The development of South Wharf, on the Melbourne CBD’s southern boundary, has taken a fair old time. Businesses have come and gone – some have tried to come, put up signage, taken delivery of stock but failed to open their doors. Others have created an immediate niche, particularly with the conference or after-work crowd. One of the latest offerings is Plus 5. Greedy Girl much enjoyed her visits to Shed 5, with its interesting take on Greek delights but, like the Sharing House a little further along the waterfront, it couldn’t attract a steady enough clientele to stay afloat.

Plus 5 has been re-imagined as a tapas/pizza/cocktail bar. It has a fair bit of competition even within South Wharf in that regard. Bohemian seems to be doing OK as a full Spanish eatery and the Common Man offers pizzas. There are two new drinking holes just to the back of Plus 5, the Chihuahua Bar and Vessel, also trying to carve themselves a piece of the action.

Greedy Girl and gluttonous husband, taking advantage of a rare sunny day (although it has just clicked over to summer here in Melbourne) sallied forth to Plus 5 for a quick lunch. There was much to recommend about it. It’s a very pleasant spot, on the south side of the city, looking back over the river and the skyscrapers. All the accoutrements from the original Shed 5 are still in place – the tiled feature wall with a giant number 5 in the middle, the open kitchen and wood-fired oven and the massive stash of booze ready to be accessed for a cocktail – one of the venue’s new specialties.

Sadly, this was a ‘school day’ and a working lunch. Opting only for a bottle of water, we perched at high stools around circular bar tables (there are some regular tables lining the wall) and settled in for a feed. We opted to choose a range of tapas and small plates, although the pizzas going to other tables looked appetising.

First up was a ciabatta loaf served with what the waitress termed sweet potato dip – an alternative to the beetroot ‘dip of the day’ which Greedy Girl, notorious for her dislike of beets, rejected. This was interesting. The sweet potato had been liberally infused with apricot and that was the dominant flavour. On reading the menu, Greedy Girl suspects it is more often used on the restaurant’s pork sliders. Ne’er mind; it was quite pleasant and the bread was soft with a crunchy crust.

Ciabatta, sweet potato dip

Ciabatta, sweet potato dip

Next up were crumbed mushrooms, dressed with sherry vinegar. Attractively presented in the cast-iron pan, they were a little disconcerting. The sherry vinegar was so strong, it obliterated any other flavour of the dish. Greedy Girl managed a few forkfuls but the mushrooms had just been sponges for the dressing and it became overwhelming. Gluttonous husband finished off the plate.

Crumbed mushrooms, sherry vinegar

Crumbed mushrooms, sherry vinegar

Next were edamame with a light Japanese soy. The edamame had been warmed and sprinkled with rock salt. The soy was a good accompaniment. We were both happy to keep snacking on these throughout the meal.



Next was another little treat – lamb meatballs. Liberally topped by a yoghurt dressing, these were quite tasty and we certainly enjoyed using the ciabatta to mop up what was left in the pan.

lamb meatballs

Lamb meatballs

Finally, the best dish of the day – a confit duck salad. This was a nice combination of leaves, orange segments, pomegranate seeds, goat’s cheese and the duck. It was very refreshing for a hot day, although the seeds were a bit hard.

confit duck salad

Confit duck salad

All round, this was a pleasant experience. Greedy Girl liked the look of the cocktail menu and asked the barman on the way out whether the margarita was available frozen. Yes indeedy, was the cheery reply, with further details offered that his preference was to make margaritas in the classic style. Greedy Girl is eagerly awaiting the next warm day to sample a frosty glassful. In her opinion, the barman certainly ‘talked the talk’.

Plus 5 has been open a relatively short time and it will be interesting to see how it evolves. Greedy Girl will be hoping it thrives. The South Wharf Promenade will be the better for it.

Plus 5

South Wharf Promenade, Melbourne

Plus 5 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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