While the area down the road of Robertson Quay and Mohammed Sultan sees new restaurants opening and closing like a merry go round, as you get further up River Valley Road it can seem like a bit of a no man’s land.

But recently Five and Dime Eatery has sprung up and finally put somewhere interesting on that stretch.

Walking in, it almost feels like they took all the best bits of an American diner, and gave it a contemporary spin which results in a laid back and stylee (in a kind of understated) way feel.

I had heard the cocktails here were supposed to be good but hold up….good cocktails in a diner-style setting? Yes it’s true!

We tried four in all and of all of those three got a definite thumbs up. We loved the Blackforest ($23) which was like starting off the meal with a naughty little dessert. It was a smooth blend of whisky, creme de cacao, creme de mure, fresh blackberries and cream. This could have been one of those cocktails that ended up being too sweet but the earthiness of the whisky nipped that likelihood in the bud.

The Lemon Meringue ($18) was a nice, light and tart flambee made with vodka, limoncello, freshly squeezed lemon juice and caramelized milk foam.

We also loved the Gin & Jade ($18), which was an interesting twist on a classic gin and tonic thanks to the lychee liqueur and home made pandan syrup.

Righty-ho, now on to the food. The food here is simple, unpretentious but tasty – just like what it says on the Five and Dime tin.  Kicking things off was the Calamari Salad ($16). Now I am not usually a fan of this style of calamari because I’ve had it on so many occassions where it’s just been too greasy, and/or has too much batter.

But these guys have got it just right. It really is crispy, and light and very more-ish (just as well seeing it was a very generous portion size) and they’ve given it a slight hint of chili which really works.

But the Flamed Smoked Duck Salad  ($15) here is really very nice indeed and it has everything to do with the fact that duck is tender and succulent and also something to do with the tangy creamy sesame dressing.

The Cajun Chicken ($28) was succulent and juicy, and a true comfort dish served up with some solid mash potato and barbecue sauce.

I have to say I loved the Kuro Kuro Beef, all 200grams of its bad old Ribeye self, which had been sauteed teppanyaki style. Each chunk was plump and full of flavour. But I wasn’t a big fan of the fries it was served with – it just seemed like an odd combination which didn’t really excite me but hey, perhaps I just wasn’t in the mood for fries that day.

Needless to say after all those cocktails and comfort food, we didn’t have room for dessert….and I’ll be surprised if you do! I loved Five and Dime for bringing delicious cocktails to a different kind of format, and the hearty, soul-warming food. My only reservation is that some of the pricing seemed to be just a smidge higher than how I thought it should match up with the concept. All the same….I would agree, it’s nice to dine at Five and Dime.

Written by Ms Demeanour