Sunday, November 15, 2015

Singapore Food Blog - Oriole Coffee & Bar

Location: Orchard, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Note: There are a number of food spots under the same name but with different focus. This post is written base on the dining experience in Oriole Coffee and Bar in 313 Somerset branch. Experience may vary from that of other outlets.

Recommended: Fully Loaded (SGD20), Capelinni Crabmeat (SGD26), St Louis Pork Ribs (SGD26), Oriole spiced ships (available with Fish and Chips, or St Louis Pork Ribs)

There are few food spots or cafe in Orchard Road where we would enjoy a lovely brunch and Oriole is one of those. Although the cafe cum bar opens until late night, we almost always patronize for brunch or lunch, not dinner. It has a hip kind of feel to its decor and I like the way they attend to the details, from the simple but stylish menu to the fonts on the table numbers.

There is an outback look to things in Oriole on the exterior with its wooden tables. The similarity to an outback is distinctly less so in the mostly ocher interior. Seated at the planked tables outside enhanced that feel but fortunately the interior is air conditioned, so we can still choose to enjoy a less outback setting in a comfortable atmosphere. Sometimes the interior is fully seated and we have to take a seat outside, which could be quite comfortable if it is not too hot.

Oriole's stylish menu

Interior seating

Table #33. In Oriole's, there is beauty in every detail.

Lady waiting for her brunch

Since Oriole is a cafe cum bar, a significant portion of their menu is dedicated to alcoholic drinks, so we usually dwell on the other side of the menu. Their cocktails of coffee and alcohols do pique my interest though. Their non-alcoholic drinks are limited in choices but do have enough to cater to the caffeine seekers. If you felt like trying something new, do give their M.A.D. Milk a go - this is a dairy free nut milk pressed from macadamia, almond and dates, hence the name.

Flat White (SGD5.50) - the basic kinds of coffee are all there in Oriole, but you can choose make it special by requesting to have your coffee made with M.A.D. Milk (+SGD1.50). M.A.D. Milk is a dairy free milk of Oriole's cold pressed from macadamias, almonds and dates, hence the name.

Ice cold Latte (SGD5.50) is good to get me going through a warm sunny day.

Since I am sharing my brunch experience, I will focus on their mains bar sandwiches (I can never last long on sandwiches). Oriole has a limited choice of hot meals and they are not economic for a frequent visit. Despite the limited choices, most of their dishes are of superb taste, some of them so addictive that you really want to ask how they make it. Some of our favorites are Capelinni Crabmeat (SGD26) and St Louis Pork Ribs (SGD26), but the one which I high recommend is Oriole's spiced chips, which come with St Louis Pork Ribs, and Fish and Chips (SGD20). This is one addictive food that wins hands down against any other chips I have tried in Singapore so far!

With brunch as the main focus of this post, I cannot miss discussing their breakfast section. I am biased towards their Fully Loaded (SGD20), which got me hooked with its amount befitting the name of the meal. This is truly one hearty meal for a foodie!

Oriole got this Garlic Prawn Risotto (SGD25) that is nice. This dish of arborio rice in prawn bisque is served with grilled garlic, succulent prawns and crunchy asparagus is rich in taste although the bisque can get your stomach stuffed quickly.

This is my wife's favorite - Capellini Crabmeat (SGD26) - one whole aglio olio dish of angel hair (capellini), served with chunks of crab meat and piquillo peppers. Those succulent crab meats are satisfying, going great with the springy texture of fine strands of pasta. The only downside? The portion could use some upsize. Or was it so delicious that we couldn't get enough?

If there is one breakfast set I want to recommend, it would have been Fully Loaded (SGD20). As its name suggests, a plate is served loaded to the brink of everything nice you could want from a western breakfast - 2 eggs prepared the way you like it (sunny side-up in this case), pork sausages, maple-glazed bacon, grilled mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans and toasts. This breakfast set can seriously fill you up at the end of the meal, and not too stuffy either, a good choice for brunch with a balanced out diet choice. We could use more bacon slices though... :)

My personal favorite can be none other than St Louis Pork Ribs (SGD26). The dish is served with huge chunks of pork ribs baked in kicap manis together with a sambal matah dip. I am indifferent to the sour and spicy dip, because the ribs themselves are so tasty that I eat them without the dip. The tender strands of pork part easily from the bones, and when the coating melts in my mouth, I am instantly addicted to it. Its accompanying Oriole spiced fries are worth its own spot in my post as well!

Oriole's Fish and Chips (SGD20) are not the best out there but the amount of fish pieces for the price make this a very worthy meal. I do like the way they serve it in a bucket like fresh fish out of the sea. Their chips on the other hand are oh-so-goody! Those spiced chips can be addictive, and within minutes we are contemplating of ordering more! Definitely entering my list of one of those food one should try in Singapore!

I have not patronized Oriole for quite some time and upon writing this post, I realize I miss their food tremendously. The area around orchard lacks not in cafes but I still call Oriole as one of my favorite. Their not-so-economic pricing deter me from frequent visits but once in a while I am still willing splurge for good food. Although sometimes it can be hard to get the attention of their staff, their overall service is acceptable to me. All in all I highly suggest this as a place to go for if one likes an nice setting to go with good food and drinks in Orchard and Somerset area.

Environment:          A cafe in the day, a bar at night, right in the most happening area
Suitable for:             for friends
Price:                           luxurious (>SGD20 per meal per pax)
Food score:               8/10
Food:                            4.5/5.0
Service:                        4.0/5.0
Value:                           3.5/5.0
Ambient:                      3.5/5.0

Operating hours:   (dine in) (Sun - Thu, Public Holiday)          10.00 a.m. - 11.00 p.m
                                                        (Fri, Sat, even of Public Holiday) 10.00 a.m. - 12.00 a.m.
                                        (grab & go) (daily) 8.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.
Directions:                Disembark at Somerset MRT station and take Exit B to the ground level of 313 Somerset. Turn left and exit the building, you will see the shop on the left.

Website:                    Official homepage of Oriole Coffee
Contact:                    +65 - 6238 8348 (phone) (Somerset branch)
Address:                    96 Somerset Road, Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Orchard #01-01, Singapore 238163.

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