The Place Happy, happy news. If I were to name my favourite coffee spot in Somerset, Oriole is permanently stuck in my head. After a major revamp, Oriole has reopened its doors and rebranded to Oriole Coffee + Bar with various new treasures. The outdoor dining area has expanded, which can be a nice spot to people-watch or just chill with friends. The interior has an event space together with cosy dining areas. There is even a grab-and-go counter for busy bees!
The Food Coffee is undoubtedly the main pillar of Oriole Coffee + Bar, which counts on its two signature blends, the Yellowbird and Raven. Like its name, the Yellowbird has a brighter and juicier taste, and was the first creation of the proud Oriole team, while the Raven is bolder and darker, a cult favourite among caffeine connoisseurs. These coffee blends are prepared at a dedicated inhouse roaster, and can be crafted into your favourite latte, cappuccino, or piccolo. Waking up to the aroma of hot roasted coffee never felt better.
Get ready to go nuts with M.A.D milk, a new creation of milk made by cold-pressed Macadamia, Almond and Dates. Geddit? I for one love my share of full cream milk to bits, but as Confucius should have said, time and tide holds back no belly, so M.A.D. milk is a super welcomed replacement. For the health conscious, the M.A.D milk is dairy-free and cold-pressed, which can be your choice of milk for any regular coffee you order, be it latte or flat white. The Ranter ordered Taisho M.A.D. Milk ($8) – Dairy-free, cold-brewed, Raven blend and the Rantee tried the Latte ($5.50) with add-on M.A.D Milk ($2.50) while I got the M.A.D. Milk ($10). Interestingly, the cold drinks came in these adorable glass bottles, which you can actually bring home with you!
I have tried quite a few ‘milk replacement’ dairy-type drinks before, and I honestly braced myself for some weird tang on my tongue. Imagine my surprise when what I tasted was a smooth, thick, and subtly sweet flavour, cooling me in the afternoon heat! Wonders never cease. How odd that nuts and dates can actually make such good drinks.
Apart from the caffeine and dairy extravaganza, Oriole is also offering a robust range of all-day breakfast options. Brunch fiends, sharpen your knives and dig in now.
New to the menu is also the All-Day Breakfast, which seems to be a hit in every café these days. Customise your own 2 Eggs + 2 Muffins ($13) with various add-ons such as Grilled Asparagus ($3) or Pan Seared Foie Gras ($7). For something fuller, we tried the aptly named Fully Loaded ($20) which comes generously with eggs of your choice (sunny side-up, poached, overeasy or scrambled), pork sausages, bacon, mushrooms, baked beans and toast. The portion is quite huge for one to stomach, so I will recommend sharing it with a friend and try something else off the menu for added variety.
Other notable highlights in the All-Day Breakfast menu that I am keen to try next are the Avocado & Toast ($14) and Pancakes ($12).
For the mains, some of the Oriole Classics include the Fish & Chips ($20), Garlic Prawn Risotto ($25) and Beef Cheek Tagliatelle ($22).
Promo alert: For weekday lunch hours, there is a current promotion at $19++, where you can choose any of the Oriole Classics, and complete your meal with salad and iced tea.
The Ranter’s personal favourite is still the Fish & Chips, nice golden battered snapper fillets with its special spicy fries. How we exclaimed when we bit into the succulent meat well covered with lightly fried batter! It brought us back to our school days again when fried food was our best friend.
The Garlic Prawn Risotto has a rich prawn bisque taste, while the Arborio rice gives it a firm and chewy texture. And with plump prawns and a rich broth flavour, this dish really calls out for sharing because of the depth of every spoonful. Also it comes with asparagus. Hello. Asparagus. Order this stat.
For a lighter option, go for the Small Plates section, which spots the Mantou Sloppy Dogs ($15), Lamb Cutlet ($22) and Roti John Tortilla ($15).
We settled for the Lamb Cutlet eventually, which is garnished with pickled apricot, roast cumin puff and mint. Now, I usually veer away from lamb because I find the meat too…meaty? Gamey. That’s the word. (Go to uni for what?) But Oriole’s Lamb Cutlet is chewy as it is gratifyingly light on the palatte, and it comes with this fried parpadum-like things that are to die for. Yum yum.
For desserts, it is almost a must to have the Chocolate Coconut Affogato ($9) for the last punch of caffeine. Alternatively, the White Chocolate Yuzu Cheese Cake ($8) is not a bad choice, with a not-too-sweet taste and a snazzy hint of yuzu flavour.
Rants I am a huge fan of Chocolate and Coconut, but I found the affogato too overpowered by the taste of coffee. Somehow the chocolate and coconut flavours were both drowned.
Perhaps it is a matter of preference too, the Rantee found the coffee not acidic enough, and the M.A.D. milk overpowered the caffeine taste too much. He likes the Affogato, and I like the milk. So we are kind of at an impasse.
I would like you to know I am always right.
Will I Return Again? A unanimous yes from all three of us. A good place to chill at, good coffee to cater to different tastes, and a good range of sinful, rich, hearty and light food to tantalise all types of buds.
Oriole Coffee + Bar
96 Somerset Road
Pan Pacific Services Suites
Tel: +65 6238 8348
Sunday to Thursday: 10am – 11pm
Friday to Saturday: 10am – 12am