5th Element Bar and Dining in South bank is a tapas and cocktail bar which is definitely worth a visit. Set right on the parklands, this place is not only delicious, but feels a little bit luxurious- without the scary bill at the end! Definitely a plus if you’re a poor university student like myself.

Something which always gets me intrigued about anywhere, regardless of the menu, is the décor. Personally I believe it is what creates ambience and can definitely enhance or diminish an establishment. 5th Element has a great interior; alchemy distillers are a key motif for most of the decorations here which, while it looks great was a bit confusing. However, I found out (after reading the menu) that it all ties in to the name of the bar. Allegedly, alchemists from the Middle Ages, who were obsessed with discovering the key to immortality and universal happiness, believed the art of distillation could help them identify a mysterious 5th element to help them in their quest. According to the blurb on the menu, these alchemists became the first alcohol distillers, by running a wine through a simple sill.


Regardless of how the alchemist’s experiments with alcohol eventuated, 5th Element has definitely got it down pat. This bar boasts an extensive drinks menu with a lot of girly (and not so girly cocktails) that I loved. The menu lists every component of each cocktail, making it easy to understand what you are getting yourself into. Now the tricky part- deciding between the Phoenician Sunset or the Watermelon and Lychee sling!

The tapas here are just as good as the drinks. I particularly enjoyed the croquettes and the crab cakes. But what really impressed me was the size of the plates. We shared four plates between two people and could hardly finish them – all for a very reasonable price.

5th Element is a great place to go for a special occasion or even just a catch up drink with friends and family. With a changing, seasonal menu, I can’t wait to go back!

Margaux Creagh


Image via 5th Element Facebook page