Thursday, May 14, 2015

Singapore Food Blog - Five and Dime Eatery

Location: Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Updated 2-Aug-2016: This business is permanently closed.

Recommended: Golden Custard Lava Cake (SGD12), Mentaiko Pasta (SGD18)

Sometimes reading “Lists of… to Die For” could be rather rewarding. At least it brings you to places you wouldn’t necessarily wander to. Take Five and Dime for example, its location a hideout among the affluent along River Valley Road, a modern shop nestled between some residential houses which architecture was frozen in time. Of course their location is not the focus here and yet I couldn’t help but to marvel upon how an eatery got itself into such a quaint spot.

Welcome to Five and Dime!

Ambience and Décor Observations

When we stepped through the entrance, two things became obvious to me – space was a premium, and occupancy was full. All of which led to one conclusion – reserve before you come (which was what we did). Casual drinkers whose staples could fit onto a dessert plate and whose purpose of visit was to get a sip could choose the bar seats, and main course diners like us definitely preferred tables to comfortably hold our dishes.

I commend the staff and overall atmosphere of Five and Dime to readers. The serving staffs were friendly and energetic, performing tasks like whirlwinds and adding to the vibe of the place. Despite the limited space and hectic tasks, the team did their best to provide a warm ambience and we felt welcomed.

My reservation

A limited interior

Dining Observations

Five and Dime proved itself not with its atmosphere but with its food. We ordered a fine Spinach Tamago (SGD18), Buttermilk Pancakes (SGD15) and Mentaiko Pasta (SGD18), all to be washed down with a bottle of Coconut Juice and a Matcha Milkshake. I personally loved Mentaiko Pasta the most, from its spicy roes to the soft spaghetti. To top the experience, we ordered a Golden Custard Lava Cake (SGD12), revealing my true purpose of bringing all of us here. The reason I wanted to try it was because of its uniqueness in combining salted egg yolk with chocolate, leaving a mixed trail of liquid gold and brown when it flowed out.

Spinach Tamago (SGD18), a dish for egg and vege lovers. As if Japanese spinach omelette (tamagoyaki) served on top of thick toast is not enough to satisfy, the dish comes in the company of mesclun greens, breakfast potatoes and fruit salads. I like the way the heavenly flavor of semi-liquid egg flows into my mouth with each slice of the tamagoyaki. If you want to get this eggy dish, you will have to get it on weekends as it is only available then.

Buttermilk Pancakes (SGD15) are more suitable for one looking for a more western brunch. Get your choice of crispy bacon (I like!) or chicken sausages (I also like!) to go with your pancakes. Slather on butter and pour on honey to enhance your taste. Sweet tooth can lessen their guilt with the fruit salads served on top.

I highly recommend this Mentaiko Pasta (SGD18). I never knew that creamy mentaiko sauce and spicy cod roe could go so well with spaghetti! Spice lovers could savor the combined spiciness and saltiness which only roes could conjure.

A unique combination of east meets west occurred in their Golden Custard Lava Cake (SGD12). I came with high expectations and I wasn't disappointed. Served warm, the golden and brown contents pour out as it was sliced open, revealing a core that is both salted egg yolk and chocolate lava, the best of two worlds. The taste however was not as good as the individuals - chocolate and salted egg yolk, both strong in taste, clashed rather than complement in this case. Nevertheless the satisfaction is strong in this one, and I recommend first time visits to leave a spot in your stomach for this.

As the contents spill out. I could have taken a better photo though...

When we ordered Coconut Water (SGD8) we didn't expect this. It isn't bad, just... unexpected. The content is truly fresh, and I am not just referring to the taste. The bottle stated that the contents are freshly poured from Thailand imported coconuts, and once the bottled is packed, it expires in three days.

I was intrigued by Matcha Milkshake (SGD12), which is the main reason I ordered it. From my corner I saw how it was made and was impressed - the bartender scooped 5 large balls of vanilla ice-cream and poured spoons after spoons of verdant matcha powder into the blender. The result? A thick milkshake that satisfies this sweet tooth and matcha addict at the same time.

A colonial exterior

Perspective from another corner


I rate Five and Dime as a great find to sate my hunger for nice food, and I could see that many diners share my thoughts. The place was filled to the brim and even reservations were full at the popular lunch and dinner slots, which is why I recommend reserving ahead of your visit. Its food just wins thumbs up from me for taste and innovation, providing an unforgettable experience to a demanding palate. 

Environment:          A nice eatery at a residential area
Suitable for:             for family or friends gathering
Price:                           occasional (SGD10 - 20 per meal per pax)
Food score:               8/10
Food:                            4.5/5.0
Service:                        4.0/5.0
Value:                           4.0/5.0
Ambient:                      3.0/5.0

Operating hours:   (Mon - Thu) 12.00 p.m. - 10.00 p.m.
                                       (Fri)              12.00 p.m. - 12.00 a.m.
                                       (Sat)              10.00 a.m. - 12.00 a.m.
                                       (Sun)             10.00 a.m. - 10.00 p.m.
Directions:                There are 2 possible ways to reach there: through the shortest distance to MRT station and shortest walking distance. 

1. The closest MRT station is Somerset station, which requires approximately 15 minutes of walking. Walk down Somerset Road against the traffic and look for Killiney Road on the right. Enter this road and walk until you reach River Valley Road. Turn left into the road and you will see the restaurant.

2. Disembark at Clarke Quay MRT station and head towards bus stop B04222. Take Bus 54 and alight 4 stops later at Bef AA Centre.

Website:                    Official homepage of Five and Dime
Contact:                    +65 - 9236 5002 (phone for reservation)
Address:                    297 River Valley Road, Singapore 238338.

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