(Five Ten had since ceased operations; the folks behind Five Ten now runs The Salted Plum at 10 Circular Road. Click here to read more about The Salted Plum.)
Five Ten is a new establishment that had recently taken over the grounds formerly occupied by now-defunct CATO along South Bridge Road, serving up comfort food with a slight Chinese/Taiwanese twist.
Five Ten’s is being named after its concept; the menu here comprises of small sharing plates as well as items sized in an individual portion for a more substantial eat — all of the items either costs $5 or $10; different menus are served during lunch hours and dinner hours. The interior is decked rather simply, adopting a rather dark decor theme that works suitably for the bar operations at night.
Going for a small sharing plate, we settled for the Fried Chicken which features soy and sesame-marinated chicken that comes with nori mayonnaise on the side. We thought this item would have really worked well with some drinks on the side; the fried chicken morsels were crisp and tender with the juices locked within while coming with skin-on for a umami touch alongside the seasoning. The nori mayonnaise felt like it was a step up from the usual mayonnaise; one that carried a little more dimension with the nori infused for a slightly punchier note of savoury flavour atop the Kewpie-esque mayonnaise base which we found quite addicting.
For our choice of main, we decided to go for the Steak, Rice and Egg; essentially a beef rice bowl with seared sirloin steak atop a bed of rice served with sous-vide egg and pickled Chinese cabbage on the side. The beef comes in a brilliant shade of pink in the centre; tender and cut along the grain hence does not require much effort to chew — seems to be lightly sprinkled with salt to bring out its flavours even more. The sous-vide egg comes with a runny yolk within, while the pickled Chinese cabbage gave refreshing tang that helps to cleanse the taste buds when things get a little too meaty. The rice was also flavourful, being drenched with a little bit of braised sauce that provided a savoury flavour that made it easier to finish. Overall, a really comfortable rice bowl that was pretty satisfying and affordable at $10.
We also could not resist ordering the Lu Rou Fan; essentially similar to the Steak, Rice, Egg with only the beef replaced by braised pork belly and the pickled Chinese cabbage replaced with Kai Lan. Yet another comforting bowl here, the elements were well-executed; the braised pork belly tender and juicy with the meat fully absorbing the flavours from the savoury braised sauce without being overly salty, while the Kai Lan carried a refreshing crunch without any strong and undesirable bitterness.
We were told by the staff that there were two desserts available (though not yet listed in the menu) in between our meal, and we could not find ourselves refusing them for how satisfying the mains are — we ended up going for both! The Fried Milk is their iteration of Dulce de Leche but with a Chinese twist — morsels of fried milk that is served with the condensed milk at the side. We were told that it is best to enjoy this by first enjoying a morsel on its own before drenching the rest of the fried milk with the condensed milk thereafter. Each ball of fried milk comes within a crisp batter with a soft interior that carries a slight whiff of milkiness, while the condensed milk was able to enhance the sweetness of each morsel as the condensed milk gets absorbed within each piece. We ended up using the condensed milk as a dip however, but that is also because the balls of fried milk were actually pretty good on their own too!
The other dessert that was available on the day of our visit was the Ice-Cream Float — the dessert contains elements such as chocolate, carbonated soda and a scoop of Cold Brew Ice-Cream (churned using the same cold brew that they serve here by the folks behind Apiary). A dessert that is meant to be enjoyed slowly, it is also one that was pretty dynamic as the flavours slowly incorporate with each other to provide a different experience in texture and flavour profile. At the start, the elements felt like separate entities. As time progresses, the Chocolate slowly incorporates into the fizzy soda to provide for a rich and chocolatey fizzy concoction with a scoop of Cold Brew ice-cream that helps to add a bit of flavour to the float. When the ice-cream melts, the entire concoction turns into a medley of a creamy and soothing mixture that wasn’t too sweet with a hint of coffee within the chocolate flavours — pretty indulgent.
For beverages, Five Ten offers coffee, tea and alcoholic drinks apart from other options — it is interesting to note that Five Ten does not carry any espresso-based drinks on their menu; in fact, they offer other fun options such as a few variants of cold brew as well as a Cold Brew Soda for coffee drinkers. All the cold brews are brewed using a special blend of beans roasted by Two Degrees North Coffee Co. (the same people behind The Populus Food & Coffee Co. and Senate Specialty Coffee) and brewed for three days without additives and sugar. The White Cold Brew is brewed solely using coffee and milk — a really creamy yet strong concoction that carries a nutty flavour profile that is bound to give a caffeinated kick despite being relatively easy to drink. The Brown Cold Brew is essentially the White Cold Brew with their house-made chocolate sauce added; the concoction being sweetened minimally but still able to add a chocolatey flavour to the drink, yet carried a finish that was similar to that of the White Cold Brew — quite balanced and a good drink for those who prefer to have something with a less strong coffee flavour.
Overall, the meal at Five Ten was something we found ourselves rather impressed, with good quality food and good execution matched with an interesting concept at an affordable price. Every item was not just good but left an impression that made them memorable — something that seemed to define the terminology of “comfort food” that actually makes one feel good having. We were pretty satisfied and really had nothing much to complain from the sharing plates to desserts; a feat that restaurants these days to serve a menu that is of consistent quality throughout. The service is also great here; the staff are warm and welcoming, patient to explain details regarding dishes or even the concept of the establishment, while also engaging in small talk. One can definitely feel the passion that they have for the food and the industry as well. With such standards, Five Ten is a place that is off a good start, and has quite a bit of potential in the long run, especially when they receive more feedback and keep refining their offerings or even introduce more new and innovative dishes in time to come. We hereby congratulate Five Ten for their opening, and wishing them all the best for everything that comes along in the future!
237 South Bridge Road
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/FIVETENSG/