Orient is an Asian restaurant located in Melrose Arch. If you have been to the arch, the purple glow emanating from the Orient is sure to have caught your eye. I have eaten at a fair share of Asian restaurants but have avoided this for awhile because I thought it pretencious and overpriced with few menu options.
From the outside looking in, it has always appeared to be a beautiful restaurant in my mind. The reality was disappointing. We were seated in the outdoor section that is open during the warmer months. I found it to be a little cramped especially since we happened to be seated near the most obnoxiously loud and uncouth people I have had the misfortune of sharing a dinner space with.
There are four different levels of seating but none of the areas flowed together. This is the view of ground floor from above.
The basement level plays home to the bar area and can easily be used for a private function.
Dim lighting and the use of dark colours gives the restaurant the appearance of a trendy night club. If you are big enough a group you might be lucky enough to find yourself at a table with a moving tray in the middle. Dinner didn’t get off to the greatest start as they were out of litchi juice so I couldn’t have the drink I wanted. Our waitress didn’t even attempt to recommend an alternative. Even more ridiculous is the R70 price tag for a bottle of water. I am so tired of restaurants overcharging for water. It all tastes the same even if it is supposed to be fancy water. Just rather give me a bottle of Valpre and charge me something reasonable.
We tried the 4 piece dim sum combo with prawn gao, chi chee gao, celery pao and spinach and cream cheese gao for R69. Dim Sum is one of those dishes I have such high hopes for and always get disappointed. I liked the flavours of the crab and prawn dim sum while the celery and spinach on the other hand were bland.
The chicken satay for R61 was horrible. It had a unappetizing chicken taste and the peanut sauce resembled a thick sour peanut paste.
After the horrendous chicken starter I was skeptical to order any other chicken dish here. For mains I had the prawn green curry for R143. The flavours were really good but I still prefer Saigon’s as they also add litchi to the dish.
Prawn phad thai made with Thai styled stir fried noodles, prawn, tofu, nuts, egg and bean sprouts for R109 was right up the fiancé’s alley. He really enjoyed it and thought it was quite good. If you don’t mind sweet flavours it’s worth giving a try.
Service was very average. Our waitress was good at disappearing. She never checked if we were okay with our drinks. After declining dessert we didn’t see her for an hour and our takeaway was forgotten about. Overall the experience was average, the main meals good, starters dismal and the price expensive. It is a more upmarket Asian restaurant than the ones you usually find on this side of Johannesburg but I won’t be eating here again if I can help it.
Ring: (011) 684 1616
Hop: 4 High Street, Melrose Arch, Sandton
Oriental & Dim Sum,