Orphans Kitchen (2)
118 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby. Ph 378-7979, orphanskitchen.co.nz.
Lunch Friday, dinner Tuesday-Saturday. $$
Best casual bistro / Best new talent: Tom Hishon and Josh Helm
When we reviewed this new restaurant in October 2013, we called it “fun and busy and almost perfect”. There were only four menu options for each of the smaller and larger plates, and no courtyard. It’s evolved now, and shows a maturity beyond its youth, with a fresh energy and an attractive amount of confidence. The food is clever and balanced, the product of chef and co-owner Tom Hishon’s refined yet casual style. The rye gnocchi is set with a soft hen egg, hazelnut and ever-changing vegetable accompaniments. There’s hapuku wing; salmon with fresh horseradish, celeriac, and green apple; venison with tamarillo. It’s all divine. With co-owner Josh Helm overlooking the bin-end wine list and front of house, you’re in safe hands. A perfectly realised addition to Auckland dining: long may it continue.
A favourite dish: Pork with quince, brussels sprouts and butternut.
Shared-plate options / Good for vegetarians / Good seating outside / Private room / Takes large groups / Bar / Craft beer selection / Bookings not usually taken