with exotic drinks and excellent tapas styled food, mixed with a sumptuous interior, mystery and magic, Oriole has it all! This cocktail bar is like no other I have ever been to and the experience is both fascinating and amazing. Tucked away in Smithfield Market, London, if you want an impressive Cocktail Bar to visit then you should make Oriole top of your list!
I had the pleasure of visiting here with a friend. Our first impressions were a bit mixed as our Uber pulled up outside…. are we sure we are at the right place? But yes, the very low-key entrance made it even more intriguing. This is not a bar in which you can just walk in, we were met by a very friendly doorman who checked our name was on the reservation list. We made our way downstairs to the basement rather excited to see what would be in front of us, and we were not disappointed. The front of house staff was extremely friendly and welcoming, took our jackets and escorted us to our seats.
What an astonishing bar this is. The décor is warming, exotic and very inviting – a perfect place for that very important first date! From the wall paintings, seating and lighting, we felt comfortable from onset.
We had researched the cocktail list before we arrived and were both still unsure what to order! My first cocktail was a brandy based one, Bon Echo, and boy was it strong! Visually it was amazing; a visual representation of the northern lights and it looked incredible. The self-glowing blue crystals really give you that wow factor.
My friend had the Entoto Espresso, which was unbelievably divine. This is a perfect coffee-based cocktail with an Oriole personalised chocolate attached to the glass. Yes, the measures are quite small, but what you get in flavours more than make up for it!
For my second cocktail I decided to go for something different and different is what I got! I ordered the Marine Drive, and when it came out the first thing I thought was – how am I going to drink that! It’s presented in what I can only describe as an egg-timer or a science experiment! Again visually, it was amazing. This cocktail is described with a smoky finish, and it means smoky finish! We turned the “egg timer” upside down to activate the smoke, and when removed it actually smelt like bonfire – fabulous!!
Our waiter was fantastic, talked us through all the ingredients and made us feel very welcoming. He was very descriptive and informative of the cocktails. The attention to detail really is recommendable.
We chose two items of the food menu. I would advise that the portions are very small but we were only looking for a taster, so it wasn’t a problem for us. We had the Pork Bun, Tamarind Glazed Pork Belly, Kimch to start with and it was delicious. So tasty that we wished we had ordered two! We then shared the Bavette Steak, Chimichurri, which again was very enjoyable and will get your taste buds flowing.
The atmosphere at oriole very relaxed and very funky. We were chilled and relaxed throughout our experience here. The staff were attentive but not overbearing, friendly and informative. I would recommend a visit here when in London; these are cocktails that you simply cannot miss!
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