In a hidden corner up on Level 2 of Orchard Gateway sits this warm and lovely Criollo Cocoa cafe. The name of the cafe actually originates from the cocoa beans named Criollo and the location of the cafe was inspired by the idea of ‘People Watching’.
The interior was clean, neat and spacious with tables adequately spaced out giving the customers sufficient space and privacy.
They have their own self service corner filled with the various sauces and condiments; and cutlery where you can help yourself with. Therefore the prices shown on their menu are all nett prices.
& do you know they make their very own gelato with a gelato making machine right in the cafe itself! And be surprised that their gelato flavors change periodically, so what you see it here now, may not be available at the later date.
The awesome view of overseeing the bustling stretch of orchard road.
A good mix of selections from starters to entrees to desserts to coffee/tea. Prices were quite comparable, ranging from $7-9 for the starters, $10-18 for their entrees and $6-9 for their desserts.
The tasting menu we had was quite a good mix of items from the different categories like starters, brunch food, pasta, burgers and desserts. So we had the Big Breakfast to kick start our night. The scrambled eggs, toast and fresh fruits in yoghurt salad was commendable. The eggs was creamy, runny and flavorful; toast was buttery and sweet with sprinkles of sugar and the fruit yoghurt salad was light, healthy and refreshing with a mixture of fruits and granola. Really a good hearty combination i would love to have for my breakfast.
Grilled portobello mushroom with onions, capsicums, lettuce, sliced tomatoes and melting cheese right in between 2 toasted brioche. The portobello was really juicy and tasty; the toasted brioche actually felt quite light and airy with a little crisp at the top. But the brioche feels a little too big on the portobello and make the burger seems like it’s lacking of something.
Seafood Laksa Pasta is my personal favorite for the night! Pan fried spaghetti with prawns, squid rings and mussels in special laksa sauce. When it was dished out to the table, the aroma was simply heavens. The gravy is so thick as though it’s your traditional laksa reduced to just a small amount of sauce under low heat, locking in the essences of the laksa. Best part was, i’m amazed how the laksa sauce has infused into each and every of the seafood and strands of spaghetti.
The Mixed Grilled Platter was a huge disappointment. I kind of expected for more variety and something for substantial. The platter came with 2 chicken skewer, 2 beef skewers and 2 black pepper chicken sausages accompanied by fries and coleslaw. The upside of the meats was that it’s not tough and chewy but the downside was that, the taste was not that flavorful and spectacular that it can be served as a dish on its own. Somehow it seems that the coleslaw has snatched the limelight away from the meats. The coleslaw was a tad much more tantalizing than the meats.
Chocolate waffle was one of their signature dessert. Served with a quartets of chocolate waffles and a scoop of chocolate gelato. The waffles are towards the soft, spongy type which are more dense instead of the crispy, fluffy kind, which are lighter for the taste buds. It will definitely capture the heart of a chocolate lover. I find this dessert a little too overwhelming with chocolate for my liking.
The cakes served in Criollo Cafe was from Pies & Coffee. They have pretty good cakes. The cakes were dense and the flavor was good but i find it a little too dry.
Lychee Gelato with bits of lychee meat was very light and refreshing, a good cleanser for our palette after such a hearty meal. The coconut Gelato on the other hand was much more intense and rich in flavor. It tasted as though you are eating the coconut flesh itself. But the down side of their gelato was that it’s a little too icy that you could taste some icicles in the bite.
Overall, it was a pleasant experience dining in Criollo Cocoa Cafe, but more has to be done to create more value for the food in order to attract and retain more customers.
Address: 277 Orchard Road
Orchard Gateway #02-01
Value for Money: 3/5