Saturday, January 09, 2010

Oriole Cafe & Bar......Take 2

This revisit to Oriole came about because we didn't get to try their coffees the last time round. Since the owner and head barista here were winners in the National Barista Championship for the past 2 years, I'm guessing that they must be pretty good.

The food as with the previous time fell short. A side of thick cut fries arrived without the shaven Parmesan cheese. The excuse being that the cheese was tossed with the fries and had melted in. So to me that essentially means that the portions that they had used, if it was used at all, was minute and the fries must have been sitting for a while before they reached the table. Neither of which sat well with me. That particular staff was seen walking back into the kitchen counter after grabbing a bottle of powdered Parmesan, probably trying to use them from our request for more of the cheese which I thought was really just bad form without excuse. It took another server with initiative to approach us and return with the shaven cheese.

I understand that this was just a cafe and that one might not expect pristine service/top notch servings, but really, one shouldn't advertise on the menu if one cannot deliver.

The Cubano sandwich wasn't too bad. I guess the basic elements of ham, melted cheddar, pickles and a sweet chilli mayo under the hot iron press in bread turned up pretty decent. Probably the first point of redemption for me here since I don't think I would mind eating this again if I returned.

This was one of those weekly specials that was actually a Gorgonzola based risotto with kenya beans and roasted Hokkaido scallops. I was honestly hoping for it to be good, but again, was disappointing. If you've noticed, I've often griped over the insufficient use of that blue cheese, resulting in a less than desirable level of aroma (or pungence) from the cheese. This time round, I couldn't taste any blue cheese at all. Nada. Zilch. What was served was creamy risotto with some flavor of cheese and slightly undercooked grains. Scallops was deceptively dry and certainly didn't taste all that fresh to me.

The silver lining at Oriole dawned from their brews. I found myself a little taken in with their rich chilli chocolate mocha that worked a lingering spiciness down the throat which was almost subtle. That spiciness here was the sort that was a mild fiery warmth rather than a harsh burn. I hadn't really known what to expect initially, but I guess this was something I guessed grew onto me as the sips went by.

Oriole's piccolo latte is what I think of as a real coffee lover's latte. To explain in short, I'm someone who generally thinks that regular lattes are coffee flavored milk. Not coffee. This one packs the punch of an addtional shot of espresso bringing the milky brew up a noticeable notch in aroma and strength of coffee. I dare say that they were fairly robust as well.

I'll definitely be back for more of their coffee. One more shining ray of hope in our coffee market I must say.

1 comment:

red fir said...

Shall try the chili chocolate mocha next.