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Review: A new look for Orange Restaurant in Nelspruit

The recent glamorous makeover of Orange Restaurant in Nelspruit brings the look in line with its contemporary architecture. Hennie Fisher pays the lowveld restaurant a visit.

Lunch with a view at the Orange Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Lunch with a view at the Orange Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Food

Cold and hot starters are straightforward and uncomplicated – try the avocado ritz with prawns in a tangy sauce; beef fillet carpaccio simply dressed with lemon and olive oil; or prawn tempura with spicy peanut dip. For those not so keen on red meat, there is a lovely spinach-and-ricotta ravioli for something light.

A meaty dish at the Orange Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

A meaty dish at the Orange Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Main courses are unashamedly geared towards true meat lovers, as shown by options such as eland loin, kudu fillet, châteaubriand, chocolate-chilli fillet, oxtail, and lamb shank. However, Orange has some seafood and poultry options as well.

For dessert, choose between chocolate fondant (which requires a 20 minute preparation time) served with raspberry coulis, or a mini berry pavlova.

A dessert at the Orange Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

A dessert at the Orange Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Drinks

The comprehensive wine list includes a range of options: there are two French champagnes, two MCCs (Fairview and Kaapse Vonkel from Simonsig) as well as a couple of sparkling wines. There are interesting white wines, and red options are sourced from the likes of Knorhoek, Waverly Hills, Avontuur and Boekenhoutskloof.

A well stocked bar at the Orange Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

A well stocked bar at the Orange Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Service

The waiters and front-desk staff at Orange Restaurant all go about their jobs with much good cheer and friendly smiles all round. You recognise faces from one visit to the next, and there’s a sense of belonging and wellbeing.

The deck at the Orange Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The deck at the Orange Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Ambience

The restaurant is a large, glass cube that appears to hang from one of Nelspruit’s famous granite cliffs, with tall floor-to-ceiling glass doors. The interiors have recently had a makeover, resulting in a glamorous, modern look that now fits in beautifully with the contemporary architecture. A large open kitchen allows you to keep an eye on the food preparation, while the recent revamp saw the installation of a large granite counter from which all beverages and cocktails are dispensed. Black-and-white striped wallpaper, large chandeliers, a few built-in banquettes and mix-and-match chairs upholstered in different black and white fabrics makes it very glitzy. Even though the décor is very monochromatic, their signature orange rose remains as a reference to the name of the restaurant.

Relaxing chairs and a fireplace at the Orange Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Relaxing chairs and a fireplace at the Orange Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

And…

There’s a beautiful wooden deck on a lower level that’s used for larger private tables. The overhang makes it feels as if you’re floating above the cityscape. At night, many candles and lanterns combine with the city lights to create an extremely romantic setting. The Lourie Call and Francolin Guest Houses are located on the same property, so you could always stay over should the need arise.

Have you soaked up the view at Orange Restaurant in Nelspruit? Let us know about it by writing a quick review and leaving a star rating.

Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

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