We decided to give Oriole Cafe & Bar a try as it was empty that evening, and a male buddy recommended this place for its good coffee. The address is 96 Somerset Road #01-01 Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Singapore 238163 and the number to dial is 6238 8348.
We were seated alfresco as the inside was filled up - no wonder it looked so deserted from the outside. No biggie- it is sheltered, and air-conditioned outdoors as well. The entire atmosphere looked almost enchanting and soothing (because of the lights; the outside tables were unadorned at all; inside, there's dark wood panelling at least). The wait staff paid less heed to the patrons seated outdoors though, and it took us a while to get their attention.
The first dish we ordered was the Chicken Casserole, a piping hot dish that looked rather simple served in a shallow ceramic pan - chunks of chicken, capsicum, chorizo, tomato and toast baguette in tomato-paprika sauce. Casseroles are known to be very homely comfort food whereby one just tosses all sorts of ingredients found in the fridge and let it cook in the ovens. This was certainly comfort food, but a tasty one - tender chicken chunks amongst crunchy capsicum bits and chewy chorizo dices. The tomato-paprika sauce was thick and nicely-flavored, a perfect soak over the ingredients and the perfect dip for the hard-crusted bread slices.
Then we had the Scallops Risotto - uniquely flavorful blends of large scallops, gentle sweetness of pumpkin bits, the stronger tinge of blue cheese (Gorgonzola) toned down by the herb-ish aroma of Balsamic glaze. Tender, chewy scallops charred to a smokey deliciousness cooked perfectly in chewy arborio rice, what more could we ask for? The slight play at food art was unneessary, because the colors of the tiny veggie bits had already piqued our appetites. Being an all-time risotto lover, this dish stole my heart easily too.
A glass of red wine in lieu of the good coffee to end the night, since I did not want to risk a sleepless night due to caffeine's battling my nerves.
Lovely ambience, truly ideal for chilling out in a soothing setting with nice music and tasty food. We spent about SGD$30.00 per person, every cent well worth.