I’ve been wanting to try Orleans because I’ve heard about their fried chicken waffles but only recently discovered they showcase live music on weekends as well. So it was a rather easy choice when having to choose a location for a friend’s birthday dinner.
From first impressions I was pleasantly surprised at how cool the interior is. The music drifts through from the back of the restaurant, it is dimly lit with high standing tables and it has an air of sophistication to it. We were seated near the small stage and got to enjoy live jazz soul music by Lou’ana Whitney on vocals and a very enthusiastic drummer that accompanied her for the evening.
The menu is a one pager and is made up of quite simple but unique dishes with all meals for one under NZD 20. If you like waffles in all different forms then you will be spoilt for choice! They also have quite an impressive list of cocktails for those interested.
To start we ordered a spinach and artichoke dip with tortilla chips (NZD 10) and the buttermilk fried chicken (NZD 14). The dip comes with a layer of melted cheese on top and its just perfect to dunk a chip into. Our waitress very sweetly brought us extra chips as there was far more dip than chips on the plate – absolutely delicious! The chicken was juicy and crispy just like fried chicken should be.
For mains we went with their signature dish Orleans fried chicken waffle (NZD 18) – drizzled with a maple chipotle, the twice cooked pork belly with sweet potato puree (NZD 18) and friends of ours chose to share the the waffle stack (NZD 38).
The chicken waffle delivered as promised with a perfectly cooked waffle – crispy and light – fried chicken and a marvellous maple syrup with a kick of chilli infused into it! The pork belly, although not my number 1 in Auckland, did have crispy crackling and proved to be a good dish. The waffle stack is best described as a gluttonous dish that lacks finesse as you literally have to hold it in place. There’s far to much going on as it has bits of bacon, pork belly, fried chicken, stacked between waffles and comes with curly fries, onion rings and slaw. Tasty no doubt, but I would stick to the smaller more refined dishes!
We were too full to try desserts but our neighbouring table ordered the brownie stack which looked very impressive! In terms of service our waitress was helpful, made suggestions, topped up our water glasses and checked how up on how the food was.
Thank you Orleans for a great night out, we will most definitely be back!
- food – 4/5
- price – 4/5
- service – 4/5
- atmosphere – 5/5