May 31, 2011

The Rocking New Restaurant In Orange

This cosy new restaurant has a distinctive French feel, with comfy red leather sofas scattered around the 'reception room' to welcome you as you walk in the door. As soon as we arrived, our BYO bottle was whisked away and we were shown to our table in the main dining room which has a nice ambiance and isn't too formal or fussy. Lots of clean crisp white with red accents on the tables and walls - très Parisian!

The menu features lots of potential sharing options, but be warned, the portion sizes are generous so don't get tempted and over order. We were completely full after sharing an entree ($14) followed by three main course dishes ($18 each). We started with a prosciutto, tomato and basil bruschetta topped with shaved parmesan, the flavours were fresh and well balanced but it was a bit messy to eat as everything kept falling off the bread.

We loved the slow cooked bbq pork belly with bok choy followed by lamb served on a potato gratin with a yummy jus. Not knowing if we were going to get much veg we ordered the sides of greens with garlic which were delicious. We probably didn't need to then eat kingfish with a creamy butter sauce & served with asparagus but it was presented beautifully and fell apart with a touch of the fork. One of the most interesting things on the menu was the statement that ‘On first dates at The Rocking Horse Lounge more than 98% get their leg over.’ Newly dating couples take note!

Despite feeling ready to burst we managed to squeeze in some honeycomb cheesecake for dessert ($10) and just one more glass of red wine. We had assumed that the restaurant had just opened but it has in fact been open for a full 6 weeks. There were 4 tables taken in the restaurant at 7.30pm on a Friday night, which was a shame as everything about The Rocking Horse Lounge is delightful. A marketing blast and some more signage out the front so people know when the restaurant is open wouldn't go amiss.

So to round up, the service was attentive; the food delicious, the price offered great value and the ambiance was lovely. The biggest hurdle will be getting the people of Orange out of winter hibernation and into the restaurant. With some serious marketing to get the word out, this restaurant should be permanently humming.

If you are wanting to check out the Rocking Horse Lounge menu then simply click here.


  1. Latest Update - we went for dinner at the Rocking Horse Lounge last week for my birthday. The restaurant is looking lovely and there is still that nice cosy feel, but be warned the prices have gone up.

    Expect to pay around $30 for a main and $20 for an entree, desserts are $12 - $14. The restaurant is also licensed now and whilst the wine list is reasonable and offers a good selection it means no more cheap byo nights.

    We had some stand out dishes but also some fairly ordinary ones so for the price point the Rocking Horse Lounge isn't offering the same value as before - shame.

  2. Update 11.11.12

    We arrived for dinner on Sat night at 8pm and didn't get our main course until 10pm, despite asking the waitress 3 times where our meals were.

    Every table around us who had ordered approximately 5 mins earlier got their meals 35 minutes before us. No one communicated the delay or apologised until we started complaining. I was even told that 1hr 40 minutes wasn't long to wait for 3 starters and 3 mains - great attitude!

    Waitress also forgot to give us a wine list, ice bucket for wine or amuse bouche we will definitely not be going back.

    Word of warning if you get offered a table at 8pm - find another restaurant. We were not impressed & Mr L'Orange was pretty furious with the waitress & didn't seem to think there was a problem and didn't want to apologise.

    There was some kind of disclaimer on the menu that new kitchen staff were on board and to be patient - hello, this is supposed to be a good restaurant?!