Freddie Mercury said it best. “It’s a Kind of Magic – One shaft of light that shows the way…the waiting seems eternity, the day will dawn of sanity.” Hell yeah! We can now dine in restaurants with 50 people!
We pause outside No.5 Restaurant and take it all in; the outside fire pit is roaring, the hum of laughter, the sonet of glasses clinking, saucepans clanking provide a baratone back drop. Four months ago we would not have stopped and listened to this orchestestrial string of sounds.
This is our first in-person review since the lock down. Casting our eyes across the restaurant with its cavernous warehouse ceilings and industrial steel long bar. You can’t help but notice the good looking, eclectic but stylish hipster crowd. Groups of cocktail lovin’ girls, upwardly mobile couples and local families all find their home here. We start at the bar and soon a ‘Sakura’ arrives – a Sake based cocktail with a kick of Umeshu, ginger and rose. Its girly, pink and delicious. ‘Doctors Orders’ is a more manly affair of Irish and peated whiskey stired with burnt honey and lemon.
We settle by a heater on the dining floor. The first of ‘Let chef take care of you” $65 menu, is a plate of attractively scorched flat bread with gremolata dip. It’s a crowd pleaser, rather than a brain teaser. Not so, the blue mackerel, rarely seen on Australian menus, but loved by the Brits. Its boldly fishy, unapoligetically meaty and the lemon emulsion cuts through the omega rich flesh beautifully. Son-In-Law eggs are a Thai (but also an Alexandria) street food favourite. Deep fried whole eggs are balanced with a caramel, tamarind sauce topped with fresh chilli and corriander. A plate of golden cauliflower florets laced with stir fried kale and drizzled with a lemony truffle yuzu follow. Flavours of Asia reign as cubes of sticky pork belly with a highlighter of sesame seeds and chinese broccoli are good mates paired with feisty fried brussel sprouts. To finish, a lemon posset dotted with blackberries, white chocolate curls and crispy white merangue shards are a fine way to end the night.
No.5 isnt obvious, predictable or easy to find. You will need to Google the side street in Alexandria, not far from Dan Murphys. It’s a five sensory experience – salty, sweet, sour, bitter and the last unami savoury elment. It’s a meal and a moment in time to ‘savour’ the best in fresh, seasonal Aussie produce, hospitality and a community that emoji ‘praises’ No.5 for a great night out!
No. 5 Restaurant
5 McCauley Street, Alexandria, 2015
Hours: Wed & Thurs: 4pm – 9pm, Fri & Sat: 4pm – 10pm, Sunday: 4pm – 9pm New! : Two hour bottomless set lunch menu
When: Begins 20 June, every Saturday and Sunday.
Cost: $40 set menu+ $25pp for 2 hours bottomless cocktail of the week
Bookings essential between 12pm-2:30pm (Saturday & Sunday).