When a restaurant hires a head chef who was born and raised in Brazil to Japanese parents, and who has worked in European-leaning kitchens – including Grain of the Silos in Launceston, and Light Brigade and Monopole in Sydney – you’re guaranteed to see an interesting mix of flavours come together.
Allan Mikami leads the kitchen at the new Henrys in Neutral Bay, and his vibrant, seafood-heavy menu features dishes that are little bit Japanese, a little bit South American and a little bit European. For instance, there’s Wagyu tartare with sesame, ginger, a cured egg yolk and dehydrated seaweed, as well as yellowfin tuna sashimi with wasabi ponzu and a cucumber remoulade. For mains, you can get lamb rump with chimichurri (that vibrant green parsley sauce that originated in South America) or karaage (Japanese-style fried chicken). In other words, Mikami doesn’t discriminate when it comes to culinary rules and traditions. The restaurant, a sibling to Henrys Cronulla, is in the space that housed Woodland Kitchen and Bar, which closed last month after seven years.
Owner Sam Ha says that after purchasing Henrys from owners Publica Group (Goldfish Bar & Kitchen), her plan was always to open a second venue. Opening in Neutral Bay was less planned, though. “When I came in here and sat down for the first time, I thought how in love I was with the space. I just had to grab the opportunity,” she says.
The venue’s distinctive timber fit-out has been painted white to emulate the laid-back atmosphere of the original Henrys, and the intimate back room has been decorated with rainforest wallpaper. Black copper pendant lamps add an element of sophistication.
Restaurant manager Simona Mezzetti, who joins from Woodlands, has put together an international wine list with a conscious effort to source drops that are biodynamic, organic and vegan. Labels include Argentina’s Argento, Austria’s Kellerei Bozen and Tuscany’s Il Guardiano.
“The world and the current generation are conscious about the wine they are choosing to drink,” says Mezzetti. “It also blends with my beliefs that we need to help the planet in some way, and if we can make it taste good as well, then why not?”
She’s also responsible for the cocktail list, which includes a Negroni with blood-orange shochu, and the Pompelmo Chaser with pink-grapefruit gin, dry vermouth, sparkling rose and fresh grapefruit juice.
Henrys Neutral Bay
Shop 2, 19–25 Grosvenor Street, Neutral Bay
(02) 9904 3400
Sun to Thu 12pm–3pm, 6pm–10pm
Fri & Sat 12pm–10pm