Tea of Sorts at Oriole

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Of all meals, the gang met up for tea at KK’s favourite coffee place, Oriole. I can’t remember why but DC had missed lunch and used that as an excuse to order up his usual storm. The chicken quesadillas were pretty decent: they were well-stuffed with a good proportion of cheesy chicken and tomato to onion, though the overall dish wasn’t super flavourful.

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I liked its take on squid rings. Here they warned us that there was chilli and that it wasn’t crispy. I’m not sure how they did it but they somehow coated the fried calamari very evenly with some sort of chilli-tomato sambal. The squid was chewy and slightly tough, just the way I like it and the chilli had good kick. Excellent.

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Shinta decided that he must have seafood risotto for tea. That, apparently, was also his dinner so he was justified. Justified or not, his choice was impeccable as usual. The risotto was as it should: creamy yet al dente with clean seafood flavours well-accented by tomato. The grilled fish on top gilded the lily. I’d definitely order it for myself next time.

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I decided to go the slightly more sensible road and had an affogato for my mid-afternoon snack. The version here is more dessert than rich drink as it had chocolate-coated honeycomb and walnut (?) stirred into the ice cream. The ice cream was rich, the espresso bitter and strong, and the crumble toothachingly sweet. It’s one of the best versions of affogato I’ve had, almost eclipsing my all-time favourite hazelnut affogato.

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Oriole Cafe and Bar
96 Somerset Road
#01-01 Pan Pacific Serviced Suites
Tel: 6238 8348

Privé Cafe

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I’d been meaning to try Privé Cafe for a while and breakfast was as good a meal as any to check it out.  The website says that it opens at 9.00am, so we got there slightly after nine only to be told that while the place was open, only coffee and selected drinks would be served for then. It wouldn’t be till 9.30 that they would take orders for food and other drinks like smoothies. I found it incredibly bizarre because it was a bit silly to open for breakfast and tell people that they could only drink coffee and tea for the first half hour. No smoothies even! How hard is it to load a blender and flick the switch? The manager explained to us that even pastries couldn’t be served because they were still baking. It was obviously a lie because the pastries, while not stale, came at room temperature and the glaze of the Danish pastries were definitely not freshly set. The worst bit of it all was that they did not even offer to take our order first and get it to the kitchen so that our food would arrive just after 9.30. (Back story: we had an elderly person who couldn’t stay out for long, hence the need for speed.)

Well, we finally got round to getting our food and it was decent. The berry smoothie had lots of (frozen) mixed berries blended into vanilla ice cream. It was more of a milkshake than smoothie. My impression of a smoothie is one made with yogurt instead of ice cream, it was a bit too rich for the morning, especially with my main course.

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The stack of pancakes was quite lovely. It was the best I’d had in a while, with each pancake warm and fluffy, accompanied by fresh fruit, softly whipped cream and syrup on the side. A nice touch was the honeycomb bits which really added to the flavour and texture of the dish. All in all very satisfying.

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Discount the odd order-only-at-9.30 policy and not particularly attentive service and the food and ambience are great. It’s lovely to sit by the marina with the sun climbing up over the boats, feeling like it’s going to be a lovely day ahead.

Privé Bakery Cafe
2 Keppel Bay Vista
Marina at Keppel Bay
Tel: 6776 0777
info@prive.com.sg