Finally! Third time’s a charm. Out of the 3 new restaurants we tried over the weekend, this is the only one where I can say with certainty that we’ll be back. To give A credit, he’s been suggesting that we try Oriole for ages, but for some reason I’ve always been a bit hesitant because of the predominance of sandwiches on their regular a la carte menu. But head there for Sunday brunch and there’s also a separate brunch menu that opens up a whole host of other options.
We were toying with a number of choices, but eventually A had the Oriole burger. We had to see if the $24 burger here could rival the $25 godfather of burgers at Mortons Bar. The verdict? It was a very good burger, but tasted more home-cooking than Morton’s gourmet burger. And for a $1 difference, I’m afraid it’s a no-brainer. Morton’s is still the undisputed champion.
I ordered the Chef’s special risotto, firstly because I can’t guarantee that it’ll be available when we come again, but also I had an unsatisfied risotto yearning after last night’s sea urchin one that didn’t quite hit the mark. The one here had seared jumbo scallops with pumpkin, gorgonzola cheese and balsamic glaze.
I’m glad to say that my risotto craving has finally been satisfied. Today’s was oozy and perfectly cooked. The pumpkin added some sweetness, the gorgonzola added an incredible flavour, and the balsamic glaze gave it a sweet yet acidic note that prevented it from going overboard on the richness. And the scallops? Perfectly cooked and with a wonderful smoky char.
The coffee here is supposed to be very good too, since the place is owned and run by Singapore’s National Barista Champion, Keith Loh. It was only after our brunch that we realised their specialty is the Piccolo Latte – A had a cappuccino and I had a flat white, so note to selves: order the Piccolo Latte next time.
I’m so glad we ended the weekend on a high note. The ambience here is very pleasant too – bright and airy, with friendly waitstaff and a chill, laidback vibe. Oriole has a sister restaurant next door called Bedrock Bar & Grill, but that one’s slightly higher end, both in terms of the menu and the prices, so for now I think we’ll stick to Oriole.
Great. I really like the place, even despite its slight poser vibe.
The service is friendly although just a tad slow (and they didn’t offer us water).
Food-wise, the menu is full of stuff I’d like to try. The burger is great but not as good as Morton’s considering the similar price. And I’d say Spruce’s burger is better. But my side of wedges rocked (and I’m not usually a big fan of wedges). So as far as the burger goes, I’ll probably work my way through everything else first.
For now, I’m looking forward to coming back. It’s a definite contender for new finds (for us) of 2010.
Oriole Cafe & Bar
96 Somerset Road
#01-01 Pan Pacific Serviced Suites
Mon – Sat: 11.30 am to 11 pm
Sun: 10-30 am to 11 pm