Oriole Cafe & Bar At Pan Pacific Suite

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Tucked away in a cosy corner of Somerset, Orchard Road is Oriole Cafe & Bar. A small little restaurant that serves Italian food, with a very interesting specialty which I’ll come to in a bit.

The restaurant setting gives diners a very cosy feeling to it. Candles were lit all around the place, and the service staff was extra attentive, and maybe just maybe a little too friendly. Its the kind of place you’ll bring your date for a nice meal that probably won’t burn your pocket. The only draw back is that the tables are packed quite closed together, and when the restaurant is full, it may get a little too noisy.

Dimly Lit Surroundings with Candles, I thought it gave a little bif of Phantom Of The Oprea feel

Dimly Lit Surroundings with Candles, I thought it gave a little bit of Phantom Of The Opera feel

Before we get to the food, let me explain what the restaurant’s speciality is. The bosses of Oriole Cafe & Bar were both winners and 1st runner up of the recent Singapore National Barista Championships 2009. (i.e. They are expert coffee brewers)

The menu boasts a wide selection of coffee, ranging fom the usual latte, to espresso, machiatto and many more. For gutsy diners, you may want to try a special concoction that contains chilli inside. For me I had the Oriole Cappuccino, without the chilli. This is how it looked like:

Note the foam art on top. I thought was quite good, but too bad the award winners didn't make mine personally

Note the foam art on top. I thought was quite good, but too bad the award winners didn't make mine personally

The coffee scent was really aromatic, and I personally thought the coffee wasn’t too acidic either. The Oriole Cappuccino consisted a shot of espresso below, some milk, and foam on top. I’ve seen a number of photos on the internet before, but to have a handmade coffee art in front of you just made my day.

Here’s a link on wiki if you’re keen to find out more on coffee art

Peach Mojo

Peach Mojo

My friend had the Peach Mojo cocktail. Darn I just remembered I didn’t ask to try it, so can’t really give any comments here. But it sure looks refreshing!

Next we tried a starter dish called Chicken Tikka. Its sorta like those grilled / baked tandoori chicken bits, but not spicy. There’s a dipping sauce by the side that has some mint leaves. Chicken itself is so, so, but tastes quite good with the dip.

Chicken Tikka

Chicken Tikka

For mains, I tried the Wagyu Steak. The serving was a little small, and if memory serves me right the weight was about 150g. Quite a conservative portion I’d say. To me it was a pretty decent cut, but don’t expect any celebrity steak or marbalised meat texture.

The meat was thinly sliced, pretty soft and tender too. I liked the gravy though, ample spread of chunky mushrooms. You can also taste a number of herbs and spices, but I can’t tell them apart for nuts. Definitely a good combination though.

Wagyu Beef, served with stir fried veges and mashed potatoes

Wagyu Beef, served with stir fried veges and mashed potatoes

My friend had a Beef Cheek with Fettuccine. From first looks, it didn’t look extremely appetizing. Just the usual slices of beef, pasta, and mushroom sauce. Not much garnishing involved. But you know the saying, looks can be deceiving…

I was quite surprised at the tenderness of the meat. Probably because its from the cheek of the cow? Hmmm… not too sure about that, but the meat was very thinly sliced, very lean, and yet soft and tender. The mushroom gravy was again filled with herbs of all sorts. I think I tasted some coriander?

Beef Cheek with Fettuccine

Beef Cheek with Fettuccine

But the best part was that the pasta soaked up the sauce entirely. It was a very different taste to the usual spaghetti carborana, or bolongise. Quite good I’d say. Something like pasta with stew-like sauce.

For dessert we had the Chocolate Fudge Cake. Not too bad, but nothing spectacular. The “berry syrup dressing” by the side was quite sour. In a way was good such that then you wouldn’t get choco overdose. I was expecting some chocolate fudge to ooze out, but sadly there wasn’t any.

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Overall, quite a nice cosy environment with pretty good service. For the quality of food, I think the pricing is quite reasonable, main courses are about $20-$25 there about. Only thing to note though, is that if you’re bringing a date along, it may get a little too noisy during the peak hours.

Oriole Cafe & Bar

Oriole Cafe & Bar

Oriole Cafe & Bar
96 Somerset Road
Level 1, Pan Pacific Service Suites
http://www.oriole.com.sg/

Good coffee smells like freshly ground heaven…


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