A huge fan of Five Boroughs, I was keen to checkout Elie Assaf’s other child, in funky Cuba St; Five and Dime. I attempted a gal catchup here a year ago, however it was a bit too fancy schmancy at the time. We were in the mood for a true brunch menu so we chose Fidels, across the road. This 25-seater restaurant is very contemporary and European; with a mix of booth seating or tables and chairs. And being the only ones here for lunch, it didn’t bother us. Normally this is not a good sign but waiter told us this is more of an evening dining experience? Ok so why open for lunch then?. So we did appear somewhat to be an intrusion, as initially the chef appeared to be more focused on his girlfriend. The service from the sole waiter was friendly though and chillaxed with a Sunday vibe.
After a huge bush walk, these cavemen were ready to be nourished. Despite being older than these hipsters, we got our groove on along with the rap music playing in the background. It was fun watching the eclectic Cuba St quarter peeps go by. Having sunny outside seating, Fidels was hopping.
Before our walk, Hubby and I perused the menu online. I wanted him to be comfortable with the interesting menu. The prices seemed a little steep for a casual lunch, but we were pleasantly surprised. The menu is split into raw, smaller to share, larger to share, veges, and desserts. Almost every dish sounded so fresh and different, so this is what enticed us to give it a go Joe.
I hear on the foodie grapevine, if you’re an oyster fan this is the place for you. But not us. Other raw options were venison carpaccio, sashimi, kimmi and foie gras with candied cranberries, cornichons and brioche. We adore fois gras but decided to indulge on it with another dish. We chose from the smaller and larger to share plates. The salt and pepper sweetbreads with a spring onion relish was the first dish to arrive and it was sensational. Next was our Sichuan wings with fried garlic, chilli, coriander and kaffir lime. Boy these were heavily seasoned and salty, but really good. The portion size was very generous so well worth it. Of course we couldn’t go past the poutine, with house curd, gravy and foie gras was optional. No brainer with the latter.
We got told after 10 minutes after ordering, that they were out of foie gras. WHHHHAAAAT? You didn’t know this to start with? Come on guys, get with the programme. This was gutting however it didn’t deter our enjoyment, as it was so delicious. The other options were truffle gnocchi, brioche French toast, stir fried rabbit, coca cola lamb ribs, black pepper crab, fish, Angus ribs and many vege dishes. As for dessert, you know we normally skip this. Their piece de resistance dessert sounded amazing; Oreo slice with potato chip praline, peanut butter maple, raspberry jam, chocolate whip and chocolate wafer. Wow. It was also advertised on the board outside, trying to pull in the punters. Fortunately the blackboard had no typos as these were saved and spread throughout the menu. Other desserts were crème brulee, baklava or a house cheese.
The menu does change here and we’d definitely return. This place has some serious artistic, creative, culinary talent. From a business perspective, it’s all about continuous improvement and not being complacement. Make time with your dime and spend it wisely.