Reviews for Orphan's Kitchen
by Amy @ My Dining Journey
26 days ago
Ticking this off my 2014 Dining Wishlist, my friend and I finally made our way to Ponsonby for dinner at Orphan’s Kitchen. Claiming to be ‘the home of unadulterated food and naughty wine’, we walked in to a full dining room on a stormy Saturday night while a group of diners were opening a magnum 1.5 litre AIX Rose inside. It was the beginning of a rowdy night!
With the menu designed to have small and large plates that are meant for sharing, we opted to have two small, a large and a side between the two of us, in attempts to leave room for dessert.
The heirloom tomatoes with lomo (Spanish cured ham), purée buffalo mozzarella and house made gram crackers was my favourite for the night. A good balance between savory and sweet, smooth and crunchy, this dish is like summer on a plate. Great display of fresh ingredients. The snapper ceviche with watermelon, diced capsicum and begonia sat on top of a creamy avocado puree and that too was top-notch.
By comparison, the small dishes were far more impressive than the large. Our rye gnocchi with mushroom, sage and truffle was topped with a poached hen egg that oozed with yolk. Despite being served with a mushroom broth, this dish lacked moisture and the rye gnocchi could have benefited from some additional seasoning. Flavours of the mushrooms were fantastic, but there were clearly not enough mushroom to go around.
Thinking that dessert could redeem the gnocchi, we were rather disappointed with our dessert. Expecting an arty display like our small dishes, the “sweetness” end to our meal could have done with a prettier presentation. Tastewise, our kiwifruit sorbet with toasted kawakawa marshmallow and strawberry tart was good, but not superb.
To be fair, I came with high expectations and despite them not being met, we had a nice meal at Orphan’s Kitchen. Coming early is highly recommended unless you don’t mind waiting, and I personally suggest ordering more of the small plates where the pairings are more unique with a gorgeous presentation.
4 months ago
Great service, simple meals done well. Recommend the skirt steak! Not just any old steak, it's actually to die for. Complimentary burnt butter is delicious also. Everything on the menu is yum! Oh good wines and cocktails too! Just good everything! Love this place!
by A Food Awakening
5 months ago
I finally made it to Orphans Kitchen after seeing all the hype online. Being a chef its difficult to eat out when you work the same hours that most eateries are open :/ However I finally made it here for a friday lunch!
On arrival we were told the dishes were either for sharing or individual serves with all of the small plates served cold and the larger served hot. We were also given complimentary bread with a beurre noisette butter (burnt butter). Normally sharing dishes are served at the same time or when prepared, but we didn't realise they were being served as entree and mains. This is fine but I'm not sure whether something went wrong in the kitchen because the wait between the trevally (entree) being cleared and the mains served was incredibly long.
The skirt steak and porae were perfectly cooked. The black garlic on the skirt steak was delicious and something different you don't see often on most menus. I think the Porae dish was nice with the jerusalem artichoke but everything else was a bit unexciting and the turnip was a bit firm to bite - meaning undercooked. I really enjoyed the cured trevally. The dish is light and refreshing but we agreed the kumara chips with kawakawa mayo was OMG. Purple and golden kumara was used and they were super crisp and super soft in the middle. They would be the best hand cut kumara chips I've tried to date. The dinner menu has a few extra menu items which look attractive. I would still recommend Orphans Kitchen if you want light meal options and a casual dining experience without pretentiousness.
Value for Money: Average
118 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
by Blythe Biel
5 months ago
Busy Friday night. Very pleasant service. Beautifully prepared food. Thanks to the wait staff that helped us relocate (with our food) from upstairs to downstairs. Much appreciated.
by Lil Zee
5 months ago
Orphan's Kitchen has been on my wishlist for the longest time and, boy, was it worth the wait. As with most new establishments there is a walk-policy so landing a table on a Saturday evening can be quite a challenge. However, after being told that there would be a 45 minute wait, we were pleasantly surprised when we were called 15 minutes later after an unexpected "quick exit".
The interior is cool and minimalistic, wait staff friendly and welcoming and the atmosphere humming with excited diners. To start we had the complementary laxseed and kawakawa ciabatta served with burnt butter and ash salt. Our smaller dishes consisted of the beetroot, brussel sprouts, buffalo curd, walnut and shallots($16) and the cured salmon, celerian, granny smith and horseradish($16). These starters had such interesting combinations that all worked well together.
For the larger plates, we shared the rye gnocchi, hen egg, funghi, sage and truffle($27) and, my favourite dish of the evening, the skirt steak, red cabbage, kale and black garlic($27). The gnocchi was light and the egg yolk mixed through created the perfect amount of "sauce". The steak was a textural delight - with the perfectly cooked steak, crunch of the kale chips and almost sauerkraut-like addition of the red cabbage made this dish a stand-out! We also had the simple but delicious Tina's wedge salad as a side.
We ended with sharing the two dessert options on offer - dark Valrhona chocolate, tamarillo, black cardamon and yirgacheffe (which the wait staff kindly explained to us as a type of Ethiopian coffee) and cultured buttermilk, burnt mandarin, hazelnut and dulce (both $16). Once again, all components worked beautifully together and these were the perfect sweet ending to the evening.
