Reviews for Orphan's Kitchen
by Gemma Mansell
22 days ago
I was kinda skeptical about this place cause I thought it was just another one of metro's trending cafes that comes off a bit pretentious. But after seeing the owners at sweet talks and hearing how genuine they were with their food and efforts to be sustainable I thought I'd give it a try. And ho shit all I can say is believe the hype eh. Such a nice atmosphere with rimu slab tables and little shearling mats on the stools. I couldn't believe how big it was with the huge outdoor area too. Coffees were good and we ordered the avocado smash and the slow poached eggs on spelt. Both were bloody good. Portions are kinda small and it is expensive but I think worth it for the quality ingredients like the goats cheese on my dish was so fiyah. The staff are also really friendly and they let us stay at our table for 2 and a half hours cause we didn't wanna leave lol. Also if u go to the bathroom upstairs, look out the window above the sink. u can see 3 bee hive boxes they have to make honey :-)
by Stephen Potter
29 days ago
Came here in wet Sunday morning. Not busy.
Great coffee, great service and the wagyu brisket with kumara mash while not a normal breakfast choice was magnificent.
Will definitely be back.
by Captain Underpants
29 days ago
Orphan's Kitchen is an absolute must!
Came here with friends for a birthday and left having had one of the best culinary experiences I have had in NZ. Due to not taking bookings we waited about a half hour for a table on a Friday evening and they staff happily showed us to their back courtyard and sat us next to the fire as they got us some drinks. The only negative of the entire evening happened next. Sadly, they were out of one of the beers I wanted to try, fortunately our server was on point and recommended a great alternative. Once seated we proceeded to order a dozen oysters (had 2 different species and both were delicious) and one of every entree (4 to choose from) and one of every main (4 to choose from). All the dishes were excellent and the standouts were the beer tartare, and the lamb belly which is hands down one of the best dishes I have had in years! It was flawlessly presented and so perfectly balanced I salivate just thinking about it. We had a couple different servers throughout the evening and they were all brilliant with great knowledge of the menu and spot on wine recommendations. I'm not sure how the management of OK attract such great staff but there are several restaurants in Ponsonby that could learn a few lessons!
All in all my experience at Orphan's Kitchen was absolutely excellent and I will wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone, as well as going back myself!
by Paul Evans
29 days ago
I'd heard so much about Orphan's Kitchen, but mainly its dinner menu...but thought I'd give it a whirl for brunch.
We had the homemade crumpets with honey (delicious), the mushrooms (creamy creamy goodness) and the breakfast ramen (I was most excited about this....but it was a little disappointing, too much like plain old two minute noodles).
Portions are petite, so it's not for big eaters...but the flavours more than make up for that.
Overall a great experience. Attentive staff and great coffee too.
one month ago
Went to this wonderful little restaurant for lunch. Weren't any seats indoors so we were led out to the back, where we had the area to ourselves - lovely wooden tables with heating and blankets.
We were served promptly and kindly. I got the Orphan's Ginger Soda, Wagyu Beef, and some Kumara chips to share.
The beef was amazing, so tender, working brilliantly with the cabbage and kumara mash. The kumara chips were also a perfect hit - well sized and cooked.
It was a quick, easy, delicious dining experience. Only negative was the lack of desert 💔
by Chch Chick
one month ago
Perfect! Great food, great service, amazing ambience, and I love the story behind the name. I once was an orphan in London, can totally relate! Don't change a thing! Can't wait to come back here. Get there ASAP! No bookings so get there early.
by Maia Churichkova
one month ago
Have been several times over the past year. Service was amazing, as was the atmosphere. I'm not a fan of the no booking thing but unfortunately that's what a lot of newer places are doing. The first time we went early ish and waited about a half hour - had a drink in their outdoor area out the back which is really great in summer. I think they have heaters there too for winter. We had the bread, the chicken main, and the lamb main - all of which were great! Chefs do a great job considering how tiny the kitchen is.
by Yi You
2 months ago
We had a really nice feasting menu. The waitress was very friendly and patient to us. Also she took our request to swap one of the dishes for bigonni( if that's how it spelled). The bluff oysters were served with ice and seaweed. Really nice combination. The oysters were fresh and juicy. The Tarakihi with macadamia and sage is one of the best Tarakihi I've had. The fragrance of macadamia lingered in my mouth and I just couldn't let go of it. Also the cauliflowers served with Parmesan cauliflower purée is really delicious too. Will definitely come back to this lovely spot again.
by Jess Pendergrast
3 months ago
Orphans Kitchen is a one of a kind dining experience and you need to see what the fuss is all about. It has a rustic décor and the atmosphere is buzzing with a variety of diners.
We went for dinner on a Friday night a couple of months ago and we had to wait for a table as you can’t book but the wait was worth it because it was one of the best dinners I have ever had. The dishes are designed to be shared by the table so it is perfect if you are in a big group.
I loved the asparagus side and the steak was incredibly tender. The service was fantastic and I loved the little touches such as the purifying charcoal in the jug of water and the incredible fresh bread with the side of beurre noisette butter (burnt butter).
