London-City and East London
- ‘Late night Drinking’
- ‘Great food’
- ‘Live music’
- ‘Jazz & Blues’
Apr 16, 2018
Oriole’s shiny subway-style entrance does not belie what awaits inside – a sleek and contemporary cocktail den proffering a fusion of Old and New Worlds and the exotic Orient. All of this may seem a little befuddling at first, but the artifacts, plants, geometric patterns and flamboyant wallpaper that adorn the interior of Oriole, a delightful bar in London’s Smithfield Market, are a perfect complement to the wonderfully intricate drinks on offer.
The cocktails are the star of the show at Oriole, all created with flair and presented in some of the most unique glassware we’ve ever laid eyes on (available for purchase, if you so desire). Many fuse flavors of sweet and savory, like the Fernworthy; gin, Tasmanian and Madagascan peppercorns, radish, beetroot spirit, champagne and honey, or the Zapotec; mezcal, ancho chilli liqueur, sun-dried tomato, lime and mandarin. Yet others, like the Blood and Bone (an intriguing combination of gin, almond sherry vinegar, carrot, roasted pepper, stock and seaweed ale) could be forgiven for masquerading as a meal – but we’ll leave that to the actual food menu, which includes international delights like Chilean sea bass miso and black truffle croquettes.
In fact, Oriole’s cocktails are so diverse and exotic that the bar has broken them down into world exploration categories (Old World, New World, Orient) and provides a glossary for those newbies who are a little intimidated by the ingredients. Certain mixed drinks are created for sharing – perfect for friends or date nights – but there is also an impressive selection of spirits, liqueurs and champagnes. Oriole plays host to live jazz, blues and swing musicians seven nights a week, and reservations are highly recommended.