Lolli Redini

A visit to Orange for many means a visit to Lolli’s – for good reason. The multi-hatted restaurant founded in 2001 by Simonn Hawke is still going strong thanks to its consistently excellent food game and professional but warm service.

Lolli’s is a ‘special occasion’ venue, and with its starched tablecloths, showcase blooms and fine art, it feels decadent from start to finish, without being too prim. With a commitment to local produce, the seasonal menu has the odd French and Italian twist, while the curated wine list brims with classic and emerging local and global drops. Hint: The twice-baked Heidi Gruyere cheese soufflé has never been dropped from the menu for fear of a revolt of the dining public. Book ahead.

Lolli Redini
Charred Kitchen and Bar

Charred Kitchen and Bar

Taking its name from the custom-made, wrought iron oven at the heart of both its restaurant and culinary ethos, Charred has boldly staked its reputation with both innovative food (truffled egg with steamed custard of local truffles and chives, anyone?) and an award-winning wine list. Local chef Liam O’Brien and sommelier David Collins are respectively responsible for that dream combo, leading a friendly team who will happily answer all your food and beverage questions. Enter and gawp at the extensive bar before taking a seat in the contemporary dining space. It’s a polished experience but the delivery is friendly and relaxed. A bit like Orange, really. A tasting menu is currently served and we hear a small bar menu is imminent. (Hint: save room for dessert!)

Zona

Speaking of wood-fired oven goodness, Zona is all about that heat. Park on Summer Street and follow the path winding past the pretty rose gardens and iridescent lawn to find this slice of pizza heaven. Inside you’ll find bright murals by local artist Larissa Blake and serene blue walls that highlight features of the heritage building. Wood-fired pizza is the star of Zona’s menu (from your simple classics to the chunkier, more complicated versions) but it also has a Mediterranean-style menu of the non-doughy variety. Sit inside (there’s lots of room for larger groups) or bags a table on the veranda or lawn outside.

Zona Interior
Sweet Sour Salt restaurant, Interior. Image from Source Architects

Sweet Sour Salt

The large, hot pink neon sign, “Get Salty”, sets the scene for this generally jumping joint. In the heart of town, Sweet Sour Salt is jam-packed most nights thanks to its zesty menu of modern Asian dishes. It’s impossible to pick a favourite dish but let’s just say we are very partial to the Salt & Pepper Squid and the Son In Law Egg. The wine list is fun and occasionally cheeky, just like the service. Book ahead.

Notable Mentions

The heritage-listed village of Millthorpe is a 20-minute drive from Orange, but Tonic is worth the effort if time is on your side. Led by head chef Tony Worland and his wife Nicole (the restaurant name is a merger of theirs), Tonic nails a seasonal modern Australian menu that shines a light on local produce, including tender Cowra lamb. It’s got all the hallmarks of a swank noshery (there are linen tablecloths) but the Tonic experience is all about good times. It really is just the tonic.

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