It was one of those periods where Five & Dime seemed to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue – it was the latest craze before Draw Something. As a food writer, my natural curiosity dictated by the job hazard led me down to River Valley to check out what the hype was all about.
Situated along River Valley road, Five & Dime is small café eatery housed in an old white colonial themed house. The interior is a mix of the overused white brick wall with pastel toned furniture that was bought from a childcare centre that recently renovated. The staffs were of a genial disposition, which is always a warm welcome to the start of the meal.
As my dinner guest was running late, I decided upon a cup of Americano to tide through the wait. Five & Dime gets 5 points for serving the coffee with adorable Khong Guan biscuits, and a deduction of 10 for originality. The coffee was served at a disappointingly lukewarm temperature; it went cold after 5 minutes. Even the kopi-o from my local coffee shop stays hot for a good 20 minutes.
We decided to have a starter to share – Flamed smoked duck ($15). The restaurant must have been unaware, but us patrons do go grocery shopping too; I recognized the duck slices from Cold Storage at half the cost. The sesame dressing, which was only to be found on the duck, in no way complemented the bed of vegetables it sat on. The two elements were so conflicting, and yet served on the same platter, that it felt like Germany during the cold war.
The Mentaiko pasta ($24) thankfully was not such a huge let down; then again, when you reach rock bottom the only way is up. The pasta was cooked to al dente, and the mentaiko sauce was both light and refreshing. The chicken skewers were tender, but it looked oddly placed beside the pasta. Plating is a problem here, and it seemed the chicken only served as a reason for Five & Dime to charge a higher premium for the dish.
The Cajun chicken ($22) faired at best average. The apparent “tangy tomato sauce” served was more of a concentrated barbeque sauce. That being said, the chicken was grilled to a nice tender consistency. The bed of mash was rather light and not too creamy. The salad on the other hand, reminded me of the $15 I threw at the Cold Storage produced salad.
The food did not impress me one bit, and perhaps if I had listened to everyone’s gossip clearer, they might have been lamenting over their meals there. The décor may be quaint and cozy, but Five & Dime is not a national park for us to enjoy; if you do not mind the subpar food and paying for an hour at Playhouse Disney, I can pass you my shrink’s number.
Five & Dime
297 River Valley Road
Tel: 9236 5002 | Website
Mon – Thu: 12pm – 12am
Fri – Sun: 10am – 12am
As we value honesty and integrity here at Six&Seven, all food reviews have been paid for by our writers.