OR­LEANS RESTAU­RANT BAR

A TOUCH OF DEEP SOUTH ON THE SUN­SHINE COAST

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | FOOD & WINE -

Di­ver­sity in din­ing can never be a bad thing and Or­leans Restau­rant and Bar adds an­other di­men­sion to the va­ri­ety avail­able lo­cally. If the cuisine of Amer­ica’s Deep South has al­ways held ap­peal, ya’ll can save on the air­fares and be treated to an authen­tic cot­ton-belt meal in a far more ac­ces­si­ble lo­cale.

Am­bi­ence and ap­peal

Din­ers seated in­side are treated to the mood and style of the Deep South as the ex­posed brick­work, par­tially ren­dered in a patch­work of ce­ment, re­flects the low mood lighting of the hang­ing lamps. The dul­cet tones of blues singers add mu­sic and melody to the sense of oc­ca­sion as the sounds of cock­tail shak­ers from the nearby bar pe­ri­od­i­cally punc­tu­ate the sounds of the South. It’s hard to fault the repli­ca­tion of a Mis­sis­sippi diner on Ma­roochy­dore’s Du­porth Ave.

Clean­li­ness

We watched the ta­bles pol­ished by wait staff to within an inch of their lives while we en­joyed our Satur­day evening out­ing. Given the theme, the venue could never be clin­i­cal or ster­ile, but that didn’t stop the wait staff pol­ish­ing the glass­ware to a shiny lus­tre and en­sur­ing that ev­ery sur­face was clean and the crock­ery stain­less.

Pre­sen­ta­tion

The staff were well-groomed and dressed in rather generic black and white. Con­sis­tently with the venue’s theme, the ta­bles weren’t dressed in linen but were well-pre­sented and, im­por­tantly, very clean. Per­son­ally, I would have liked to have seen the wait staff wear­ing aprons, as you’d ex­pect to see in a din­ing venue in Louisiana.

Ser­vice

It was a busy night, so the staff were al­ways go­ing to be un­der pres­sure but we found the Or­leans ser­vice to be mixed. The wait staff were friendly and en­gag­ing, and checked in pe­ri­od­i­cally to en­sure we were happy with our meals. It did take a long time to of­fer to take a drinks or­der and wait­ing a lit­tle more than half an hour for dessert to ar­rive wasn’t a great way to end the evening. But there were some nice touches – such as re­plac­ing a linen nap­kin af­ter it was in­ad­ver­tently dropped on the floor, and re­plen­ish­ing our glasses well be­fore they were any­where near empty.

Food

Across the board, the meals were well-pre­sented, bal­anced in colour and con­tained a creative edge to their pre­sen­ta­tion. Con­sis­tently with the theme, the kitchen brought the cre­ole and ca­jun flavours of the South and al­lowed them to col­lide in a range of tra­di­tional plates on a mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary menu. The clam and sweet corn chow­der had a lovely tex­ture and her­ba­ceous bal­ance while re­main­ing true to this spir­i­tual dish of the Deep South. The roast duck a l’or­ange seemed a touch out of place as a French twist to a New Or­leans-styled menu. But it was beau­ti­fully pre­sented: the duck suc­cu­lent and ac­com­pa­nied by a heav­enly parsnip puree and some de­li­cious but­tered baby car­rots. The slow roast lamb leg for two was a mas­sive meal and per­fectly cooked. The lamb melted off the fork while the green beans in the mus­tard dressing were

still crunchy de­spite be­ing on the hot side of warm. The rose­mary salt tomato ragu added a Louisiana touch and juici­ness on the plate. Of the desserts, the poached pears were a stand-out. But I would have liked to have tried a very tra­di­tional New Or­leans dish – maybe a dough­nut-like Beignet.

Wine list

The wine list isn’t ex­ten­sive by any means and could prob­a­bly use a touch more va­ri­ety. I’d have ex­pected the most pop­u­lar grapes such as shi­raz, sau­vi­gnon blanc and chardon­nay to have at least a few choices from dif­fer­ent re­gions and price points. The wines weren’t gen­er­ally ex­pen­sive and did have a di­ver­sity of price points and a cou­ple of French styles thrown into the mix. But we found it hard to go past the Cen­tral Otago pinot noir from Mt Dif­fi­culty. It’s al­ways a winner and a nice com­pro­mise for the duck and lamb.

Value

With en­trees rang­ing in price from $9 to $24 and mains from $35 to $38, the meals weren’t out­ra­geously priced but given the qual­ity, I thought it rep­re­sented pretty good value. The Sun­shine Coast has rarely been graced with cuisine styled on that of the south­ern states of the US. But Or­leans Restau­rant Bar re­pro­duces the ex­pe­ri­ence with am­bi­ence, style and im­pres­sive fare across all parts of the menu. For the com­bi­na­tion of theme, cuisine and value, Or­leans is def­i­nitely a con­tender. I plan to go back and work my way through some of the other dishes on the menu, in­clud­ing the gumbo that we just didn’t have room for.

OR­LEANS RESTAU­RANT BAR

Ad­dress: 24 Du­porth Ave, Ma­roochy­dore Phone: 5443 5387 Web­site: or­lean­srb.com Opening hours: Din­ner from 5.30pm, Mon­day to Satur­day; lunch from 11.30am, Mon­day to Fri­day

PHO­TOS: OR­LEANS RESTAU­RANT BAR

SPIRIT OF THE DEEP SOUTH: Or­leans Restau­rant Bar, Ma­roochy­dore.

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