I would highly recommend for great food in a hip environment...would happily return soon!
6 months ago
Best food I have had in a while and I can't fault the place. The service was absolutely perfect. Menu was creative and there is something for everyone. Some great takes on old classics - such as the boil up. They went out of their way to cater to all of us, will definitely be back here soon.
by Trish Newdick
7 months ago
Flavours that and food tastes and combinations that sent me some where I have never been . FeelI had been an orphan .
7 months ago
Food, service and atmosphere were brilliant. It’s great to see a restaurant that understands the customer and delivers every time. I would definitely recommend and will definitely be going back.
by Wolfie W
7 months ago
Was here for an early dinner on a Thursday night recently. Thoroughly impressed by the friendly and professional front of house, and the food was all about the flavour and quality. Loved it, and will return for sure. And those bread rolls....! Yummo. Well done, team.
by Nick Hutchinson
7 months ago
I love this place. I think these guys will go far. I have been a couple of times and walked out of there really satisfied. It's definitely food with a twist and I think you really have to study the Menu and ask questions before ordering. Great Service. Keep up the good work
8 months ago
Heard a lot about this place. Obviously, had to try it out. Cool decor and good set up. Was freezing though! Need some more heating on the cold winter nights! Staff were ok. We seemed to have 4 staff members looking after us. All with a different story. Very friendly though. I had the blackened pork. Was ok, but was very over cooked. Was overall a little disappointed. Hopefully we just had a bad night. Will definitely try again though.
by Carmen Innes
8 months ago
We have eaten here twice and it has been amazing, amazing, amazing both times. Stunning food, wonderful service and, for a place that doesn't take bookings, only a fifteen minute wait for a table for two on a busy Friday night. What better place to wait than in front of their toasty outdoor fire. Orphans Kitchen, we are definitely coming back.
by Nom Nom Panda
9 months ago
Love this place. Excellent food, beautiful interior, friendly and attentive staff, and casual atmosphere.
We thought the house-smoked salmon salad was a bargain, at only $15. It had interesting flavours that worked well together: apple, celeriac and horseradish. We also tried the pan-fried gnocchi which was served with a soft-poached egg, shiitake mushrooms, purple cauliflower, fried sage leaves, and because we paid extra for it, slices of fresh truffle which the chef just happened to have purchased that day ($25 + $7). Both were delicious.
Along with the beautiful flaxseed and kawakawa ciabatta served with burnt butter and ash, which we were given to start, we found this to be more than enough food for our meal.
Note: they don't take bookings.
by Brett Hancock
9 months ago
This place is my favourite restaurant in Auckland at the moment, the food is incredible.
Hip young staff and clientèle, simple fit out, not too formal.
10 months ago
My partner and I dined at Orphan's Kitchen on a Wednesday night and we were greeted by friendly and helpful staff who sat us immediately. We decided to dine outside in the courtyard which had a pleasant fire and blankets which made a fairly cool night very cosy.
We ordered three drinks, the fish main, the steak and kumara fries. Although the food took a little longer to arrive (business picked up ten minutes after our arrival), the food was cooked to perfection. They did however forget our kumara fries and when we asked about them, the staff without hesitation took the fries off the bill and served it to us very quickly.
Overall, we had an awesome experience. A very friendly, relaxing and different atmosphere. We would love to come back.
11 months ago
This was a huge disappointment! Everyone is raving about this place, but I’m sorry let’s face it I’m going for dinner to eat and no I do not want to pay $80pp and leave still incredibly hungry.
Don’t get me wrong the food was delicious, but the so called “larger” plate consisted three bites. We ordered four larger plates. The fish was amazing, but again we received only half of a fillet. Chicken was a bit plain, gnocchi I could do at home and the lamb was the best part on the table (the three pieces that were there).
Ambient is very cosy and well put together. Wooden tables with designer stools complimented by industrial hanging lights. All in all a great spot to wine - but not dine.
I understand its fine dining, in Europe we also have fine dining, but we don’t need to fill our bellies with bread because we are still starving.
More on www.teresamisu.com
Sep 20, 2013
A group of eight friends visited Orphans Kitchen, shortly after it opened in early August. We sat upstairs, where we had an elongated 20-seat table to ourselves.
The menu is not extensive, which is how I prefer it to be. And where new restaurants tend to be now trending with their Less-is-More ethos.
The ambiance is rustic -- but uncluttered by accouterments -- enhanced by the kauri floors and glowing polished macrocarpa tables. The dishes were generous in servings and showed flair in presentation. The pacing between the serving of the three courses was well-timed and non-intrusive. The service is engaging, seamless, genuinely friendly and unwaveringly attentive -- without the clichéd pretentiousness that comes with: "And an excellent choice, Sir".
The vibe is relaxed and casual; the background music suggests that this is an establishment where enlivened conversation is to be encouraged, as opposed to subdued restraint and where your social graces need to be on "Best Behaviour". It's a place to chill, relax, laugh, enjoy good food and wine amongst the company of family, friends, business associates, zumba zealots etc.
Footnote: The omission of the apostrophe in "Orphans", to signal either the singular or the possessive noun, is deliberate.
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