Name of Restaurant: Oriole Coffee Roasters
Type of cuisine: Asian, Modern Asian

Popular cafe-restaurant Oriole has opened a new outlet in Chinatown, skipping its usual European-style decor in favour of a Singapore-inspired theme.

Located at Jiak Chuan Road, this Oriole branch embraces kopitiam classics with its menu of Singapore-style breakfast and a piquant plate of scrambled eggs with truffle.

Oriole Coffee Roasters

Oriole at Jiak Chuan Road

Ambience:
Housed in a three-storey shophouse, the retro vibes of this outlet will make for a super sentimental trip down nostalgia lane. We really can’t fault the attention to detail: from the traditional porcelain plates and cups, the vintage ceiling lights to the Singapore-style breakfast, it’s a super old-school setting that harks back to the coffee shops of decades before.

Must-tries/ Specialties:
If you find these breakfast sets a tad pricey compared to the usual coffee shop eggs-and-toast, owner Keith Loh explains that the quality ingredients contribute to its relatively more upmarket prices.

The restaurant uses free-range eggs; eggs that are poached sous vide at exactly 63ºC and matched with premium soy sauce made by a Singapore producer. Thanks to this precise method of preparation, these half-boiled eggs (a pair for $5.20, with strips of toasts) are really runny, with the yolk oozing out easily as you mix the eggs with soy sauce.

There’s none of that dreaded partially cooked yolk and we have to admit that the light soy sauce did go better than expected with the eggs than the popular dark soy sauce. So yes, you get what you pay for, if you really appreciate having that perfect texture for your half-boiled eggs.

While it seems like Oriole has it to a science for its half-boiled eggs, we think that this cafe-restaurant’s strength still lies in its coffees.

 Oriole: Double-boiled free range eggs Oriole truffled scrambled eggs Oriole coffee and vegemite toast
(L-R): Oriole’s half-boiled eggs set, truffle scrambled eggs ($6.50), cappuccino ($5.50) and vegemite toasts ($2.50)

The truffle scrambled eggs didn’t fare as well as the earlier dish. While the scrambled eggs benefited from the truffle addition, it wasn’t quite as creamy and smooth as we’d hoped. It’s a simple dish but it’s true that a perfect plate of scrambled eggs isn’t easy to achieve.

As for the toasts, the accompaniment of french butter and sea salt did give Oriole’s homemade pandan kaya butter toasts ($3.50) a gourmet edge. Nonetheless, we would have preferred the toasts to be less dry and a bit more crispy.

Oriole’s Singapore-style coffees (from $6.50 to $8.50) on the other hand, do fare much better than the dishes. Even without any sugar or milk added, the distinctly sour aftertaste of local coffee brews is noticeably absent in Oriole’s caffeine fixes.

There’s a surprising aroma that reminds us of orange peels, next to the coffee’s smooth charcoal finish. It’s a strong brew, so if you’re really sensitive to caffeine, this coffee will make you feel extra perky right after your tea break.

As usual, the all-time Oriole favourites like the Picolo latte ($5.80) and cappucino ($5.50) are reliably good to-go-to brews for an afternoon pick-me-up.

Price:
Menu prices range from $1.50 for a tau sar piah (salted mung bean pastry) to $7.50 for Oriole’s deviled egg-cucumber sandwich.

Diners can learn more about coffees at Oriole’s coffee appreciation classes too. These classes are conducted monthly at this outlet, with a minimum of 5 to a maximum of 15 participants per class. Sessions are priced at $50 per person and requests for private classes can be made, so check with their friendly baristas for more information.

Verdict:

Food review rating: 3 out of 5

A cosy Singapore-style brunch stop, with aromatic artisanal coffees to boot. Oriole’s coffees are still its main draw but its breakfast fare are decent, even if these dishes won’t blow your mind.

Oriole Coffee Roasters is located at 10 / 10A Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore 089264, Tel: 6224 8131, opening hours: 10 am to 6pm, Mondays to Fridays. Read our earlier review on Oriole Cafe & Bar here.