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Oriole New Menu – Review
DRINK

Oriole New Menu – Review

Hidden inconspicuously down a set of dimly lit stairs in Farringdon’s Smithfield Market, Oriole is one of those East London basement bars that gives the area’s cocktail scene such a great reputation. From the team behind Shoreditch’s renowned Nightjar, the award-winning venue gets its name from the exotic bird species native across Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia, reflecting its menu interpreting the flavours and tastes of these parts of the world.

Descending down the staircase adorned with spherical feature piece lamps, we could hear the gentle hum of guests enjoying Friday after-work drinks, a sense of lightness in the air. Stepping into the reception area, the space opened up into a buzzing room with extravagant vintage furnishings and glass cabinets full of obscure artefacts. A dazzling bar on one side of the room takes pride of place, with a back bar of premium spirits and a back, back bar full of transparent boxes housing botanicals and unusual cocktail ingredients. On the other side of the room, a staged area is already prepared for the nightly jazz gigs kicking off at 9pm.

Here to sample the new menu, the extensive offering reflects the bar’s ethos of travel, exploration and a sense of place. The ingredient-driven drinks selection falls into three categories; The Old World, The New World and The Orient. An expansive offering, this is an industry hangout for sure; highly creative cocktails with a complex list of ingredients, it took us a bit of time to narrow down our choices. An absolute tequila fiend, my favourite ordered the Acapulco; olmeca altos, blanco tequila, Passionfruit coulis, Hoja santa, Tonka nectar, Coconut beer and Moët brut champagne, the drinks origin was said to be the New World Yucatan, Mexico. Light and refreshing with tropical notes and a minty finish, it was the perfect Friday night wind-down cocktail.

For my fellow tequila lovers, I also recommend the La Culebra; volcán tequila, Empirical spirits ayuuk, Aloe vera wine, Clarified tomatillo juice, Fino sherry, Agave tonka, Lime juice. From Jalisco, Mexico it offers a vegetal and smoky flavour with a refreshing umami finish. We paired our cocktails with small plates and loved the miso pardon peppers so much, we ordered a second portion, if you order nothing else to eat definitely give these a shot, they won’t disappoint. It would be amiss if I didn’t expressly mention the incredible service we received, all of the staff were so knowledgeable and helpful and despite their clear cocktail mastery, there was no hint of drinks snobbery which sometimes arises in incredible bars like this.

A super stylish bar with loads to look at and talk about, Oriole offers creative cocktails and exceptional service. The general vibe is intelligent yet relaxed, a great spot for after-work drinks or a memorable date night.

Address: Oriole, East Poultry Avenue, Smithfield Markets, London EC1A 9LH

Website address: www.oriolebar.com

Written by Jordan Crowley

Photography courtesy of Lateef Photography

#cocktailbar #Oriole

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