Living it large at Henry’s Cafe Bar, Piccadilly

08 Jul 2016

In complete, unabashed honesty, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Henry’s Cafe Bar. I wasn’t familiar with the name, and a quick peek at the menu before heading over, led to me expect some fairly standard pub-grub. A wide selection of food was on offer, which really makes decisions difficult and makes it hard to detect a vibe until you’re actually in the restaurant. At the very least I expected a standard fare meal, and a good bottle of wine with a friend. I mean, depending on the friend of course.

Once we got to the Piccadilly location, conveniently just across from Green Park station, I realised that I had walked past the place many times before and not given it a second glance. Once we were inside, however, I was shocked to see just how expansive the location was. Big restaurants can sometimes leave you feeling a little lost and vulnerable in space, a little too exposed to your dining neighbours (a little like the new naked dining pop-up in London, but far less social-media-worthy), but this was far from the case.

Watching plates of food be brought out to other tables, my mouth began to water and I knew I had severely underestimated the menu! Never one for convention, we decided to dig into the Pulled Pork Steam Buns (£7.49), as a shared entree before my seafood main – and I highly recommend you all do the same. I love a steamed bun but am always wary as the bun/filling ratio can be hard to master, and you find yourself one mouthful into a deliciously aromatic bun, left with nothing but dough and searching under the table to find the remainder of the pulled pork – the biggest of disappointments. But do not fear! Henry’s has their ratio spot on, so order with faith.

I was eyeing the Salmon and King Prawn Risotto (£14.49), however once I noticed the Seafood Mixed Grill (seabass, salmon, and king prawn skewers – £15.29), I knew there would be no other option that would satisfy me. Huge portions made me (almost) question the decision of a starter, although I didn’t let that stop me. Salmon was crispy but juicy, and the prawns were seriously huge. My friend went for the Beef and Double Gloucester Steak Pie (£11.79), so huge, it could barely be contained on the plate, and by all accounts was just as delicious as it looked.

The service there was also completely top notch – one waitress saw us through from start to finish, and despite the restaurant being rather busy (another testimonial, considering it was a Tuesday night!) both us and all the tables around, were never left wanting.

Overall, if you’re looking for a location with a reasonably priced menu, decent food, and a nice ambience in a good location, you can’t really look any further than Henry’s Cafe Bar. Especially for somewhere so central, the vibe was neither touristy, nor exclusively the haunt of men in suits. My expectations were certainly exceeded from the moment I walked through the door till the moment I left. We finished up our meals, drained the last drops from our bottle of wine and agreed that it was a most pleasant evening – the conversation wasn’t half bad either.

Ashleigh

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