Having had cemented its reputation for offering one of the best cuppa in town and as one of the pioneers of the third wave coffee movement in Singapore, Oriole had done well too with their flagship establishment at Somerset, conveniently located within a sizeable ground floor space at the Pan Pacific.
This outlet opened its doors back in January 2015 and had garnered consistent positive reviews and a loyal following since.
I’ve heard of Oriole before as it happened to be one of the more popular and frequently mentioned cafes that pops up on my Instagram feed so naturally I was excited when Kevin asked if I could join him for a tasting of Oriole’s new brunch menu.
Finally I’m stepping into one of Singapore’s pioneer cafes and I’m going to be one of the first few to sample their upcoming dishes!
While we waited for the food to be ready, a round of coffee was ordered to kick-start our day.
Among the lattes and cappucinos, the highly recommended beverages were Oriole’s signatures of Death Cream (SGD9) and the M.A.D. Milk (SGD8) which is a non-dairy nut concoction of macadamias, almonds and dates.
I have to admit, I was hooked on both.
Since I was a bit lactose-intolerant, I couldn’t consume more of the Death Cream (or risk my own “death”) but I was thrilled to have a whole bottle of the MAD milk to myself.
I’m not sure how they do it, for I make nut milks myself and I’ve had a few nut milks from cafes/juice bars in KL, but this particular version was creamy without any residue on the tongue, not perfumed with cinnamon (gosh, I hate cinnamon) and extremely easy to drink.
Nut milks can be “heavy” after a while as it is high in fat, but this one by Oriole was balanced in nuttiness and creaminess.
The new brunch spread offers a balanced spread of indulgent to the healthy.
For a start, the Crab Cake Benedict (SGD22) is stellar.
The crab cakes were jammed with pure crabmeat (no cheating here!) and the hollandaise sauce was on point; tangy yet rich.
As with every Benedict dish, perfectly poached eggs were the order of the day.
I’m not a fan of rosti but I would bet rosti enthusiasts would love this since a non-fan like myself enjoyed it too.
The strips of potatoes were airy with a crisp top and bottom with a soft, buttery center.
This was unlike the typical rosti that are like dense potato cakes with a starchy interior. Heck, I reckon that was the reason I hate rosti all this while.
Smoked Salmon Rosti (SGD16): Crispy potato rosti topped with smoked salmon, capers, creme fraiche and fresh spring onions.
Another brunch item I enjoyed was the Grilled Truffle Cheese sandwich. The toast is soft, the triple cheese filling flavourful and thick but the best component of this dish is the tangy, comforting tomato cheddar soup.
Grilled Truffle Cheese Sandwich (SGD14) – Grilled Buttery brioche bread stuffed with truffle cheese, emmental cheese and oak smoked cheddar. Served with tomato cheddar soup.
Mangoes took centre-stage in Oriole’s version of french toast which I found to be a refreshing change from the usual berries.
I find berries either too sweet or sour (or maybe I just got tired of it) while mangoes possesses a distinct floral scent and its sweet, creamy flesh gives a better mouthfeel too.
The espresso mascarpone butter was another unique component. In addition to all that, dunking the toast into the mango coulis made each bite even more enjoyable.
Yes, this was one good french toast!
Mango French Toast (SGD16) – Brioche egg battered toast served with fresh mango, toasted sliced almonds, espresso mascarpone butter, maple syrup, and mint mango coulis.
For the more healthy and calorie-conscious crowd, I would recommend the Wild Berries Oatmeal. I kid you not.
I was probably the only one during this tasting session that finished half the bowl!
As someone who consume oats regularly, and makes oats myself, I found this to be an excellent bowl of oats.
These are rolled oats so cooking them at the right temperature and timing is crucial to get them nicely soft but not mushy.
The right amount of liquid is another important factor.
For SGD10, these organic oats were cooked with nut milk and sweeten with brown sugar and topped with 4 types of berries -strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and gooseberries.
It wasn’t overly sweet, but there is a saucer of honey and chocolate chips on the side if you require additional sweets.
Wild Berries Oatmeal (SGD10) – Organic rolled oats cooked with Oriole M.A.D Milk, goji berries and brown sugar, topped with fresh . Served with honey and chocolate chips on the side.
Fine. Some of us want healthy but draw the line at oats.
Well, here you go – the Avocado Toast.
Generous amount of juicy, flavoured tomatoes, avocado mash on toast plus a side salad, this is a wonderful dish with all the right nutrients.
In addition to the artisanal coffee offerings, Oriole serves up a menu of hearty all-day breakfast dishes and international cafe fare, with the newly introduced bar service offering creative coffee-inflected cocktails, plus a concise list of wines and beers.
Like what you see above? Sounds good?
Swing-by Oriole Coffee @ Somerset between 10am – 5pm over the weekends and enjoy!
Oriole Coffee @ Somerset
96 Somerset Road, #01-01
Pan Pacific Serviced Suites, Singapore 238163.
Hours: Mon-Thu: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
Fri-Sat: 8:00 am – 12:00 am
Sun: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
Nearest MRT – Somerset 🙁just follow walkway to [email protected], exit from glass panel next to Marche).