WINE ME, DINE ME
For a restaurant to really work, it needs a little magic - something to lift it off the ground. Taking inspiration from the five elements in magic - fire, water, air, earth and spirit - FiVE - Gastronomy & Mixology is out of this world in terms of atmosphere but not so much with what's on the plates.
You may feel like you've taken a ride on a magic broom and landed in another world once you step inside FiVE. It oozes witchcraft, alchemy, mad scientist and all things mysterious. The decor has almost a spellbinding effect as your eyes examine this curious compact space while the little details slowly reveal themselves. But that should come as no surprise given its interior was crafted by none other than Ash Sutton of Iron Fairies, Clouds and Fat Gut'z fame.
The waiting staff don black priest robes a la Neo from The Matrix. Pulleys and mechanical thingies move overhead at a hypnotic pace. A long couch with cushions made of many small black cubes should be nice for when you're under a slouchy spell. Witches can gather around the cocktail tables to talk about the boys they want to enchant. Perpetually single people, like myself, may want to look around the bar for hidden metal square plates containing spells in order to improve their love life. We recommend a get-rich spell because, if it works, you will eventually get both a lover and some money.
I climb a spiral staircase lit up with flickering candle lights, walk slowly along a narrow passage with my head low and discover three theatre boxes perfect for private dining or doing a seance on a Ouija board.
The menu is derived from elements of different cuisines and comes with curious names. Spice me salad (B280; prices subject to service charge) dispels me from my curious trance with its inadequate portion. Five spoons of salmon and rocket with Thai spicy dressing, although delightful, leave too much sad space on the big rectangular plate.
I guess witches don't eat much because, disenchanting in a similar way, is Golden hooks (B220). The five deep-fried shrimps are crunchy on the outside while the flesh inside remains juicy. What gets me really hooked on them is the tasty Thousand Island dip which has a Thai touch of shallot.
Although a bit more substantial than the first two, Grilled diced tuna salad (B550) casts yet another delicious spell at an overblown cost. The pan-seared and grilled tuna remains pinkish inside while the veggies are fresh and crisp.
What magically puts my hunger to rest is "Amore" spaghetti (B350). It ensnares with a web of al dente spaghetti in cream sauce and generous pieces of smoked salmon. What tips me over the edge isn't the garnish of rose petals but the sprinkle of parmesan.
Baked-to-the-bone (B360) is cow bone marrow served with bread and condiments of mustard, pickled caper and gherkin. You may have a bone to pick with the bone marrow itself as the gelatinous feel could turn you off if taken in mouthfuls. But like a big-boned girl being given a makeover spell, the fatty and soft tissue will surprisingly please your palate when accessorized with crunchy bread and sour condiments.
Black tiramisu (B210) is served in a Griffin beaker but, by no means, is a Frankenstein of a dessert. Adding mysteriousness to the dish is its presentation and different layers of goodies. In this quest for curiosity, you'll have to delightfully get through three fruits, white chocolate and cold chocolate before reaching soft mascarpone.
A few sips of The warlock's nightcap (B350) may have you calling it a night. It's served in two chilled metal goblets. Although the drink looks like a concoction created by a wicked witch to get rid of a beautiful princess, it pleasantly tastes like a liquid licorice candy, albeit for adults. Rose sangria (B280) should send you off with a refreshing feel and in high spirits. The spirits are infused with spices and scented with rose.
FiVE works, but not because of a magic trick. The place wins in terms of its concept and decor, but its fare, while good, isn't as so due to slightly high pricing. I guess the cost of playing with magic at FiVE doesn't come cheap.
K Village, Room 103, Sukhumvit Soi 26
About the author
- Writer: Pornchai Sereemongkonpol
Position: Guru Reporter