Tucked in on the corner of Corner Tribune & Little Stanley Streets, Fifth Element Bar and Dining is safe from the busy central of Southbank and provides a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere for dining. I visited the restaurant during the evening, and was greeted by dimmed lighting which added an elegant ambiance to both the inside and outside seating, it was the perfect way to start the night…
The menu includes a variety of tapas/entrees, offered in small or large sizes, in addition to a larger share plates for two and mains (which are also able to be served individually or to share). Look, I’m going to be upfront in admitting i have commitment issues when it comes to menus so having a tapas/entree section as large as they did ticked all of the initial boxes for me. There was a range of proteins and cuisines, which meant it was able to straight away please a range of appetites! So this was of course what I opted for!
The most impressive aspect of the menu, and the part i am most excited to share, is that the menu items are clearly labelled with dietary information including GF (my favourite), DF and V. And the second favourite part of 5th Element’s menu is that its adaptable and the waiters are more than happy to try to arrange something to suit a particular preference. For instance, ‘Wild mushrooms, baby mozzarella, toasted brioche, rocket pesto (v)’ wasn’t actually GF, but after discussing my dietary preferences, arrangements were easily made for one of the two pieces on the plate to be on GF bread, instead of brioche (as my friend wasn’t GF). This obviously meant we could both enjoy the meal we were both excited to try – no exclusion, no hassle = happy kbsugarfree and friends = happy anyone and friends!
I loved 5th Element for their variety of dishes (yeah, so that clearly makes choosing harder i.e. stimulates FOMO – fear of missing out but thats better than having no options, am I right) and the element of sharing. Sharing food with friends and family is what for me constitutes a great meal and a great time! And that is just what my friend and I had. The food was absolutely divine with honest ingredients and incredible flavours! We shared a range of dishes including:
1) Hommus, Lebanese Flatbread (+Gluten free multigrain bread) (df, gf)
– this was the perfect way to start the night, the hommus was so smooth with the perfect amount of garlic!
2) Wild mushrooms, baby mozzarella, toasted brioche, rocket pesto (v)
3) Pan-fried saganaki, grilled zucchini, caper raisin and dressing (gf)
4) Spicy lamb and pork meatballs, braised tomato sauce, coriander, mint yoghurt
5) Hervey Bay scallops in the half shell, miso butter, young ginger
(scallops um yum!! and a miso butter was just not something i could leave without trying!)
The items we ordered let to produce speak for itself. The flavours and sauces were used to emphasise the key ingredients on the plate, that being the mushrooms, saganaki, scollops and meatballs – which is what i love when dining out. I want to know that produce hasn’t been so modified and played with that when its put in front of me I’m confused with what I’ve got. And thats what 5th Element provided and what i most loved. Delicious and honest food – and a great dining experience!
And our desert? Well being the die hard IQS that i am and the cheese lover my friend was – we got the cheese platter! This, people, is something i will steer everyone in the direction of! If you are much a cheese fanatic/cheese board deserter like me, then you will know that little warming feeling you get when your cheese board and its just that little bit extra special that you don’t even bother checking out the other’s desert! Well, that was us. As much as I’m confident the dessert would have matched the quality standard that our meals did, I have had the cheese board before and i will have it again and i will go back especially for it! With some granny smith apple and quince paste + an assortment of crackers (+ they have GF crackers too!!) – its just the perfect end to a delicious meal! You can choose from one, two or three, and well, i can only recommend three! The whole dining experience was a pleasure and if your looking for a fine quality tapas options to suit you, your tummy and your friends, then i have no doubt 5th Element would have you covered!
The 5th Element has an extensive range of alcohol available at their bar and its arrangement behind the bar is very visually pleasing (but hard to capture with the lighting!) so if your friends enjoy drinking, well, also very well covered! The most fascinating aspect of the bar is the Enomatic wine preservation system. This is a system which essentially (and I’m trying to paraphrase from memory how i was described) re-seals the wine, making it able to last longer (and taste better for longer!). This system actually allows 5th Element to be able to host Australia’s largest selection of wine (!). So what does that mean? The ability to provide lots of wine tastings and a truly unique wine experience! Their glasses are in two sizes, half or full, so you and your friends could conduct your own little wine tasting adventure one afternoon and explore a range of flavours and styles without having to buy an entire glass/bottle! Although if you love one particular wine then its most likely they will have it available for you to enjoy throughout your meal (we opted for this and stuck with a delicious Pinot Noir!). The restaurant also offers options for wine tasting events and hosts numerous functions if you are looking to plan your own wine adventure 🙂
Overall, the food, wine, staff and service made the entire experience an absolute delight and its the flexibility and adaptable nature of the menu which will keep me coming back! 5th Element are kind and welcome to dietary requirements and will strive to ensure you are catered for and satisfied – which is a massive relief for those of us with dietary sensitivities. If your allergy or requirement is quite serious though , they just ask that you give a bit of notice so that arrangements can be made prior to your visit – and that in itself demonstrates very friendly and honest hospitality!
It was an absolute pleasure and its so nice to have such an amazing restaurant so close to home! To find out more you can contact them via their: