Picking a place to eat on Chapel St can be tricky if you're anything like me as you get too picky, or continually look for the very best place, or the very cheapest place, or just don't know what you're in the mood to eat. This time we stopped at Orange - one of the first places we came across to avoid the endless walking and debating as one of us had heard they did good coffee - which surely most places do on Chapel St anyway.
So in we strutted to the wrong bit of Orange and were a little confused by the fact that there was no one coming to serve us and we were in a room that seemed to have a pub-style counter, tables and chairs and a toilet. The walls were covered in cool looking posters and even a framed picture of Kramer from Seinfeld.
Then we realised there was a next door and felt like right royal idiots. Anyway, we got a comfy booth to sit in and had a look at the breakfast menu. A waitress came to take our drinks order straight away and was pleasant. My latte was good - a little cooler than I usually like, and I don't like mine particularly hot - but the flavour was good. I could see what the reports of good coffee were about - according to the website it's Sensory Lab by St Ali coffee. One of my friends got a Chai latte which she enjoyed.
We hadn't discussed what we were going to get and so when a waitress came and my partner and myself ordered the same dish it was strange - partly because he usually always gets meaty things, but mostly because the menu was pretty good and usually we'd get something different so we could try each other's. Anyway our selection was the bean n cheese option - house made baked beans with pesto and feta on Turkish toast and we both added poached eggs. The other meal ordered was the Frenchy - pan fried brioche, with caramelised banana, bacon, and pure maple syrup.
We all enjoyed our meals. I thought the beans could've used a slight sweetness to really amp up the dish but my partner thought it was grand just as it was. I also polished off mine in its entirety, so I wasn't too bothered by the lack of sweetness to cut through the savoury flavour. The sweet tooth of my friend was satisfied by the Frenchy, and the servings were hearty.
The food took a while to come out which could've bothered us but didn't, even though they weren't particularly busy. We chatted and flicked through the newspapers and magazines they had there so it wasn't too bad. It was a nice place to relax for a while as well, with a mix of kitsch and cool ornaments and decorations - lots of bright orange things and then records like Hell up in Harlem on the walls. There was a New York kind of vibe going on but not like it was trying too hard. There's an easy kind of cool feeling to the place overall.
I had a peek through at the other room, where there was a lovely fire that would be divine to sit in front of on a cool day. It was nice and warm on this occasion though, and if I'd seen it earlier, I probably would've wanted to sit in the cool outdoor patio area.
Orange didn't induce fireworks of love or wonder to go off before my eyes but it was a better breakfast than a few others I had in the days before and after and the overall feel of the place was definitely a good one. I'd go back but it isn't a 'must dine here before you die' kind of place. Still its longevity says a lot too and I'm sure they have a very loyal customer base. Perhaps on my next visit I'll be wowed.