I was at Somerset 313 a few days ago, and as dinner time approached, I decided to go Oriole Cafe as it was one of the few places that weren’t swarmed with people.
Initially we couldn’t really get used to the darkness in the cafe, as they barely switched on any lights, and most of the light in the cafe was from the tea lights on each table. But once we’ve gotten accustomed to the lighting, it was quite comfortable.
I’m a seafood lover, so I was having a hard time choosing between the Baked Seafood Linguine ($25) and the Garlic Prawn Risotto ($25) before finally deciding on the latter. My mom ordered the Beef Cheek Tagliatelle ($22), a dish that I’ve heard many rave reviews about on various food blogs. We also ordered a Sticky Date Pudding ($12) to share.
The prawn risotto definitely did not disappoint, with its fresh, succulent prawn grilled to a slight golden brown. The rice was very delicious, I liked that it wasn’t too soggy, but instead was very chewy. The rice fully absorbed the flavour of the rich prawn bisque. Don’t be misled by the photo, there weren’t just 4 grilled prawns in the risotto, Oriole is in fact quite generous with the prawns. There were more prawns chopped into smaller pieces mixed together with the rice.
But unfortunately, the beef tagliatelle was a big disappointment. The beef wasn’t well-seasoned, and had a slight strange odour. I suspect that the meat wasn’t that fresh. The tagliatelle was also slightly sticky instead of being chewy and firm. Overall, it definitely didn’t warrant the amount of praise I’ve seen online.
The sticky date pudding was a pleasant surprise, though. I didn’t expect the sticky date pudding here to be so tasty. The moist and soft pudding comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and unlike the normal sticky date puddings out there, Oriole’s version has rum and raisin added to it. The scent and slight bitterness of the rum enhances the flavour of the pudding, with the taste of rum lingering in your mouth even after you’ve swallowed the pudding. Immensely satisfying and leaves you craving for more. Even as I’m typing this post I’m craving for it again. This is something I’m definitely coming back for!
Overall, despite the disappointment with the beef tagliatelle, Oriole redeemed themselves with their delicious prawn risotto and sticky date pudding. It would be better if they provided more choices for main course though, their current menu is severely lacking in variety right now. I’ll be back there for their sticky date pudding again, and next time I’ll also be sure to try their affogato that they are famous for.