Oriole Cafe & Bar – My New Favourite Hangout

15 10 2010

Oriole Cafe & Bar is no new find. Heck it’s not even hidden anymore, at least not with the recently built extension which links 313 Somerset with Pan Pacific Suites.

Opened by Keith Low, winner of the Singapore National Barista Championships 2010 and managed by John Ting, winner of the Singapore National Barista Championships 2008 & 2009, coffee is supposedly the highlight at Oriole with unique competition coffees such as Chili Chocolate Mocha and Citrus Sin.

Rustic furnishings, brick walls and chill settings, dining here is both comforting and casual.

I had a go at their Chili Chocolate Mocha($6). Interestingly, instead of a tea spoon, it came with a cinnamon stick as a stirrer for that extra fragrance. I’m no coffee connoisseur, I actually only started coffee drinking this year to get through 3 hour university seminars. So when I say that I wasn’t taken by Oriole’s Chili Chocolate Mocha, take it with a pinch of salt. I just didn’t like how there was this burning sensation as it trickled down my throat.

The Beef Cheek Tagliatelle($16) is one awesome main. It’s really tasty and generous with the tender beef cheeks. One of the better pastas I have had this year.

Unexpectedly, what blew me away was the humble Cod Fish Pie($28). It might be slightly on the pricey side compared to the other mains available but it’s so very worth it. When fresh Cod Fish prices are hovering around $40/kg (i think), I truly didn’t expect such a huge serving of cod hibernating within the buttery crisp crust. The creamy mushroom & cod ragout, asparagus and puff pastry is a serious recipe for success.

I like my ribs braised till tender and fall-off-the-bone rather than the grill or BBQ versions which leave the ribs dry and parched. Hence, the St Louis Pork Ribs($24) here (which was grilled) didn’t sit very well with me compared to the previous mains. The marinate used was quite unusual though, kicap manis-chili marinade(Indonesian Soy-chili marinade) and sambal matah(shallot & lemongrass sambal). It isn’t as spicy as it sounds and amazingly the marinade tastes just like a chinese herbal chicken soup(yes that’s quite unbelievable unless you try it yourself).

Close friends of mine will know that I can’t say no to a Sticky Pudding($9) aka Sticky Date Pudding as it is more commonly known in other eateries. I have tried Sticky Date Puddings with Chocolate Dip, Butterscotch Sauce and Caramel Sauce, but this is the first time I’m trying it with rum and raisins. I guess the rum and raisins does the job just as well and the Vanilla Ice Cream here passed the taste as well as visual test (where the black specks of Vanilla beans are visible to the naked eye). A pretty decent rendition.

For something more heavy, I would suggest the Chocolate Fudge Cake($6.50). The superficial layers of chocolate ganache is rich and thick but not yet an overkill, an attribute I which find plagues most chocolate fudge cakes.

Having this opportunity to dine at Oriole leaves me with ambivalent feelings. On one hand I’m happy that I have found a new favourite hangout, but sad that I didn’t find out sooner.

Bon Appetit!

 

 

ORIOLE CAFE & BAR

96 SOMERSET ROAD, #01-01

TEL: +65 6238 8348

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2 responses

15 10 2010
Bella V

the Beef Cheek Tagliatelle is my favourite dish there. haha
Sometimes they have chef’s special risotto which is pretty awesome too! You may wish to check with the staff as the risotto is not on the menu. The cod fish pie looks good! Maybe I’ll try that out next time 🙂

17 10 2010
drpiggy

wow thx for the heads up! I have been finding it pretty hard to find a decent risotto in sg without busting the wallet haha.

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