Taking the place of Agents & Merchants and District Dining just off Customs St, Orleans is an ode to its Southern American namesake drawing heavily on the region's Creole cooking style as well as the city's deep seated roots in jazz culture. The result is not only a bar and restaurant but the sole Auckland restaurant offering a live soundtrack while you dine, with live local jazz kicking off from 8pm on every given night of the week. The room is dimly lit and comfortable, a world away from the pizzazz of the city's famous Mardi Gras, instead rounded off with a mish-mash of Americana and framed pictures of old jazz legends against the restaurant's dark wooden walls.
As mentioned by the friendly wait staff, the menu is separated into bowl sizes, comprising big, little, side and sweet - making the decision reasonably easy if your eyes are the same size as your stomach. You can't look past classics like the Orleans Cornflake Chicken Waffle with buttermilk fried chicken, maple glaze and sage butter ($15) and Southern Gumbo, a combination of shrimp, chicken, okra, and smoky as hell andouille sausage ($18), something you would rarely find anywhere else around town. Also try the refreshing Chicken Crackle Salad with black eyed beans, mint, fennel and citrus ($10). A selection of Po Boy, the traditional Louisiana state sandwich, are also available in four options - fried chicken, crumbed oyster, pork and fresh market fish. We opted for the latter which was Trevally on the night accompanied with a fresh green olive, chilli, apple and herb salad for only $8.50.
Leave the car at home if you're looking to take advantage of the cocktail menu. The selection of classic Southern American cocktails are on the stronger side and could possibly fuel up the taxi for the ride home. The Sazerac ($15), a mixture of rye bourbon, bitters and ricard, is a given - it's the official drink of New Orleans after all. For something on the lighter side, a well thought out selection of wine and beer is available as well as American sodas and bottomless filter coffee.