Eating @ ... Orleans
Orleans is the kind of place the word “moody” was invented for. When we open the big door in Strange’s Lane and head in (in the early evening; such is the popularity of the place that it’s the only booking we can get!) we’re greeted by the soft glow of candles amidst the dimly-lit, darkly stained interior. Voodoo-esque figurines and photographs of jazz musicians look down on us from up near the high ceiling, and the neon behind the bar (the brightest thing in the room) beckons with a warm yellow glow. It all feels rather like we’ve stumbled through a portal to a laidback jazz club haunt on the Louisiana bayou somewhere.
Perusing the fierce new winter menu and deciding we’re hungry, we back ourselves to tackle the whole pound rump steak, chargrilled and served with heaping helpings of dirty black rice and béarnaise sauce, also opting for the Caesar salad with baby cos lettuce, cornbread, soft poached egg, parmesan shavings, and blackened creole salmon. Curly fries are also must-order, if only so that we have something with which to try the intriguing variety of in-house hot sauces on offer at the table, and the Orleans Slaw with toasted peanuts, pepitas and cumin lime mayo makes a tasty contribution to our 5+ a day.
While the sheer amount of food on offer is a challenge, the tender steak and its accompanying mounds of moreish, flavoursome rice demand nothing short of a plate-emptying effort, and the Creole spin on the Caesar similarly vanishes. There’s barely room for dessert, but we go for it anyway; sugar powdered beignets that arrive hiding inside a tall glass of salted caramel milkshake.
The restaurant is filling to capacity as we finish up; it looks like it’s gearing up for a full evening of providing the same sort of total repletion we’ve just experienced to a whole lot more happy diners. A table over, a couple are both tackling the mighty fried crab with truffle mayonnaise, while the intoxicating aroma of the whole BBQed creole and chipotle marinated chicken also entices as it makes its way past us to another lucky table. With temptations like these yet left to try, we're already looking forward to the next Orleans expedition!
89 Lichfield St, Central City
03 365 7312