Cuppage Plaza | Dinner at Five Nines

Five Nines used to be located along Kheong Saik Street. I was there for a dinner tasting once and I had a very good impression then, the food was playful, memorable and affordable in comparison to other restaurants in its league: the fine-dining or casual gourmet dining group.

Fast forward to 2017, Five Nines have moved to Cuppage Plaza, located in a rather quiet corner of Orchard Boulevard and known for its numerous Japanese restaurants including the longstanding Izakaya Nijumaru. The building is also known for its lively late night scene.

Back to the Five Nines, the restaurant is a modern European restaurant with Japanese influence. It is headed by Chef Takashi Ohkawa from Tokyo. A welcome continuity of the restaurant is its affordable price range and a comfortable dining atmosphere. This is their 6-course dinner which is priced at $49++ SGD.

The dinner begun with an appetizer of Marinated Botan Shrimp served with Couscous Salad dressed with Tosazu Vinegar and garnished with salmon roe. Tosazu vinegar is a kind of vinegar fermeted in Japanese cedar casks and made with kombu seaweed, bontio fish flakes, mirin and amazake. The shrimp itself was excellent, the marinated flesh was succulent and paired very well with the salmon roe as well as the couscous which reminded me of the texture of tobbikko.

The legs are edible like soft shell crab but the oily taste was a little too strong for an appetizer as it lingers on rather than cleanse the palate for the subsequent dishes.

Five Nines has a playful attitude to its food in not only how it pairs its ingredients but also in its use of theatrics or drama for its food presentation such as the Foie Grass Terrine and Bruschetta where a a delicate portion of foie gras terrine topped with orange jam was served in a jam filled with smoke created a la minute using wood chips. The fragrance and the sight excites the senses and for this course. The terrine was paired nicely with the smoky, tangy and sweet orange jam as well. The bruschetta provides a constrast in texture. This is a good appetizer.

Moving on, there is a pasta course : a Garlic Flavoured Squid Ink Tagliolini topped with Snow Crab. This is really good, the pasta was just nice and the crab chunks were tasty.

Steamed Cod Fish Rolled with Parma Ham with Porcini Cream Sauce is an interesting pairing of cod fish and parma ham. A savoury slice of parma ham is wrapped around a delicate fillet of cod fish, which was prepared nicely although there seemed to be some parts that were slightly overcooked. The combination came together nicely with the porcini cream sauce.

The next course is a contrast to the steamed cod, it is a Mozzarella and Lamb Tenderloin Fritto with Celeriac Puree and Japanese Pepper Fond de Veau Sauce. The Japanese pepper prepared in this manner was surprisingly mild and almost like barley or rice. The lamb tenderloin doesn't have a strong gamey flavour and the fritto meant it is served with a breaded crust like a Chicken Kiev. The entire dish however came across as monotonous as nothing really stands out, I was hoping the Japanese pepper sauce could be stronger or a lamb could have a stronger flavour but nope, the flavours are okay and the texture is right but lacks something that packs a punch for this course.

Thankfully, a beautifully prepared Creme Brulee served with Raspberry Sorbet saved the day. Despite the electrical outages (just suay), the meal finished nicely with this dessert. The cream was not too sweet, velvety and fragrant and loved the nice caramelized sugary torched crust as well as a refreshing, fruity raspberry sorbet that worked together very nicely, each element with its flavour and textures came together in a harmonious finish for the meal.

The dinner at this pricing is comparatively affordable if you wish to experience a multi-course European style meal (with some Japanese touches). Five Nines didn't disappoint, the pairing of ingredients was still as refreshing and smart as I remembered. There are a few rough edges or misses but generally quite decent. All in all, a worthy spot to go for a dinner on a special occasion without breaking the bank.

Special Thanks to Food News PR for the invitation and hospitality.

5 Koek Road
#04-04 Cuppage Plaza,
Singapore 228796


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