HENRYS CRONULLA is a venue I wanted to visit over a photograph of wallpaper I saw on their instagram. You can kind of see the wallpaper on the left hand side of the below pic. It is a beautiful motif of drawn banana leaves and is very green and vibrant. In front of it that have a simple two seater tiled table. To me this picture, wallpaper and simple setting emotes a tropical, somewhat Cuban vibe. That mixed with cocktails, close to the beach, Summer and modern Australian food and I was all over this place. It was with much excitement that I gleefully accepted my invite from Clive at I AM STRATEGIST to attend this place out in the Shire.
HENRYS CRONULLA VENUE:
It is this Shire thing that was the first downer for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Shire, but for a day trip for lunch where you can’t drink too much because you are driving the 90mins each way somewhat detracted from my excitement on the day. The second downer when arriving in Cronulla was that it was basically the first hot day in Spring 2016 and when I got to Cronulla I had to park about a kilometre away to get parking – first world beach living woes I know.
But all my woes washed away when I got to the venue, it is bright. warm, comforting, and something you would expect in upmarket beach areas. If it was about ten times the size you would think it was a relation to the NEWPORT ARMS. We sat outside under cover enjoying the warmth. The inside of the venue you can see above, it is beautiful. I do want that wallpaper!!!
The next winner was our waiter, a jovial, knowledgable and freaking hysterical personality. We handed over the reigns to him to steer all our meal and drink choices and I am glad we did. Now, as we were invited to review, we were entitled to a main each, a cocktail each and a share entree. We ended up getting a main to share and four entrees, we paid the extra, and all the food was delightful.
While the food is delicious I can see that the winner for this place will be the location, the sunny weather, and the social lubrication. The wine menu isn’t online but from my patchy memory it was pretty decent, pretty sure I ordered a sangiovese off the menu. The cocktails were a winner and something I would love to indulge in more often. The above is the Granatum which I inhaled. Wild Turkey bourbon, pama pomegranate liqueur, lemoncello, fresh lemon and pineapple juice served over ice in a highball glass for $18-. Deelish!!!
The entrees are fun, it was more a tapas meal for us with ordering four “small” plates, as they venue likes to call them. If you averaged out all the smalls they are about $20 each. We started with the above King Crab Soldiers served with foie gras and herbs. My first foodgasm happened right here! Just loved them.
The second small plate really surprised me when it arrived. It was the Ortiz Anchovies served with house curd and smoked tomato. They literally served the tin in entirety with the accompaniments. Was this a lazy kitchen? Were they having a laugh? I had to ask our waiter – nope – we serve them like that because we import them for a reason. They are the best anchovies in the world. Agreed – I drooled over them, Nat, my guest, not so much. They were heavenly and I am trying to find some tins for my mother dearest as a Christmas present.
Following the anchovies we had another delightful morsel, Crispy Flathead Tacos with lettuce and chilli dressing. Loved these, as we did all the other dishes.
Now while the following two photos are in fact still smalls plates, we only ate the one main. The following dish was divine. Prosciutto San Daniele served with smoked buffalo mozzarella, vanilla apples, house grilled focaccia. Just heavenly – that prosciutto was next level. I think they did the anchovy thing and bought the best of the best. Two dishes down was the Prawn & Scallop ‘fettuccine’ with sauce vierge, shisho leaves, flying fish roe. It was my least favourite. Not that it was bad, we both devoured it but it was more of a “clever” dish. The prawn and scallops were cut into the shape to represent fettuccine. It looked and tasted lovely but it was overshadowed by all the other great dishes.
As for the mains themselves there are only five to choose from. A flathead dish, a Spanish mackerel dish, a $60- 400gm rump, a $110- 1kg dry aged black onyx t-bone and our dish, the main photograph for this article. The Smoked Baby Chicken served with sweetcorn puree, sauteed corn, manchego, chilli and coriander. It was perfection! So fresh and juicy and that corn puree was heavenly. If I get back to Cronulla one day I will order this dish again, and the anchovies also :).
HENRYS SIDES AND DESSERTS:
HENRYS offers a few sides and a few desserts. The (pictured below) crushed fried potatoes are a must accompaniment and while we didn’t have dessert I do need a Goat’s curd cheesecake with passionfruit sorbet and almond crumble in my life. That sounds incredible.
There is only one thing working against this place for me, the distance to get there. The good news is if I ever need to move south towards The Shire I now have a small crush on Cronulla. Quite a bit like Manly, just smaller and way further south. The food, service, cocktails and venue – basically flawless. HENRY’s is the perfect long boozy off-beach venue of the South you want to visit.
Henrys Cronulla Deets:
PH: (02) 9527 0305
BOOKINGS: Highly Recommended
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes
KID FRIENDLY: Yes – but not recommended
Wed & Thur – 6pm – 11pm
Fri & Sat – 12pm – 12am
Sun – 12pm – 10pm
*** JK (and any guests of Spooning Australia) were invited guests of the establishment. However, as always, if it was shite I would happily tell you as such.