Orrange is the latest restaurant to open in Port Coquitlam, and it has certainly been much anticipated by everyone I have spoken to. On the north side of PoCo on Nicola across from Costco, this new eatery is poised on the edge of a huge new development at Freemont. It’s ready for the thousands of residents that will call that area ‘home’ in the next few years.
Though obviously open at the time of my visit in late April, they had not had their official grand opening yet. That certainly did not stop the Saturday evening crowds packing out the lower level for drinks, eats and a Canucks game. The upper level will ease the crowding somewhat, and the not-quite-finished-yet patio will be fantastic upon completion and the increase in warmer weather. For now it’s tough to get a table. With 75 years of combined experience in owners Brian Orrange, David Nickel and Jesse Harris, there’s likely little these guys haven’t seen in the restaurant biz. If the early crowds are any indication they seem to be on the right track for this Tri-Cities restaurant.
Funky Feel at new PoCo Restaurant
The decor is stylish and cool, with a large bar with seating around it taking centre stage on the main floor. Smaller tables are arranged around the outside walls and larger tables are set just beyond the libations. Giant TV screens allow you to catch the game and a ‘feature wall’ of 70’s fridge doors provides an interesting talking point and funky vibe. Overall Orrange has a great look and comfortable atmosphere that is a welcome addition to a neighbourhood that is sporting more fast food restaurants per square kilometre than most in the Tri-Cities.
The Menu at Orrange
I found the menu a little confusing to be honest. The names and descriptions of the various items all seemed vague and based on inside jokes, which necessitated lots of questions for the server. The beef dip and burger are pretty self evident, but other items like ‘The Leigh Brandt’ or ‘Chinese Take Out’ required some explanation. Also, the menu seemed small to me. I understand that a too-large and varied menu could result in a compromise on quality, but there were only a couple of things that really struck my fancy.
That said, I really did love what I ordered and found it to be a pleasant surprise that was very well executed! I had the Yorkshire Beef Dip and the way they used a Yorkshire pudding dough to make a flat wrap for the beef was inspired. It tasted great and I would recommend it to anyone.
Orrange also has some pretty reasonably-priced drinks and cocktails. A glass of the house red or white for $3.95 is a bargain. They also have a number of specialty cocktails and some nice choices for on-tap beers. My next visit will include a cab ride home so that I can sample more of the mixed drinks such as the ‘No 5’ or ‘Orrange Crushable’.
We had a large group and it wasn’t easy for our server amid the chaos so I expect the service will only get better once everyone has had a chance to get their legs under them. There were a couple of mistakes from the kitchen and a little confusion around the bill at the end but I am sure it won’t be anything to worry about it in the long run. Our group had a great time, the service was prompt and courteous and any corrections were addressed quickly and without hesitation.
I have no doubt that Orrange will be around as an important player in the Port Coquitlam restaurant scene for many years as more and more people move into the Freemont neighbourhood now under construction. I look forward to another visit and I can’t wait for the patio to open.
Orrange Kitchen + Bar
111 – 1125 Nicola Ave, Port Coquitlam