Five Bar in Mt Lawley is one of those places that has been on my list of must-visit destinations for ages, but I’ve just never managed to get there. I finally had an excuse to escape work and head there for lunch recently to meet the lovely Grace from Zomato.

The food menu changes daily, and you can download a sample one here. The Reuben sandwich is one of their standard items, and I’ve seen some great photos / comments about it on social media. Some of the bar snacks also sound pretty good, such as the popcorn chicken with smoky chipotle ($12).

Five Bar opens from midday every day except for Sunday when it opens at 10am. I arrived not long after midday, and found it surprisingly empty (although it was a Tuesday). There was only one person serving (and making the coffee!) although he was very friendly and seemed to cope well with the small number of customers.

My choice was between the Reuben, a fairly standard burger, a short-rib burger and a hot dog. I was very tempted to go for the short-rib (having had a few spectacular ones elsewhere in the past) however went the “safe” / predictable route and chose the hot dog – in this case, a “Chicago Dog” with chilli con carne, nacho cheese and pickles ($15 if I remember correctly…)

Unfortunately I was quite disappointed by this dog – the chilli con carne was the tastiest part of the dish but wasn’t very spicy, and the sausage & cheese were very light on flavour. The oddest thing about this dog was the crusty wholemeal bun – I know that Chicago-style hot dogs are quite unique, but I don’t think they’re like this…

I should have tried the short-rib, although it seems that the Reuben would have been the “safer” bet. Maybe next time.

UPDATE: I returned to Five Bar this week and tried the Reuben Sandwich – I’m pleased to report that it was delicious! I especially liked the proportion of the fillings – I find that the urge to overfill this kind of sandwich with meat just makes it way too heavy, especially for lunch (I’m looking at you, East Village). This is definitely a sandwich I’d return for, and so much better than the hot dog.