Finally, I made my return to Henry’s Table. It’s been 3 months since we were last here and in those 3 months, I have recommended Henry’s Table to everyone. “Where can I take my wife for out anniversary?” “Henry’s Table”, “I need a place to entertain Interstate clients” “Henry’s Table”, “Where should I go to dinner before seeing The Book of Mormon?” “Henry’s Table”, “Where should I have my 40th”? “Henry…….actually somewhere else because that’s where I’m having mine and I don’t want you to steal it”. So here we are again, a few tweaks to the menu from last time I can now test the consistency of Henry’s Table to see if it actually stacks up.
Our evening was off to a cracking start with Sweet Master Stock Twice Cooked Pork Belly, served with a small steam bun and spicy sauerkraut crispy noodle. With a bit of a Korean influence on the dish the pork is fall apart tender and has a smoky, dark rich flavour from the master stock. The sweet master stock reduction is sweet and plays off the crispy noodle. A perfect start – what a showstopper.
The first time we came I regretted not having the Berbere Spice Braised Duck Wrapped in Brik Pastry, so it was a simple decision to have it this time. The shredded duck is encased in the crunchy pastry topped with grated roasted carrot is delicious but it’s the muhammara – a middle eastern hot pepper dip that is the star. Spicy and exotic everything about this dish is wonderful, you simply must try it.
A sliced Grilled Lamb Loin is served with cabernet sauvignon vinegar roasted beetroots and horseradish cream. We were intrigued with the lamb and horseradish pairing, neither of us have had it before and wow – does it work! This is everything I would expect to be paired with beef – beetroot and horseradish but this tender, rare lamb stands up against the bold flavours beautifully. The charring on the outside and the heavy-handed seasoning give the lamb the extra oomph it needs. Walnuts and witlof allow the diner to play with texture, the bitter crisp leaves are exceptional.
Ask any of the staff what their favourite dish is and you will almost exclusively get a response that includes the House Made Pappardelle, I agree whole-heartedly. On first impression – roasted fennel with pasta, how can that even work? It’s glorious. Thick, glossy, sweet bulbs of fennel are tossed through the pasta with spinach and peas. There is no sauce as such, a ricotta salata melts into the pasta stands adding a creamy element with is paired with a nutty, chunky pesto. The spinach is thick and rustic so I don’t even notice the lack of meat. It’s fresh but hearty. Satisfying without being too heavy.
Next up we had the Hiramasa Kingfish Tataki with soba noodles, dashi broth and bonito, topped with crispy shavings of leek and ginger oil. Tataki is expectedly very smoky and the dashi broth infuses some sweetness. The Japanese inspired dish is true to its roots, delicate but with complex, layered flavours.
Last time we visited Henry’s Table we had the fillet steak and at the time I reported it was one of the best steaks I have ever had. 3 months later I still standby this statement. But our mission to report on the full menu this time we tried the 300g Rump. There is a significant price difference; $29 vs the $45 fillet and this is a very different dish. Using a cheaper, tastier cut the rump is paired with bolder flavours; a vibrant green chimichurri that boasts raw astringent garlic Spanish onion and pillowy soft slow roasted tomatoes cooked out with saffron. Our steak was textbook rare, with a beautiful crust, melting inside and had been rested perfectly.
For dessert we had a Warm Banana Pudding. Here we see a classic combination of banana, rum, honey and walnut. It’s a tried and true mix and a favourite to many. The airy banana pudding is fluffy and soft with smooth honey ice cream and a generous drizzle of rich, warm rum sauce. Very pleasing on a winter’s night.
Up to this point I haven’t had a chestnut dish that I have enjoyed but this has now been turned on its head with the Caramelised Chestnut Semifreddo. Soft and airy semifreddo is smooth and creamy with an exciting chew from the studded chestnuts. A bowl of delectable warm cinnamon spiced blueberries and strips of chewy meringue round out this wonderful dessert.
My expectations were very high for my second visit to Henry’s Table. Again, I was wowed by the beauty of the glamourous dining room and smitten by the entry bar. The menu had seen some seasonal changes but retained its global influence with plenty of choice. My friends, I am happy to report that my experience was as wonderful on this second visit placing Henry’s Table in my top picks for Adelaide dining.
Words by Kate Wilkinson
WHERE: 288 North Tce, Adelaide