If you were asked to do Brazilian-Japanese you are likely to think you are in for some form of minimalist hair removal procedure. The ‘Brazilian’ came to fame in the nineties and was popularised by Sex and the City, the version Henry’s is making famous is far from a salon, it’s a unique fusion of the two cultures and cuisines. Pre WWII booming coffee plantations attracted Japanese emigrants to Brazil and the Japanese diaspora blended some incredible flavours which Sam Ha and team behind Henrys Cronulla have now brought to Neutral Bay.
It’s an elegant space but not OTT, you can hear a contemporary lounge playlist over the crowd, and it’s buzzing for lunch. Chef Allan Mikami (Light Brigade, Monopole) showcasing an impressive cherry blossom tattoo is in the kitchen and paying deep attention to plate presentation, his inspiration originates from his mum’s fusion creations and his time in Japan.
It’s Sunday lunch so start slow with a blood orange margarita with some seafood bites. The most perfect caramelised scallops you’ve ever seen arrive in a pool of creamy bread sauce and are topped with decadent avruga caviar, two are not enough, it’s plate-licking. The Yellowfin tuna sashimi dressed in wasabi ponzu with pickled cucumber is a signature dish and you’ll see why it’s genius. If you are a fan of full flavoured whites, the Clare Valley Allandale Chardonnay is the companion for these seafood flavours. Spoilt for choice in the sophisticated seafood starters, it might be logical to skip over the tacos, you can get those anywhere right? Don’t make that mistake, the crispy fish tacos with habanero mayo are the definition of moorish (really who doesn’t love a seafood taco?).
The wine menu is not overwhelming but well appointed. We choose another great South Australian wine, the smooth Pikes Luccio Sangiovese with the mains. Some big dishes that shouldn’t be ignored include the crispy duck breast nestled in a fluorescent smooth carrot puree. With a side of fried cauliflower with pickled ginger you’ll savour that perfect balance chefs seek in their pairings. The show stealer however is the Tajima Wagyu rump dressed in a version of chimmi churri, drizzled with Japanese jus it’s the literal fusion of cultures and a steak that you talk about for days.
You may be feeling stuffed so it’s a good thing the desserts are light and refreshing. The Yuzu cremeux with lemon granita is divine. Henry’s philosophy is that good things should be shared, you’ll most definitely see this in how generous the portions are how many groups are sitting for hours sharing the experience. If you’ve not experienced this Asian-South American combo be sure to make it a destination, you’ll be taken to both places at once!
Shop 2, 19-25 Grosvenor St, Neutral Bay NSW 2089
Open:Wed, Thu & 12pm–3pm, 6pm–10pm, Fri & Sat 12pm–10pm