I’ve always had a soft spot for Orleans since it entered the Auckland dining scene. Most of that is due to the chicken and waffles. But Orleans also delivers in terms of pure funk, theme, location and just being a familiar, approachable spot. When I was back in town on limited time I made sure to check out how things are now. It’s nice the live music, shoe polishing, hip crowds and everything else is the same. That’s good. However the waffle wasn’t nearly anywhere as how amazing it used to be. They did comp me when I fed back, so I appreciated that gesture. With everything else the same, I’m sure it’s still a solid pick overall.
The Orleans buttermilk fried chicken waffle ($16) remains a popular choice judging by the runners too. The principal issue on this day was the waffle being dry and crusty, it sat out way too long waiting for the chicken to be fried. This made it inedible and I actually cut the top part of my gum from the sharpness of the waffle edge. Ugh! That was the point I had to speak up (I hate being that customer). The chipotle maple glaze and crispy sage garnish the chicken, which remains fairly good.
I did also have one of the side dishes. Pork belly ($10) with beans. This was passable but I wouldn’t order it again. The style wasn’t quite my thing as the dish came out a little bland. I should also mention I have had plenty of most excellent experiences at Orleans (albeit two years ago), with great service, impressive food and cool music. It’s contributed to leaps for the food scene back home and I’ll probably give the chicken waffle one more try when I’m back next.