The food is high quality, fresh and worth every cent. I would love to try their brunch menu so I will be back again soon.
by Karl Thomson
3 months ago
Booked the big table here upstairs awhile back, had a group of 20 or so and was a fantastic night. Josh, Tom and the team do a great job here and the food lives up to the great reviews! Good vibe and friendly staff, look forward to going back again.
3 months ago
Okay I admit it - any restaurant that has such dedication to whatever's fresh in the market that morning and prints a new menu everyday wins a 4.0 or above in my book. Having travelled extensively, I've grown a leviathan of appreciation for use of New Zealand's fresh and organic ingredients - because you can truly taste the difference.Onto the restaurant. Orphan's Kitchen is a humble establishment that's actually tricky to find - but the best kept secret Ponsonby has to offer. The food is innovative; clean, and will suit most palates. Flavours are clear and precise (I'm looking at you, carpaccio) and combined with the texture of the meats, you can really eat blindfolded. That's how good the food is.It loses a 0.5 because our waitress threw away our takeaways, and although we were polite about it and told her manager (whom came to give us the bad news) it was okay, the waitress looked at us rather icily and ignored us for the rest of the meal.
by Emma-Jane Bates
3 months ago
We had the feasting menu, I think calling it a feast is a bit of a stretch. Food was really nice with great flavours and presentation however the waitstaff let it down by their lack of knowledge of the dishes. One in particular using being new as an excuse. Which I am sorry is not. Do your homework.
by Georgia Dobbs
3 months ago
Can be hard to get a table due to popularity, BUT, so so so worth the wait. Cool and eccentric menu with dishes including milk fed lamb, jersey bennies, aubergine and feijoa. Tina's Wedge Salad and the Kumura Chips with Kawakawa Mayo are highly recommended. Cool vibes, great service and such a unique and cute little dining space.
3 months ago
Our first visit there, we were lucky to get a table.
The interior of the cafe was nice and warm.
We had breakfast ramen, mushroom and coffees.
The mushroom was wonderful. With a piece of bread beside it, you could dip the bread with the sauce and eat.
by Subhashini Sathanantham
4 months ago
I had a breakfast on last Friday .Brunch menu is different and interesting not the standard Break Fast menu and menu is limited and good choice for the vegetarian . I had mushroom broth with toast brioche ..lovely !!!and very friendly staff .
by Olivia Round
4 months ago
I seem to only review the places I love! OK is fantastic in the sense that it's unpretentious dining, yet über cool. The parred back rustic decor is complimented with the most beautiful vintage glasses and there's even a stick of purifying charcoal in the water jugs. Nice touch. Food used is of high quality and if you get the Wagyu ask for the full run down and you lovely waiter will pretend to be a cow! The coffee is probably the best in Auckland and don't go without getting a crumpet w burnt butter + roof honey (they have hives onsite). Excellent coffee served in Arcroc cups for a little bit of nostalgia.
Value: 4/5 (quite pricy)
Must try: mocha (made w dark choc) and the crumpet. Yum.
by MarianneIan Kindred
4 months ago
I have eaten twice at this establishment and both times I have left feeling "what is all the hype about"
The decor is fairly pleasant, however trying to enjoy an special meal perched on a wooden bar stool, is not my idea of comfort. Perhaps that just reflects my age.
The menu is fairly limited - on our latest visit there were only 4 items on the mains section. I kept getting the feeling that the restaurant is taking the mickey out of everyone, especially when our waiter stated " did we understand the menu as many people didn't understand the terms "smalls". We ordered 3 mains and although not terrible they were not fantastic and perhaps the greatest sin, all 3 dishes arrived only lukewarm. We should have sent them back but................ it was Saturday night and the restaurant was busy.
Orphan's Kitchen does have a beautiful aperitif on their menu wich does make it worth a visit - Prosecco Spritz -yummy, but for the rest I would say that there must be far more establishments in Auckland that serve interesting food and serve it hot, so why all the accolades for this place..
by Duncan Galletly
4 months ago
If you've flicked through Kinfolk and know anything about ponsonby you'll see this as an amalgam. Pale pastel walls, wooden, slightly rumpty, a sense of cleanliness, health and understated wealth. Good friendly service - the young English waiter was incredibly helpful and incredibly frantic. 9.00am Sunday morning. Just the two for coffee and breakfast. We eat in the "courtyard" under the increasingly fashionable beehives to the buzzing of bees. A barbecue was billowing smoke as one of the cooks manhandled large chunks of sweet smelling cow or sheep from it. It struck me as interesting to see the look on his sweating face surrounded by smoke and flame - an artisan / cook, the true creator , out back and invisible to the Prada of the dining area.
