It didn't take long for our food to start coming out and the presentation was beautiful. Sadly though, as bites were taken, opinions around the table greatly differed.
The birthday girl ordered one of the specials, pulled pork and artichoke hearts over risotto and loved it. The unexpected combination was a big hit and she was delighted by the entire dish.
Another big hit was the Chicken Spinich Salad was fresh, which had a great combination of flavors with craisins, walnuts and feta.
The other special, beef kabobs served over basmati rice, swimming in a beef broth/gravy, tasted fine, was uniteresting and uninspiring. The Margherita Pizza was decent, but again, nothing to write home about.
The burger was terribly overcooked. It was requested medium rare to medium and was definitely well done. Beyond this, it was way too salty. The fries were served in a cast iron pan (same as the dessert in the picture). While it added to the presentation, the server did not mention it was scalding hot (later, when the dessert came out, he did mention it was hot) and reaching across the plate to pick up the burger resulted in a burn on the arm. Sadly, the fries tasted like they had been fried in oil that had been used far too many times and had a fishy taste to them.
The baked apple dessert was gorgeous, but had a similar problem as the fries. Whether it was from the cast iron pan being used for both desserts and main dishes or something used to make the dessert, it tasted fishy. When we asked the server if part of it had maybe been deep fried like the fries, we were told it hadn't been. Thankfully, the server did offer to take the dessert off of the tab.
Overall, the meal was very inconsistent, which is the general response I have heard from fellow Orupa diners. While the restaurant is beautiful and the servers were attentive, the food was definitely hit or miss. I need more consistency to make Orupa a place that I'll frequent.
500 Liberty St SE
Salem, OR 97301