PET-FRIENDLY VENUE

Pets (Singapore) - - Contents - BY JUSTINA TAN

Five &2 is our favourite pet-friendly joint of the mo­ment, thanks to its scrump­tious grub and ini­tia­tives aimed at giv­ing back to so­ci­ety.

Thanks to its lovely water­front lo­ca­tion, spa­cious al fresco area and sat­is­fy­ing fare, Five &2 ticks all the boxes for pooch paw-rents. But we’d sup­port this pet-friendly bistro any­way, sim­ply for the fact that it goes the ex­tra mile to give back to so­ci­ety.

as dog own­ers, we cer­tainly ap­prove of Five &2’s prime spot by the Pung­gol Park lake, its roomy 122-seater al fresco area and the tasty grub. But what re­ally has us on board is the nine-month old bistro’s com­mit­ment to serv­ing the com­mu­nity.

The eatery’s name is de­rived from its so­cial mis­sions: ‘Five’ de­notes its ini­tia­tive to pro­vide one com­pli­men­tary nu­tri­tious meal to a dis­ad­van­taged child for ev­ery five meals sold, while ‘2’ rep­re­sents both its mis­sions—feed­ing the un­der­priv­i­leged and cre­at­ing a more in­clu­sive work­place by em­ploy­ing marginalised in­di­vid­u­als, such as ex-in­mates and those with phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties.

In par­tic­u­lar, the bistro has in­te­grated unique tech­nolo­gies into its frame­work to cater to its less able-bod­ied staff. Order­ing is done through a touch-and-pay kiosk, and din­ers who send their trays and empty dishes back to the kitchen (via a con­veyor belt) af­ter their meals will have their $1 de­posit re­turned. Five &2 also fea­tures au­to­mated cock­tail/mock­tail ma­chines that have been pre-pro­grammed to shake up drinks at the push of a but­ton.

The restau­rant’s ethos of in­clu­siv­ity doesn’t stop there. In May this year, the bistro of­fi­cially be­came pet-friendly to cater to the many dog own­ers liv­ing nearby and to paw-rents who walk their pooches in the park. Not only is there a wash basin out­doors with dog drink­ing bowls stacked on the ledge above, the es­tab­lish­ment is look­ing to add dog treats to the menu soon. It also plans to roll out ac­tiv­i­ties in col­lab­o­ra­tion with pet in­dus­try part­ners and dog be­haviourists in the months ahead.

Foodie paw-rents will be pleased to know that Five &2’s menu was crafted with in­put from well-loved lo­cal chef and the fa­ther of Mod-Sin cui­sine, Willin Low, who owns Wild Rocket at Mount Emily and ran Wild Oats for six years in the space that Five &2 now oc­cu­pies. It’s no won­der the menu’s Asian-in­spired dishes are su­perb; the smat­ter­ing of con­ti­nen­tal cafe clas­sics aren’t too shabby ei­ther.

A lovely lake­side din­ing spot that cares for its staff as much as it cares for its

cus­tomers—furry or oth­er­wise? In­deed, the com­mu­nity needs more eater­ies like Five &2.

FOOD AND DRINK

Def­i­nite must-tries from the Asian se­lec­tion in­clude Giam Chye Duck Soup ($10.80) and Sarawak Curry Chicken ($12.80). We have to ad­mit that the lat­ter wasn’t on our radar be­cause, frankly, it sounded bor­ing. But as it turned out, we ate our words (and the curry chicken, gladly) be­cause we couldn’t get enough of the mor­eish lemak gravy. The com­fort­ing duck broth spiked with the mild tang of to­ma­toes and pick­led mus­tard greens of­fered bal­ance to the rich curry. We’re also fans of the fresh, juicy Von­gole ($18.80) and Nor­we­gian Black Mus­sels ($18.80)—both mol­luscs were sim­mered in a mildly spiced savoury white wine cream broth. Putting a modern spin on one of our favourite lo­cal desserts, Pu­lut Hi­tam with Co­conut Ice Cream ($5.50) sub­sti­tuted co­conut milk with co­conut ice cream—a clever way to cut the heav­i­ness of the black gluti­nous rice. An­other pleas­ant sur­prise was the Pop­corn Lover ($7), a con­coc­tion of soda, cala­mansi and pop­corn syrup that tasted un­can­nily like ac­tual pop­corn. Who knew ma­chines could be such out­stand­ing mixol­o­gists?

AM­BI­ENCE

The bistro is well-spaced out with 74 seats in­doors and 122 seats in the al fresco area. As the joint only opens for busi­ness in the late af­ter­noon and/or evenings, it never gets too muggy. Fur­ther­more, there are two in­dus­trial-strength cool­ers keep­ing things breezy. Five &2’s com­fort­able out­door seats, mar­ried with an un­ri­valled view of the lake and late op­er­at­ing hours, pro­vide the per­fect hang­out for fam­i­lies, paw-rents af­ter a stroll, or post-work meet-ups with friends and fur-mily.

PET-FRIEND­LI­NESS

That Five &2 is lo­cated in Pung­gol Park is al­ready a huge boon, since dog own­ers can drop by af­ter a walk with Fido. But what’s even bet­ter is that it’s equipped to cater to folks with furkids in tow. There’s a wash basin in the out­door area for con­ve­nient clean­ing up, and an abun­dance of doggy wa­ter bowls. The only thing miss­ing for now is grub for pups, which the bistro is look­ing to ad­dress in the weeks or months to fol­low.

AC­CES­SI­BIL­ITY

If you feel up to it, Five &2 is a 12-minute walk from Hougang MRT sta­tion. Oth­er­wise, hop on a bus for short ride (about three stops) from the train sta­tion. For driv­ers, there’s an EPS park­ing lot right in front of the bistro.

PRICE

Very rea­son­ably priced, es­pe­cially for the qual­ity. Sides start from $6.50, mains from $7.80, desserts from $5.50, and drinks from $5.

PAW-RAT­ING:

We may have just dis­cov­ered our all­time favourite dog-friendly joint. With out­stand­ing fare, a laid­back vibe and week­end ac­tiv­i­ties for pooches in the pipe­line, Five &2 looks set to be­come the des­ti­na­tion of choice for pooch pawrents—or per­haps it al­ready is. Five&2

Pung­golPark

97HougangAv­enue8

Tel:62828801 Open­inghours:5pm-11pm(Mon­toThu); 5pm-1am(Fri);4pm-1am(Sat);and4p­m11pm(Sun).Las­torder­sare11pm­fromMon toThu,an­donSun.Las­torder­son­FriandSat areat­mid­night.

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