Saturday, March 21, 2009

Oriole, Cafe Iguana, Nectarie Patisserie

Today is Mag's birthday! Happy birthday Mag (okay technically its not today but it was the day we had supper eventually at Cafe Iguana). Met her, Violet, Jacob at Kopitiam for abit before Xue and I indecisively went to Oriole Cafe and Bar (Level 1, Pan Pacific Suites) to have dinner with Cel, Fly and Michelle before joining the birthday bunch for supper later. We missed out on the ladies night free flow champagne but turns out it was no loss (except for the company!) cos we were gonna meet them again at Cafe Iguana later.

Xue, Nat and I kinda receed this place before some weeks back - and there was nobody in sight. Pan Pacific Suites are the new service apartments along Somerset Road - its next to the public car-park opposite Cineleisure. Oriole is opened by the people behind Whitebait and Kale (which has now closed) and Aerins at Raffles City. Today the restaurant was packed to the max - the central tables were booked by big groups - but we were comfortable in our semicircular booth.
We ordered 5 to share (sorry Michelle for the overwhelming beef orders), and the top 3 are the ones that M didn't touch - but were our favourites! (the beef ones are in order of favourites)

Beef Cheek Tagliatelle $15
Red wine braised beef cheek, mushroom, shallot oil

The beef cheeks were superbly tender, and the pasta was tastily tossed in the meat juices, this was everyone's favourite.

Patty Melt, $11.50 Beef patty, grilled toast, caramelized onions, swiss

We preferred this over the Philly steak&Cheese (below) simply because the beef : bread ratio was more balanced. We asked if we could choose the done-ness of our beef but the waiter said the meat was a thin slab so there was no such option. But I liked this buttery hot toast paired with the minced beef and yummy sweet onions- it feels more like a sandwich than a burger.
Philly Steak and Cheese, $14
Onions, peppers, baguette
The bread had this taste of herbs so I suspected it might be focaccia - again i wished the steak was chunkier cos it neither feels like a burger nor a sandwich. The meat was similar to that of the Patty melt.

Riosotto - crabmeat, asparagus $18.50
This must be one of the driest risottos I've eaten - yet I really liked it cos each grain of the rice was bursting with crabmeat flavour and there were some slivers of crabmeat I managed to find. Too much cream and I might not have enjoyed it as much.

Fish and Chips -Lightly battered snapper loin, home made chips, tartare $15

The fish and chips is highly recommended and no doubt why - the snapper was fresh and the meat was smooth in a batter that was not cloyingly greasy - it is on par with Molly Malone's fish and chips.

Bread and Butter Pudding with warm vanilla sauce $8.50

Cel, Fly and Xueling really liked this dessert - this must be one of the neatest bread and butter pudding I've eaten. I am a fan of the messier, creamier, buttery, sauce- laden version though - there was way too much flour in this one - but its a personal preference cos everyone loved it

Honey crumble affogato - vanilla ice-cream, expresso, honeycomb crunch $7

I LOVE THIS! A twist to the usual affogato - the honeycrumb crunch added an extra sweetness to the usual expresso-vanilla icecream concoction. The expresso was all smooth and rich bitterness, an excellent blend. It is as huge as it looks!

And everyone concluded the desserts were the highlight of this place... and I will be back to try the coffee here - the baristas here topped the local baristas championships - one of whom owns this place. The affogato was fantastic - the expresso will be even greater, neat. I will try the Oriole specials - the double ristretto - the next time I come here.

Whilst Cel whisked off to a cooking lesson (hehe), Fiona and Mich attempted some late night shopping, Xue and I headed off to Cafe Iguana (Riverside point) to join the birthday bunch - met some med people there - Saus, Hons, Kok etc and Mags own friends, some netballers whom I met in rj. Kok booked a table for 7 but the turnout for the ever-popular woman was tremendous and Xue and I managed to squeeze in by the corridor to share the many many jugs of magaritas - and of cos I ordered my Large Nachos!

After the med people left, the love club descended and Xue and I departed for some desserts (cos I really wanted to eat icecream) so we romped around Clarke Quay to find THE ice-cream (other than the default Haagan Daaz)

Do you know that Nectarie le'Dessert Patisserie (3C River Valley Road #01-05 The Cannery, Clarke Quay) offers scoops of icecream but better still - samplers of darn good icecream?

Its called Three Little Treats.

Treats indeed and little they are not.

Chocolate, Wild Strawberry, Jack Daniels, $8
I thought they were gonna be puny (like the size of Seventh Heaven's sampler portions) but no they were quite your regular scoops! I really wanted to have ice cream so this was perfect - I really wanted to try the Jack Daniels icecream but Xueling strictly didn't wanted to eat anymore after her 2 shots of Mars and a Baileys on the rocks at Cafe Iguana so I was almost left alone with my one scoop until I discovered the Three Little Treats!
I love it!
The chocolate was really dense and had bits of chocolate chip in it....

And oh the Jack Daniels...where should I start..this was alcoholic icecream goodness! It was smooth and creamy and tasted similar to a Baileys and Kahlua (I cant really tell them apart) but it was a darn good alcoholic icecream.

If I could get drunk on icecream, I would.. Never on that awful neat alcohol. Give me a Baileys milkshake (ooh Prive....) anytime!


brad said...

i went to recee oriole that day too! hahaha just walk in and see their menu, quite a nice place, and i reckon when the new shopping malls are done, they will have more customers.

Fen said...

Oriole Cafe seems to be a worthwhile place to go... Hmm... The crowd might be due to the 8-days readers, it was featured recently and seems like bloggers' reviews sound more positive than the article itself... Guess will have to drop by to see how it fares...

The Bread and Butter Pudding looks so good... Maybe I should drag my dad along... He likes this dessert but have not found one that suits his liking yet...

Ah... desserts were the highlights... Alright... *writes Oriole into Fen's wishlist*

Been to Cafe Iguana once and I love the food but I thought it is alittle expensive since it didn't fill my stomach... since the girls were hooked onto their Margaritas...

Hmm... didn't know Nectarie has good ice-cream... Wow... 3 wonderful places in 1 entry... You sure make me drool on a weekday morning... Damn, I am still working...

julie said...

Brad: Actually it was very packed the day I had my dinner there - and my friend says it was packed when he went too, so reservations are a must. I guess some weeks back when I went to check it out it was late, around closing time so there was no one...

Fen: Yup my friends really liked the bread and butter pudding but I prefer the affogato better - its the best version I've tried. The coffee there is supposed to be their specialty since their baristas are award winning - they scored the first and second spots in a national baristas championship

Cafe Iguana's nachos are what I always have there - Mexican food is quite rich so its filling for me! Its cheaper than Magaritas for sure.

And Nectarie has a range of ice-cream flavours too, and Three Little Treats were supposed to be tasting portions but they were huge!

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