Plus 5

37 South Wharf Road 
South Wharf, VIC 
‘Tis the season to be jolly! And whilst turkey and Christmas cake is all well and good, sometimes you need something a little… stronger. That’s where Plus 5 comes in, a new restaurant-but-mainly-bar on South Wharf that can please even the most discerning of connoisseurs with their selection of cocktails. 
Replacing the similarly-named Shed 5, Plus 5 is a large warehouse that opens out to both the promenade and the waterfront, giving merry-goers a summery space to enjoy their cocktails from the extensive bar. And to wash down all that booze – a variety of charcuterie, tapas, and pizzas. 
Apple Mojito ($12)/Rose Lemonade ($12)
It’s no secret by now that I can’t hold my alcohol, but the lovely staff left us well-catered for with a pair of refreshing mocktails. I absolutely adored the Apple Mojito ($12), a classic blend of apple juice and sugar syrup with fresh lime and mint, served over crushed ice. It was as delicious as it sounds, and I was almost tempted to ask for a splash of rum in it to get the full mojito experience.
Apple Mojito ($12)/Rose Lemonade ($12)
Meanwhile, Chris enjoyed the Rose Lemonade ($12) a lot more (due to his dislike of mint). Served tall with a single rose petal on top, this concoction of rose syrup and lemonade was a beautifully tart and floral drop. 
Wasabi Almonds
To go with our drinks, we were served a complimentary bowl of Wasabi Almonds to nibble on. These are definitely the best starter I’ve ever had, the crunchy roasted almonds flavoured with just enough wasabi to tingle the tastebuds. Guys, if you aren’t doing this already, package them and sell them by the kilo. 
Chef’s Selection of Cured Meats ($22.5)
I couldn’t go past the Chef’s Selection of Cured Meats($22.5), which on that day consisted of chorizo, wagyu bresola, and prosciutto. Our unanimous favourite was the chorizo, which was dense and meaty with a great pepperiness. The bresola and prosciutto were quite mild, lacking the fattiness that comes with good cured beef, but boasted a silken softness. 
Assorted Bread
To go with our charcuterie, we were given the most adorable little bucket of assorted breads, which included breadsticks, herbed ciabatta, and large brittle crackers studded with sesame. Whilst they weren’t just-baked fresh, the variety was certainly welcome.
Swiss Brown Mushrooms ($10.5)
The tapas selection, whilst short, provided many temptations. So instead of choosing for ourselves, we let our lovely waitress pick for us instead. The first tapas we were served was exactly one I had been eyeing – the Swiss Brown Mushrooms ($10.5). The cast iron pan consisted of juicy mushrooms topped with a fragrant topping of golden breadcrumbs and parmesan, but whilst the flavour combination was timeless, I found the richness of the mushrooms to be lost among the tang of the vinegar. 
Lamb Meatballs ($8)
Chris was just as happy about the selection of Lamb Meatballs($8) as I was about the mushrooms. The succulent meatballs were moist and moreish, drizzled with thick minted yoghurt. It was the perfect nibble to go with drinks. 
Roasted Salmon Salad ($18.5)
And because our waitress is a responsible grown-up, she made sure that we had some greenery to our meal, in the form of the Smoke Roasted Salmon Salad ($18.5). This was a simple side, consisting of just 4 ingredients – generous chunks of smoked salmon, buttery avocado, crunchy almonds, baby greens – with a scattering of sweet dressing. The elements weren’t cohesive per se, but still made for an enjoyable salad overall.  
Ham, Artichoke, Olive, Mushroom, and Mozzarella Pizza ($16, 8 inch)
We topped off our meal with a Ham, Artichoke, Olive, Mushroom, and Mozzarella Pizza ($16, 8 inch). The pizza was spread with a tangy tomato paste, and handfuls of chunky toppings, but it was the base that was the most delectable of all. Thin and crisp with puffy, burnished edges, it made what was a good pizza great.
Plus 5 isn’t so much of a restaurant as it is a bar, where the cocktails (and if you ask me, the attractive staff) are definitely the drawcard. You don’t come here to eat, but at the same time, you certainly won’t be disappointed with the food on offer. At any rate, it is certainly one of the best places to while away a long, hot afternoon, sipping on drink after drink and looking over the Yarra.
Rating: 13.5/20 – nibbles plus 5 cocktails.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.
Sweet and Sour Fork dined as a guest of Plus 5.

Plus 5 on Urbanspoon

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