew it was full-fledged restaurant with an open kitchen, and the biggest sell for me was an exceptional Set Dinner Menu at S$59.
Just a few doors down is The Cure, at S$88 and Meta at $118. That’s a value that’s hard to beat isn’t it?
Helmed by Japanese chef Masanao Saito who used to work in a sushi bar at Cuppage Plaza, we were surprised that the majority of the courses were more Western, with very little Japanese influence. Chef Masanao was surprisingly personable, unlike others who prefer to leave the talking to their floor managers. He went around a few tables to chat, and eventually came to ours to ask how we liked the food – a gesture that I appreciate very much.
The Amazing 5-course Set Dinner Menu at S$59
The first course was the Sea Bass Carpaccio, a fish that I never ventured in a carpaccio before. Thinly sliced sea bass had quite a bit of a bite as opposed to the typical scallop/salmon but the beautiful seasoning of ponzu jelly and black truffle really opened my palate with the sourness and truffle fragrance.
The seasonal White Asparagus and Egg was next. Just as a benchmark, the typical white asparagus in a good Italian restaurant will usually set you back by S$18 to S$26 and that’s close to half of what you’re paying for this set dinner already.
Adorned by leaves of kale, savoury slices of Jamon Iberico and a perfect sous vide egg, the second starter was quite the delight. The different flavours help mellow the bitterness of the white asparagus, culminating in a dish that’s extremely well-balanced.
The Red Snapper & Ratatouille was Course 3. Beautifully roasted on a bed of yellow pepper puree with a balsamic reduction and olive tapenade, this was simple but yet a well-cooked piece of seafood. The snapper falls off flake by flake with the tapenade making an excellent pair which unfortunately quelled the flavour of the ratatouille.
Overall, the 2nd favourite dish for me though!
For a set menu that already has so much to offer, there were actually 3 options we could choose from. A Tenderloin Steak, the Pork & Celeriac and the Lamb & Eggplant.
The Pork & Celeriac was a beautiful marinated pork loin on a bed of celeriac puree with wholegrain mustard on the side. The pork was fairly lean with some fat that’s caramelised in the roasting process and the very slight bitterness, yet creamy celeriac did a good job of cutting the porky flavour, which was really little to begin with.
Comparing the Tenderloin Steak and the Pork & Celeriac, I must say I enjoyed the Tenderloin a bit more just for the sauce that’s spiked with porcini that elevates the flavour of the beef that was cooked perfectly.
The Sweet Ending at Five Nines
There was only one dessert on the menu and that was the Raspberry & Chocolate but we tried our luck in changing it and we managed to have the Tiramisu off the a la carte menu without additional charge.
You might know by now that I cannot resist a chocolate dessert and this was a flourless one at that – for the weight conscious. Tart flavours go terribly well with dark chocolate to bring out a subtle sweetness and the raspberry coulis does exactly that, with a scattering of nuts to give more texture to the entire dish.
Really loved the rich, butter-like texture of the chocolate cake, I’m sure you’ll agree if you manage to taste it before the next menu change.
The Tiramisu is a classic that’s been pretty much kept intact in its form here, and while I like my Tiramisu cakes, this one packs quite a Kahlua punch that I really dig. It’s a pretty large portion too, if I may add.
If there was any course that I didn’t particularly like here, it would have to be the Sea Bass Carpaccio but everything was really well-executed, and for this price, you really have nothing to complain about.
The next thing to do is to get a nice bottle to go with the entire meal, and everything will be perfect.
Quality of food: 8/10
Value for money: 9/10
Five Nines 999.99 (Map)
29 Keong Saik Road
Tel: +65 – 6221 7098
Hours: Mon to Fri Lunch 12nn to 2.30pm and Dinner 6pm to 12mn | Sat and Sun 6pm to 12mn
Nearest station: Outram Park
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