Weekend Haunts: Places worth checking out for their [NEW MENUS] part 2

Happy Sunday Folks!

If you're enjoyed our part 1 of the "Places worth checking out for their NEW MENUS" then, you're gonna love our second instalment.

More places to wine and dine this weekend without bursting the budget. We've got everything from 
fish tacos to the jumbo breakfast burrito, and even a Chia Seed coconut rose yogurt with homemade maple granola and berry compote for the health freaks. Loud and rowdy, with loads of laughter and way too many empty plates. That's how you know you're doing your weekends justice.

Let's start the ball rolling with the familiar Oriole Coffee + Bar stationed under the big ass fans in the vicinity of the Pan Pacific suites in 313Somerset. Under the influence of head chef Randy Torres who is a true blood Texan; the menu has taken a sharp curve in a South American direction with inspiration drawn from many comfort dishes in that region. Breakfast for examples sees two newcomers, the Jumbo Breakfast Burrito ($16) and the Humble Baked Egg Skillet ($16); both of which are real treats except that my allegiance falls with the latter. The lovely amalgamation of flavors you get when churning your spoon through the hot cast skillet of tender roast stew, sweet potatoes, and the piece de resistance - caramelised emmantal cheese forming chunks of savoury shards throughout the full bodied mixture. This disappears way too easily, as so does the jumbo breakfast burrito which so happens to be the perfect kind of hangover cure. Stuffed with Spanish chorizo, scrambled eggs, chipotle puree and smoked cheddar cheese, these tight rolls are then seared on all 4 sides till a desirous shade of brown; abetting the eating experience, where you'll gratefully avoid the situation of burritos that fall all over your plate instead of your mouth. Oriole does it right, and they know it.

Mains continue in the same vein the hoedown throwdown beginning with the Country Fried Steak ($22) which looks deceivingly like fried chicken but is essentially a breaded and deep fried 100-day dry aged Sirloin steak. Rounded with roasted garlic mash potato and smoked bacon and a sunny side up topped with truffle bechamel sauce. This totally qualifies for an up-class version of the usual diner classic. As much as I have a great love for the bells and whistles, I couldn't get past the fact that my beautiful steak had been a lamb out to slaughter, the meat overcooked and listless underneath its glorious crust. High points are achieved for the Fish Tacos ($20) that stirred up excitement at the table with its immaculate presentation. Except for the red cabbage slaw that had been promised but delivered in the form of raw cabbage strips, I had no other complaints. That chipotle aioli tho...

Another interesting main is the Espresso-rubbed rack of lamb ($32) - the coffee rub does give the protein a sultry mysterious air of dark intensity and this is in sharp contrast to the sweet mocha lamb jus that licks the plate, not one of the elements which I have taken a liking to. 

Start of end your day with the new drinks such as Haute Chocolate ($8)  and Death Cream ($9); the former a sinfully delicious concoction of vanilla beans, espresso and cream. Bringing to mind a classic 1980s coffee recipe, revival with a strong protest from the conscious mind of healthier intentions. Well, who am I kidding. I absolutely loved the drink, and would have walloped it, if not for the haute chocolate which stole my heart and filled my veins with chocolate after. Made from single-origin Valrhona Chocolate (66% Cocoa), this is one for the chocolate lovers who love their goodies unadulterated, dark and broody.

Oriole Cafe
96 Somerset Road
S( 238163)
t: 6238 8348

Operating Hours: 
Mon - Thurs: 8am - 11pm
Fri - Sat: 8am - 12am
Sun: 8am - 11pm


More than just a pretty face, Paddy Hills delivers some serious credibility with its new dinner menu. Here, you wont find picturesque pancakes, instead, you'll be treated to a multitude of reinventions, emphasizing on the minimal key ingredients carried forth on the individual dishes.

Take for example the Salmon Tartare - salmon skin, ikura, dill oil and yuzu ice; a marvelous dish with hits of chili salt on the fish sauce makes it an incredible tool to spoon some of the tartare on. I just wish the yuzu ice was served a tad closer to the tartare to remind diners to mix it in whilst eating, the much needed acidity required to balance the well seasoned tartare. Another toothsome sharing dish is the Roasted Cauliflower - masala yogurt, smoked cheddar, curry leaf and pickled cauliflower which proves to be a tad overambitious, the pickled cauliflower too intensely sweet from the pickling process whilst the incorporation of the other elements a tad incoherent in my opinion.

