5 Senses

Name: 5 Senses
Type: Café
Location: Tuggeranong Hyperdome
Meal: Lunch
Food et: Roast Lamb Panini

A friend and I decided to check out the Hyperdome’s newest café, 5 Senses, for a work-day catch up lunch (thing).

The café opened only a week ago and when we arrived early, it was already pumping with shoppers and public servants (it is in close in proximity to a few different Tuggeranong based departments). The layout is open, situated in to a newer corner of the Hyperdome shopping centre, under Big W and adjacent to The Reject Shop. The décor is simple and unobtrusive – you can sit at a table or at one of the strategically placed arm chairs. We were shown a few seating options and decided to take a table for two near the kitchen, out of the way from the main seating area.

The menu consists of a decent looking breakfast menu (mental note for the weekends, when it’s all day breakfast) and a lunch menu that incorporates a few different cuisines. The menu is a nice change from the basic “coffee club” style menu that a lot of café’s adopt. Some interesting dishes include: spatchcock marinated with soy, sesame oil and lime juice with spiced green lentils and crunchy leeks; duck confit with roasted root vegetables, potato puree and a balsamic vinegar reduction; and a Wild Mushroom Pappadelle. However, if you’re after a lighter lunch – as we were – they also have a menu for sandwiches and burgers.

My friend K ordered the steak sandwich (Eye fillet, lettuce, tomato relish, mushroom, beetroot, swiss cheese and caramelised onions) – which she enjoyed and said it was “yummy”. She said she especially enjoyed that the beetroot was fresh – not the canned stuff – and that the meat was tender. She also liked the mushrooms, as a nice touch and something a little different.

I ordered the roast lamb Panini which came with baby rocket, kalamata olives and fresh olives.

Although the olives were an interesting and flavoursome touch, I felt as though this Panini was missing something…something that I couldn’t put my finger on. I think it was that the roast lamb wasn’t seasoned, it was plain old roast lamb – not hot, but not cold either. The Panini bread was really nice, really fresh and soft. Both meals came with lightly seasoned chips, which were crunchy and pretty fantastic (and free, cos it doesn’t say anything about chips on the menu – Best. Surprise. Ever.). I said I wasn’t going to eat them all. I ate them all.

The service was a little all over the shop – literally. After we’d finished we watched staff run around, but no one came to get our plates for a long while and then when we finally got up and went to the counter on our own accord, no one seemed quite sure who should put the order through. That is to be expected in the first few weeks of business. The service we did receive was friendly and welcoming. There seemed to a be a lot of the staff’s family visiting, which was nice. I got the impression that it is a locally run operation, the owner/manager was on site, and I believe in supporting that type of establishment – you can keep your Nandos, thank you very much. I’m sorry, Nanados, I didn’t mean it – I love you.

I think I’ll definitely be back to try 5 Senses more extensive menu, perhaps on a weekend when a big lunch is more appealing (and I’m not at risk of falling asleep on my desk). The cakes also look pretty fantastic, so this would be a nice place to catch up, or a welcome break from shopping.

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