On site parking, complete with security guard in his guard house sheltering from the rain, immediately washed away any concerns there might have been about vehicle security.
We made a quick dash to the door, opened for us by a waiter wearing a happy smile. Having made a reservation, we were ushered to our table. The first impression is the vibrant, elaborate and appropriate décor. Without overdoing the effect, you certainly get an impression of what New Orleans in Louisiana might feel like.
We specifically noted how the light music in the background fitted the same genre. Drinks were offered and served and we moved onto the menu.
Although quite “pedestrian” in its presentation, the menu offered sufficient variety, though if you happened to be a vegetarian, your options were limited.
Being carnivores, this did not bother us, but if we had a vegetarian friend with us they would have been disappointed.
Our starters made an auspicious beginning to our New Orleans experience.
I am convinced that it was only the salmon and asparagus filling inside my wraps that prevented the lightest of pastry from simply floating away!
While the crumbed chicken strips had just the right crispiness on the outside, with a perfect compliment of barbeque sauce. Then we moved on to bacon wrapped chicken breast and flame grilled pepper fillet steak.
To the accompaniment of the sound of falling rain, we devoured our main courses. Although the vegetables provided only a minor supporting role to the main course, our attention was very much focused on the star performers, the chicken and steak.
The food was spectacular, awakening taste buds that had otherwise been on vacation.
We accompanied the meal with our third choice wine. The first and second choices from the limited wine list were not available, which was a slight disappointment.
There was nothing wrong with the red wine we finally settled on, but with a limited selection, I would expect that every option should be available.
We were then surprised when given white wine glasses, and slightly shocked when the waiter said that they did not have red wine glasses. When a certain high standard has been set, then it is the small things that take away the shine.
Crème caramel and a chocolate topped mousse were our choices for dessert. We could not fault the mousse, and the caramel was good, as good as one would expect from a standard caramel.
The art of a really great caramel, though, is in achieving the genuine caramel flavour somewhere after the Ccème caramel is cooked, and just before it is over-cooked.
Coffee and a Don Pedro finished off a very satisfying meal. Without doubt, the food and service at New Orleans is at the highest level you can expect. The setting, ambience and relaxed atmosphere are the perfect accompaniment to an enjoyable evening.
When presented with such a high standard, it is easy to be critical of the smaller issues, but those are the areas that will elevate the experience to one of perfection.
By the end of the evening, the rain had spent its enthusiasm, during which time we had had a fantastic meal.
Expect to spend US$20 to US$30 per head
35 Leander Avenue, Hillside, Byo.