Gold Award
London, EC1A 9LH ·Website ·Call020 3457 8099

SquareMeal Review of Oriole

Gold Award

Ask a bird-spotter and they’ll tell you that brightly coloured orioles are most commonly found in Africa and Asia, and have a loud, musical song. This one can be spotted closer to home, below Smithfield Market, where a subterranean lounge bar lures you in behind a golden curtain.

Both drinks and decor roam the globe for inspiration; a dreamy backdrop of tropical palms runs around the walls, with tribal masks and giant conch shells in display cabinets beside cool retro furniture and deep petrol-blue banquettes. Cocktails look just as eclectic – though some purists scoff at the “ridiculous serviceware”.

Choose from an atlas-style compendium of highly creative sips, arranged in three chapters: Old World, New World and the Orient. The Olinda Collins from Brazil is a refreshing mix of cachaça, mango wine, lemon, burnt bark syrup and fermented sugar cane soda, with an unusual homemade infusion of cipó cravo (a type of tropical vine). Elsewhere, the Yonezawa (a plummy blend of saké, shochu and rum with a tiger nut infusion and tayberry vinegar) takes inspiration from Japan.

And if you don’t know your tiger nuts from your tayberries, a handy glossary at the back lists all the exotic ingredients you’re about to imbibe. There are nibbles from the world larder too.

This glamorous sibling to Nightjar and Swift is also reservations only, with table service ­(though some space is saved for walk-ins). And, like its feathered namesake, it’s also on song, with live music every night of the week.

Good to know

Cool, Fun, Glamorous
Dates, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


Smithfield Market, London, EC1A 9LH

020 3457 8099


Opening Times

Mon-Fri 6pm-2am (Mon -11pm)


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1 Review 

Lolowa R

01 February 2018  
Food & Drink 3
Service 4
Atmosphere 3
Value 2
very tasty but overpriced and small portions
A great candidate for #wewantplates some ridiculous serviceware, coupled with for too much ice in overpriced cockails left this experience slightly lacklustre. Lovely team and good music though.... could be better, this SM review is far too generous
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