It had been far too long between drinks since I’d last ventured to Five Bar on beautiful Beaufort Street. I had very fond memories of their food being delicious, but with so many new places opening it can sometimes be hard to get yourself back to these old favourites. But I’d recently seen that Chef Neal Jackson had been assisting with a few adjustments to the Five Bar menu and I was very keen to try it out. So on a busy day of running around over the weekend we managed to get ourselves to Five Bar for lunch on a Saturday.
Friendly staff greet you as you arrive and with the eclectic mix of different chairs and couches it does have a feel of having wandered into someone’s lounge room. It’s very welcoming. I recalled that previously in the back section it had been more wooden pallets with cushions, but this had now been replaced with more usual table and chair arrangements so it felt like a dining room, which we welcomed.
The menu is split out into different sections, Five Snacks, Five Sandwiches, Five Intruder, etc, and we short listed our preferred selections and then compared notes for crossover. All very scientific. We went with:
- Grilled chorizo – pomegranate glaze, lemon ($8)
- Sticky beef fingers – Red wine braised rib meat, chilli ($12)
- Amelia Park beef, cheese and bacon burger, pickles, tomato, lettuce and ketchup ($19)
- Hand cut potato wedges ($9)
The sincher on the wedges side was that it came served with a blue cheese and bacon dip, which sounded too delicious not to try.
We were going to go splitzies on everything and for us I thought we’d been fairly restrained. Haha I say that, but more often than not you order that one extra dish that maxes you out and you need to get rolled out of the place. I thought our ordering had been spot on here.
We enjoyed a snappy glass of Vinaceous Wines, their Right Hand Shiraz Grenache Tempranillo, and soon enough the food arrived, quite the spread! All the dishes presented beautifully. There were artistic drizzles of balsamic over the chorizo and a little fresh garnishes on the beef to add a pop of colour to that meaty dish and even the wedges had been prettied up with some crispy mint leaves. Small things, but they made dishes that little bit more visually striking.
And flavour wise too these dishes kicked goals, big goals. There was a subtle spiciness to the chunky chorizo slices that paired well with the sweetness from the pomegranate glaze, then a refreshing lift from a spritz of lemon.
The sticky beef fingers had spent some quality time slow cooking and the meat just fell apart, so tender and so full of flavour. And that marinade that they were so lovingly coated in was wonderfully rich in flavour. Red wine is such a solid base for a sauce. Just delicious.
Onto our burger and wedges next. GG expertly sliced the burger into halves and I eagerly, though carefully, took my first bite so as not to lose all the filling, which would have been a classic me thing to do. I struggle with hand foods at the best of time, but I didn’t want to leave anything behind as all those different layers combined for sublime burgery deliciousness. And two key components of any burger are the bun and the patty and both were spot on. The bun was a brioche style, lovely and soft and that meat patty had been well seasoned and had plenty of juicy flavour. The sauces weren’t too heavy handed, the cheese had been melted well and the bacon was generous. Then of course there was the splash of salad to add some freshness. It was well balanced and well delicious.
And what of the wedges dipping sauce I had been so excited about? Well I’d been right to be excited because it was as tasty as I had hoped. A strong blue cheese flavour along with bacony bits combined for a very creamy and an entirely indulgent sauce for a humble wedge. The crisped mint looked nice, but didn’t have a huge amount of flavour, didn’t hurt the experience though.
Ahh Five Bar. I was fast reminded of how lovely your food is and I thought their prices were pitched on the very reasonable side. The place has such a chilled, relaxed vibe and I really welcome the additional seating options in the dining area. Well worth a a visit when you find yourself hungry (or thirsty) in Highgate. I’m often both those things, so expect to be back real soon 🙂