Travelling is truly a marvellous thing and I love visiting new places, just as much as I love receiving those who travel to where I call home. "Home" can mean a lot of things; I've had wonderful experiences of being in a totally foreign place and yet feeling completely comfortable because of the company around me. I have a serious soft spot for bringing out of towners around Perth - despite the fact that our culinary scene is still developing, there are places here that are so worth sharing.
I also love bar food and I love bars that have something for everybody. After attending the launch for Five Bar's Spring Menu, I was intrigued to try out the menu in my own time. The food at restaurant launches/tastings are purposely of a particularly high standard and I know I can't get the most accurate account of the standard of the overall experience. I do like to take it on myself to check back when I have the chance to and form a better opinion. One of M's friends from Moscow dropped by Perth, I was eager to bring him somewhere that had a little of everything. Five Bar seemed like the perfect place to get a couple of drinks and have a casual catch up over a good selection of bites.
Five Bar's parfait is gamey and light, rather than being uber rich and sweet. I found the salad leaves a little unecessary and too heavily dressed, but welcomed the toasted ciabatta like an old friend. Although this isn't the best parfait in town, it serves as a great basic starter to share around the table.
Jalapeño Poppers are probably the most ideal comfort food; deep fried till crunchy, spicy, oozing with cheese and served with a creamy dipping sauce! The sour cream was the ideal antidote to the numbing jalapeños, which were golden brown and crunched like glass. The let down was that they felt a little heavy and along with delicious, molten cheese, out also oozed some unwanted fryer oil residue.
I love a good Reuben sandwich; it brings me right back to being a kid and running around New York for the first time and having some strange obsession with picking the filling out of sandwiches and discarding what I thought was weird looking bread. I really enjoyed this, despite the rye being a little dry - the pastrami was juicy, whilst the cheese was molten and delicious.
The Banh Mi Roll was my favourite dish from the Spring menu launch and I ordered it again with high expectations. I was willing the combination of chilli, hoisin and mayo to come through as the original creamy magic that I had tried at the event. I would have preferred the traditional soft baguette instead of ciabatta, but the filling was still as fresh and tender as I remember.
Another launch favourite of mine was the sweet potato fries - crunchy and salty sweet; I'd rather sweet potato fries over regular fries any day! Whilst I'm not very fond of the cumin mayo, I do prefer to dip them into the popper's sour cream. I simply love how Five Bar features many of my favourite foods that I once have travelled to experience - jalapeño poppers, Ruben's...and now the American classic, sweet potato fries.
Whilst the standard of the food is relatively the same, some dishes that I expected to impress, did not. However I would say that across the board, I did enjoy the food at Five Bar - the menu is classic, but interesting and there are many more things on the menu that I'd love to try. The service is also always excellent - I love how the staff always extremely understanding, courteous and make time to talk about the food itself. It's a place that I want to come back to and it's a place that I'd love to bring more good company to. But most of all, it's a place that I'd be happy to sit back in after a bad day, get a drink and enjoy a seriously satisfying feed.