The Whitebait and Kale at Camden has closed its shutters for good earlier this week. I was a great fan of their beer-battered fish and chips and lamented the loss, until I tried the version at Oriole Cafe & Bar, a new concept by the same folks at WB&K.
The restaurant is tucked within an upclass looking service apartment in downtown Orchard. Convenient, yet not in your face. The setting is quite stylish, dazzling brass chandeliers, orangey lights, booth seatings, centre-island bar top complete with bar seats. I found it rather bistro-like /classic European. The whole feel was casual, but chic.
Being a bar, there is alcohol served of course and you can get yourself a beer, or something from the small selections of cocktails and wines. I have to mention that there is happy hour from 5pm to 8pm, one for one on beer and housepours . Thought that is a good deal.
If alcohol is not what your cup of tea, try the coffee. The trained baristas are award winning and so, you are guaranteed pretty foam art :)
When you are at Oriole, try the fish and chips. For $15++, it is definitely another great find. There were three very decent portions of very fresh snapper fillets, coated with the thinnest casing of crust, almost obligatory if you ask me. The most important thing was that the fish was fresh and not overdone at all, the latter point which I find is the biggest challenge cooking with seafood.
The chips were fried with, and served together with whole garlic cloves that caramelised and softened under high temperature. The chunky-cut fries were a tad overdone and hence, dry. Good thing they had a delicious toss in salt and dried herbs (I think it was parsley).
The dish was topped with some parmesan shavings peppered around the fries, lending an additional granular texture and salty /smokey flavour. Pairing the garlic and cheese with the fish and chips seemed strange but it worked.
The only gripe was that the basket that it was served in made it rather inconvenient to eat with a fork and knife. Maybe next time I'd go natural and use my fingers.
The service was professional but not over the top or in your face. I think I found a new hangout in town.
Oriole Cafe & Bar
96 Somerset Road #01-01
Pan Pacific Serviced Suites
Tel: 65 6238 8348