As they say, old is gold.
This time, Singapore After Nine is casting the spotlight on an oldie but a goodie: Five Square (FIV五 Square) in the busy CBD.
It’ll have you covered from lunch through to dinner and drinks, and with live performances, no less!
Just like its name, food and drinks here go at the unbeatable rate of $5 each, every hour of everyday.
Take your pick between dining indoors or out at the alfresco area.
Chill out with your pals over sake, wine or beer at just $5 a glass.
To liven up the party, have a go at Five Square’s pool table or dart booths. Sports fans will feel right at home here too, as Five Square often screens games on their large-screen televisions.
Their drink menu features an extensive selection of premium whiskies, a hundred or so different brands of wines, and various labels of icy cold beer.
Next to the bar is a large, open food hall that can hold a total of 300 diners. Home to 5 gourmet food stalls with extensive menus, take your pick from international cuisine ranging from Japanese to Spanish!
The dishes are reasonably priced, making them a popular choice for those working in the CBD, and attracting crowds from farther away.
It’s no wonder, as the dishes beat what regular food courts can offer in terms of taste and quality, yet are not as pricey as those in upscale restaurants.
A take on the popular Five Tapas Bar at Cuppage Terrace, Cinqo Tapas brings on a whole host of palate pleasers.
1. Carbonara Fettucine ($9.90)
This plate of pasta was worth every dollar–and every calorie! We swear we’re not exaggerating when we say we could literally smell the aroma of the smoky prosciutto ham and rich cream while it was on its way out from the kitchen!
The fettucine was topped with thinly shaved parmesan slices and a glistening orb of an egg. The pasta was perfectly al dente, and the rich creaminess of the sauce was complemented by the smoky ham, which was chewy and crisp.
2. Angus Beef Cubes ($12)
Fried beef topped with a generous smattering of golden sautéed garlic–yum! The beef cubes were well-marinated and packed a punch of flavour. Texture-wise, however, it was a tad too chewy for my preference. Nevertheless, we enjoyed it, and the fresh rocket leaves at the side were a refreshing accompaniment to the meat.
3. Bacon Mushroom ($6)
Springy, juicy mushrooms wrapped in bacon is what this dish is all about.
It was a pity the juices from the mushrooms softened the otherwise crispy bacon. Still, it was a winning combination, as the sweet taste of mushroom offset the savoury flavour of the bacon.
Just Pho Fun
Don’t let that name fool you–this place takes its food seriously.
4. Fresh Summer Roll (2 pcs, $5)
Stuffed with vermicelli, fresh prawns, mint leaves and assorted vegetables, these rolls were a delight to crunch into. If the rice paper wrap had been a little bit softer, it would have been perfect. Nevertheless, the sweet-sour chilli dip lent the roll a kick of flavour, and was very pleasing on the whole.
5. Dry Vermicelli with BBQ Pork ($10)
The texture of the noodle was good, and the accompanying sweet-spicy-sour sauce was thoroughly interesting on the taste buds. However, the pork leaned slightly on the dry side and could have been more tender. A generous shower of ground nuts, fried shallots, and freshly julienned carrots and turnips added some colour to the dish and was the perfect way to round it off!
6. Rice Noodles with Sliced Beef Soup ($10)
The rice noodles were cooked to just the right degree of springiness, and the beef slices were cooked to tender perfection. The soup was less savoury than we had hoped, but well-flavoured nevertheless!
As a bonus, with each main dish ordered at this stall, you get a free mango salad!
A branch-off of its renowned parent outlet at Tanjong Pagar, this stall at Five Square serves equally good grub.
Without missing a beat, it continues to spread chef Teppei’s legacy in the form of top-notch taste, quality and affordability.
7. Kaisendon, Seafood Donburi ($16)
The cubes of salmon and tuna sashimi were fresh and tender, well-marinated and flavourful.
Small chunks of sweet scallop were nestled in the middle of the sashimi pyramid. Along with the tobiko, which exploded with savoury goodness with every bite, they went perfectly with the Japanese rice. A lick of wasabi to the side of the dish cleared our palate in between mouthfuls.
8. Seared & Salmon Sashimi, Seafood Donburi ($16.80)
This was really, really good.
The salmon sashimi was fresh and chopped into thick slices. Marinated with what tasted like a mixture of soy sauce and mirin, it was the perfect balance of sweet and savoury.
The seared salmon, on the other hand, had just the right amount of smokiness to it. Even though we were too full to eat all the rice, we devoured every single bit of the salmon.
The Grill Knife (Western)
An offshoot of The Soup Spoon, The Grill Knife also offers nutrition-packed meals made with fresh ingredients, paired with their delicious homemade sauces.
9. Chicken Combo ($13.80)
Grilled over high heat, the chicken thigh was tender and moist, as were the Bratwurst sausages.
As the saying goes, the more the merrier! This was true of the Herbivore salad that came with more than 5 different vegetables! Our only gripe was that the fried wanton skins that came with the salad could have been crispier. Apart from that, this dish was a tasty balance of protein and fibre.
The Gogibox offers a unique twist on Korean cuisine, with the Gogi Taco ($6.80), and the Gogi Dog ($6.80).
It also sells bentos such as the Gogi Plate above ($8.50). Take your pick from fried rice, 8 different choices of meat and a salad. Unfortunately, we did not manage to sample food from the Gogibox as it was closed, but we will definitely be back to get some!
All things considered, Five Square is definitely a top contender on our list of chill out spots. Not only does it provide affordable food and drinks with great taste and quality, it’s also conveniently situated near the workplaces in the CBD.
It’s never too late for food and drinks at Five Square. Supper, anyone?
Cheers to the next round of great food and beer,
Singapore After Nine
All prices are subject to 7% GST and 10% Service Charge.
Address: 1 Pickering Street, Great Eastern Centre, #01-03, Singapore 04865
Opening hours: Mon – Sat, 10am – 12am (Closed on Sundays and PH)