My favourite bar in Britomart is hands down A & M Racket… Hands down. So when I heard a new restaurant had been opened up to further enhance Britomart’s most hidden of secrets, Roukai Lane, I almost had a stroke trying to contain myself. I think it took me less than a week to check it out, and god was it worth it. Having never heard a negative thing about this place, I was pleasantly surprised that the reviews I heard were no more intoxicating than the experience I had. However, I still hear of poor unfortunate underprivileged souls who haven’t even heard of it yet.
Photo Cred // Orleans
Located closer to Customs Street than Galway, Orleans squeezes its stretched façade into a cozy spot in the aforementioned Roukai Lane. Lined with hardwood décor following an old fashioned New Orleans driven style (no surprises there), Orleans opens itself up to the public most hours of each day; except for hangover breakfasts on the weekends. Its blackened wood leaners greet you with the more popular trend of cutlery and menus preset in jars central on the table, which you find after a warm American greeting from a beautiful, flamboyantly dressed Maître D as you follow the train of her dress to your seat.
More often than not, however, this is often succeeding a substantial wait - during which they encourage you to take a seat in none other than my favourite cocktail bar! A bit cheeky considering they are owned by the same people. But, this is the only negative thing I can say about this place as the charmingly crafted décor is complimented by two old-style bar tops and neon lights boasting “Liquor”, making it clear where you can find such. The creative sounds of live jazz bands fill the smoky air Wednesday through Saturday, unless you’re there for a Black Club event in which case you’ll find the current Hip Hop superstar greeting your ears. To some, Orleans could be considered a noisy venue, but to me the jazz influence that bounces off the malt-tinted windows is the perfect final touch on an amazing concept popped cheekily into the middle of Britomart.
Hailing from a style packed full of old jazz, funk and blues influences Orleans boasts a menu that reflects much of the cuisine New Orleans used to offer. At a range of prices you can find yourself tucking into tapas style dishes that each tickle the taste buds in their own unique way. Starting with the Po Boys, New Orleans style deli sandwiches filled with pork or whatever special they have dreamt up, these are kind of an altered take on the pork sliders everyone knows and loves. And well worth the $8.
Chicken Waffle – Photo Cred // Orleans
As you lay your eyes on the foldout menu that is almost a puzzle in itself, you’re drawn to their other classic dishes with an inexpensive range boasting Baked Gnocchi, Blackened Chicken, Salmon Collars (which are worth killing for), and Jalapeno Corn Bread, Classic Ribs or my favourite, the Chicken Waffle. This dish in my mind deserves a special mention. The soul food style take on an American diner classic is always a must when I visit Orleans and is often the first thing I order. And you MUST do the same: the mixture of textures and flavours’ from their corn flour waffles and fried chicken is coated in a healthy dose of maple chipotle syrup which pairs the two main ingredients excellently.
I could talk about the chicken waffle for days and not get tired but another special mention goes to the “Liquor” supplied to wash it down with. The bar offers an extensive classic cocktail range which, as is often the case, is more expensive than the food. But the Ramos Gin Fizz, and Peychaud’s punch provide a perfect beverage with which to compliment the dining experience. Backed up by friendly helpful service to complete the atmosphere, it’s hard to say this place hasn’t got it on point.
Ramos Gin Fizz – Photo Cred // Orleans
So, you poor unfortunate underprivileged souls who haven’t yet heard of this slice of beauty Britomart has brought to us to brighten the world, now you have, and if you haven’t yet experienced life after Orleans, maybe you should fix that. It’s not the same. Follow them on Instagram or check out their Facebook and make a time to visit Roukai Lane’s little piece of New Orleans in the city of sails. You won’t regret it.