We were on a short timeframe and when we told the waiter he ensured speedy arrival of trim caps - Supreme, single origin, well textured with a flavour of toasted hazelnuts, no bitterness and unburnt. The food followed, also quickly - : crumpet with burnt butter and honey, which was lovely but the burnt butter might have been more evident. It gave a sense that one more thing might be needed - I'm not sure what but it seemed incomplete - I think the feeling was compounded by the crumpet being cake-like with a fine crumb rather than a traditional one where there is variation in texture. .: Mushrooms, quark, chive, truffle and brioche- basically mushrooms in a broth with chunks of toasted brioche thrown on top - the mushrooms were field and maybe oyster, the latter gave (at least I think it was the mushroom) a slight bitterness which went through the delicate and perfectly balanced broth - it wasn't unpleasant by any means - it added interest. The truffle I suppose was in the few drops of oil on the surface, or the few little flakes of black that sat on the bottom but I couldn't taste it.
Kinfolksy ceramics. The loo is cute and worth a visit. Very child and adult friendly. Will go back for dinner when we can.
Having slept on it after writing the above a small voice told me I had to be more honest - that I had found the crumpet boring and too much the same - I think I would prefer a real, thick home-made crumpet , served with burnt butter on the side to be spread over, and with the honey also separate (perhaps infused with the truffle that I couldn't taste in the mushrooms) to be poured over that.
by Good Food, Good Times
4 months ago
After a long awaited visit to dine at orphans kitchen I finally got the chance with my good friend for her birthday.
Great vibes, beautiful dinner wear and the food for the eye looked amazing. Being a cold night I was hanging out for some comfort food and went for the mushroom pasta with an extra treat of shaved truffle. My main let down for the dish was that the rehydrated (or waiter told me dehydrated) pieces of mushroom were hard as rocks and weren't pleasant to bite into every now and then.
The wagu cheeks needed more seasoning. Kumera chips, yum but we got mostly the dregs from the fryer. Also I noticed all the tables around us were given bread and only found out when paying the bill that we were meant to have bread also but none arrived at our table.
Mentioned this feedback to waitstaff who weren't to interested.
Dessert, the dark chocolate with licorice icecream was good but was hoping for more of a less sweet dessert.
Overall, a nice visit but a few let downs which mean I won't be hurrying back there.
5 months ago
Instagrammers rejoice at the opportune visual feasts provided at Orphans Kitchen. Though unfortunately my tastebuds didn't feast as much. Opting for the 'bacon, feijoa, vine tomatoes and avocado on spelt' concoction, because who else puts feijoas on the menu, I was quite disappointed when it was revealed the feijoa component was just feijoa chutney, and the chutney was much too strong and sweet, overruling everything else. When I removed any trace of chutney, the meal dramatically improved but then just became boring, except for the fried duck egg extra I added which was a glorious egg. My companion noted her smoked fish meal was good but not the best she's had. I wish I enjoyed the food as much as all other aspects of this place (though the dinner menu may fare better). Service was fantastic, iced coffee tumbler fancy and I loved the sophisticated meets simplistic dining hall interior with macrocarpa timber high tables, sheep skin stool toppings, classic exposed light bulbs and a majestic mirror (perfect for those pretentious Ponsonby posse's).
6 months ago
Enjoyed a lovely brunch on Saturday at this cool place. The food was amazing!!! We had the homemade crumpets and mushroom broth with brioche, what a refreshingly innovative yet delicious meal. Can't wait to go back to try more menu items! The coffee was surprisingly sour for Supreme so was slightly disappointed with it. Also keen to try the white hot choc with buffalo milk which they ran out.
by Carla Paloma
6 months ago
Amazing food! Amazing waiters. The food took a long time and they compensated with complementary treats. I loved their drinks and the interior architecture. We had appetizers and mains , all of them magnificent and unique. I had a really delicious watermelon starter and a fish for a main. I highly recommend their ginger tea.
by Phoenix Brown
7 months ago
One of my fav places ever the food is so delicious and the atmosphere is such a good vibe love the food ??? have been here twice in the last month
by Bettina Tran
7 months ago
There's been a hype about this place and it lived it up. We were first served with butter and bread and the butter had some ash in it. It was nice. We ordered cerviche and beef as our entrée to share between the three of us. Mains we got lamb, beef and fish. All of them had clean flavours and simple. Service was good and efficient. It was an enjoyable night out.
by Candy Boy Food Journey
7 months ago
After reading the phenomenal review in Herald we had to go and try it. Unfortunately we were really disappointed. The menu is very boring, food was blend and the staff overworked. Mushrooms were very blend and overcooked & avocado smash had way too much chilli flakes. Not going back!
by Amy @ My Dining Journey
9 months 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.
Aug 31, 2014
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
Aug 24, 2014
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
Aug 23, 2014
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.
Aug 03, 2014
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!
Jul 18, 2014
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
Jun 28, 2014
Flavours that and food tastes and combinations that sent me some where I have never been . FeelI had been an orphan .
Jun 18, 2014
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
Jun 18, 2014
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
Jun 16, 2014
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
Jun 01, 2014
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
May 11, 2014
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
Apr 18, 2014
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
Apr 09, 2014
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.
Mar 21, 2014
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.
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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