Paddy Hills excels in the pasta department, with the Ragu - fresh pasta, red wine braised short ribs, blue cheese and chicken skin coming to the rescue with perfectly executed pasta, crispy chicken skin adding to the visual impact of the cafe favourite whilst pungent blue cheese adds a novelty factor to the hearty combination. Paella - clams, unagi, scallop and prawn; is a bit lackluster, whilst the deluge of seafood entices diners, the rice grains were severly overcooked and the mandatory socarrat strangely absent. Instead, make a beeline for the Roasted chicken - romesco, pumpkin and roasted grapes; smooth pumpkin puree and added shallots add a sweet juxtaposition to the plump chicken. Grilled grapes may seem like a queer addition, but you'll relinquish in its caramelized sweet notes. What really takes the cake is the Hot Soup - A3 wagyu, leek, fungi and dashi which proved to be the best dish of the night. Piping hot soup is served table-side along with a pretty bowl of minimal ingredients including thin silvers of A3 wagyu beef which really "blooms" upon being steeped in the vibrant dashi broth. Yuzu Koshu on the side of the dish is brilliant, contributing brightness to the dish.

Round off your night with the Textures of fruits -vanilla yogurt, freeze dried fruits, yuzu gel, mango gel, seasonal fruits, strawberry chips and raspberry dust. The textures are spot on, all it needs is a tad more tangy acidity to elevate the dessert. 

Paddy Hills
38 South Buona Vista Road
t: 6479 0800

Operating Hours:
Mon - Fri: 10 30am - 5pm; 6pm - 9 30pm
Sat - Sun: 9am -5pm; 6pm - 9 30pm


Roosevelt's Diner Bar is a dream brunch spot for late sleepers. From 8 30am to 6pm on Saturdays and Sunday, brunch includes lovely new additions such as Smoked Salmon Benedict with Yuzu Hollandaise ($18) and BBQ Pork Belly Benedict with Cayenne Hollandaise ($18).

As much as I disagree to having another souped up version of the benedict on the menu, this rendition titillates the senses with a rich hollandaise perfumed with a spring-like astringency from the yuzu. Perfect for those who really love this dish but want to leave the table sans the predicted 'jerlat-ness' from consuming all those egg yolks. The same can't be said about the BBQ pork belly benedict that reeks of five spice and nothing else in its wake. 

Healthier options are available at Roosevelts too with their Coconut rose yogurt with chia seed, cinnamon banana, house made maple granola and berry compote ($16) - revel in a deep dish of crisp homemade maple granola softened with lashings of tangy, tropical nuanced coconut rose yogurt, bits of chia seed amping up its health quotient. Unfortunately I'm not one too big on squirrel food, and hence I would point you straight in the direction of their latest invention, the Southern Fried Chicken Burger served with tangy house sauce and coleslaw ($16) . You've heard me lauding praises for the burgers many times, but hear me out when I saw that this could be their best burger yet. Well delivering on the spicy front, the sauce and the coleslaw have a perfect balance of heat, creaminess and piquancy, that is sure to make your day. 

Sweet tooths, you will go gaga over the Nutella Banana crumble with Smores ($13), not quite my cup of tea because of the bits and bobs of sugary sweet marshmallow that have melted to goo in the pot; but the perfectly spiced crumble topping is one to attack whilst the ice cream hasn't form  a puddle. Their Cinnamon donut with Nutella Truffle Dip and Ice Cream ($13) shocks the palette with its outlandish incorporation of truffle into the dark chocolate dip. For you truffle fries fans out there, hurray, you can now continue your reverent worship in a whole different haven altogether.

Roosevelt's Diner & Bar
331 New Bridge Road
Dorsett Residences
w: http://roosevelts.com.sg/

Operating Hours:
Mon - Thurs: 8 30am - 10pm
Fri - Sat: 8 30am -12am
Sun: 8 30am - 10pm

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