ORANA means welcome in an Aboriginal dialect from New South Wales, and we certainly got a warm welcome at Orana This Way in Ardross.
Our exuberant waiter was high on life as she buzzed around the busy lunch time eatery, efficiently delivering drinks and food to all and sundry, while still smiling like a Cheshire cat.
I ordered the pasta of the day from the specials board ($19.99 with a glass of vino).
D’Angerous Dave went for the penne verdure ($18).
We obviously hadn’t thought this through as it turned out they were one and the same.
On the plus side the crunchy vegetable pasta dish was great – rich and tangy with stacks of cauliflower, carrot, zucchini and capsicum, and a liberal topping of shaved parmesan.
“It’s lovely and creamy and the sauce is nice and thick, and very cheesy,” Dave said.
Four women at the next table were tucking into a beef salad, a spicy chicken salad, and a Caesar salad (all $19).
They were happy to pause between bites to say how good each dish was, and how fresh the salads were.
“The beef is tender and the Asian dressing with pine nuts is great,” said one of them.
The chicken was also moist and tender, said the others.
We wanted a rich finale and ordered a Bailey’s creme brûlée ($12) and a butter scotch crepe ($10).
Crunchy crystallised sugar topped the smooth brûlée, which had the right balance of sweetness and pleasant Bailey’s tang.
Dave went all lyrical over his warm crepe, which had a vanilla ice cream filling and was smothered in butter scotch sauce.
“It’s like angels’ wings on a cloud – soft and fluffy and delicate, while making the taste buds orgasm,” he said, leaving me wondering if someone had popped a Viagra into his sparkling mineral water.
by JENNY D’ANGER
Orana This Way
18 Riseley Street, Ardross
open 7 days 11.30am-2.30pm,