UPDATE (08/05/2016): The café has moved to Blk 148, Potong Pasir Avenue 1.
Has anyone heard of Criollo cocoa before? What the fine Arabica bean is to coffee, the noble and rare Criollo bean is to chocolate. Although I don't think this particular café at Orchard Gateway actually prepares its beverages from such expensive beans, it offers a range of food options as well, including all-day breakfast items.
Calamari Rings S$8.90
To appease the appetite for fried food, I ordered the calamari rings as a starter. Nicely breaded without being too oily, each ring was enjoyably chewy without being rubbery at all. One thing to note is that the accompanying tartar sauce tasted more like plain mayonnaise, so I'd prefer something tangier.
Smoked Duck Aglio Olio S$16.90
Generously tossed with olive oil, the spaghetti was moist and al dente. The smoked duck slices were tender and robust, going along well with juicy mushroom slices, liberally spiced up with garlic, black pepper and chopped parsley. Having said that, I did gripe over the fact that the portion was quite small for me.
Chef's Beef Stew S$16.90
The beef stew, on the other hand, was edible, but not fantastic. The red meat wasn't tough, but it could be tenderer. I found the gravy to be lacking in sweetness. Another point to note is that even though the menu booklet says it's to be served with butter rice, what I got was plain rice. Pika's advice: You can opt for bread instead of rice.
Lemon Cheesecake S$5.90
The lemon cheesecake that I ordered for dessert was nothing to rave about. Its texture could be better, as it was a bit lumpy at the centre. The lemon taste was pretty strong though. Besides that, the bottom layer made of cookie crumbs could be just moist without being too wet.
Hot Strawberry Cocoa S$6.50
What an adorable design! I enjoyed the adequately thick and frothy cocoa drink with a hint of strawberry milk that gave a pleasant sweetness on the tongue. However, I was pretty disappointed by the fact that it arrived at the table lukewarm.
With hits and misses here and there, I'm not sure if I'd be interested to come back to the eatery. Perhaps I may want to give any of their all-day breakfast dishes a try.
Criollo Cocoa Café
277 Orchard Road
#02-01 Orchard Gateway
(Daily: 11.00am - 10.30pm)
*Prices quoted are nett prices.
Have a nice meal,