Cheap, high quality fine dining.
OK, it's me again. The reason for posting yet another review is that Henry's Kitchen has moved to a new venue at King Edward Mall. Bigger place, much better decor than before (new renovation), high ceiling, good ambiance, lots of wood panels and a large bar. The price is about the same as before, but food portions have shrunken just a tad, which I find perfectly justified given that we get to eat in a much nicer surrounding. Most important of all, the food quality remains as great as before, with a wonderful selection of wines by the glass, plus Henry has added a few very tempting creations to the menu. Still unbeatable value for money!
I absolutely love every dish Henry has had to offer so far--although I have yet to order the pasta on the regular menu. The daily menu is always so appetizing. The foie gras is delicious! Yummy, tender leg of duck confit. Juicy steaks, surprisingly light Chocolate ganache cake. Amazingly low prices for such fine dining courses. Great quality, great value, great taste! All in a fairly casual, clean, albeit tiny establishment. Be sure to call in advance for reservations!
I ordered the smoke salmon linguine. It was a bit dry, but otherwise tasted good. I was really put off when I found a long curly hair in my food. But things like this happens, so I just picked it out. The quality of the ingredients seemed pretty good.
When a restaurant is charging high prices, I expect good service. This was not the case. The service was not professional. We went on a weekday and the restaurant closed at 9pm. At 8:45pm, the blinds were closed and the music was then turned off. Would you expect this from a 5 star restaurant? Hardly!
This place is confused. When you're providing mediocre service (a more home-style approach), why are you charging such high prices? $18 for linguine? I would rather go to Q4 for that price. I think they should either lower their prices or provide better service. Their website and menus also need to be updated for they lack professionalism that is expected of a restaurant with such a high price point.
Once again, is this a cozy cafe or a fine dining restaurant? The bottom of the chairs should be padded, because against the tile floors, every time anyone stood up or sat down, it made a horrible screeching noise that echoed throughout the restaurant.
I wanted to love it, but I just can't! I'll be sticking with solid Italian restaurants like Quattro from now on.
We've been to the old place a long, long time ago. Despite the bad reviews here, we decided to drop in on a Friday night and have a look.
It was reasonably busy, but probably not as much as they should be. Decor is , umm ... well, in Vancouver it would be "dated and out of style". Were it a little restaurant in France, maybe the description would be more generous.
Nothing wrong with the service, but there is no pretense at matching what the best in the city have to offer.
Food. Let's start with the positives. The ingredients are absolutely top notch. Each dish seemed to have been cooked to near-perfection. I had a roast chicken (I specifically chose that to as a test) and it was tasty, tender and moist, even by Chinese chicken standards. I would say the plating is less than top, but otherwise, two thumbs up on the food.
People have been complaining about value. That's a tougher question. Most mains run between $20-30. That's not cheap. On the good side, have you been to Earl's lately? (or Cactus or Milestone's...) From that standpoint, I think Henry's is still offering decent value. On the other hand, the pessimist in me would say ... Salade de fruits offers very similar fare at similar quality but at _slightly_ lower prices .... hmmmm .... tough call, isn't it?
Now the big knock against Henry's is this. Where's the chef? Where's the creativity? Our meal (we had a reasonably good sampling with our party size) was good but left me thinking that there was merely an excellent cook in the kitchen, but not a chef. There was nothing "new", nothing to blow my mind away, not even the slightest little twist to any of the dishes (okay, maybe the goat milk ice cream ...), and isn't that what separates a mere cook from a chef?
Maybe that's just personal preference. I know a lot of people love to eat the old "standbys" day in and day out. So I will give Henry's the benefit of the doubt for now. If you are in the area and looking for an excellent quality meal at reasonable prices, this is one to drop by. But if you're willing to travel farther, you may find something at better value or something to give you a bit more "wow".
As a proprietor/chef, the risk of naming a restaurant after yourself is this: criticism in its purest and directed form. Instead of “the food at the Pagoda Inn stinks”, you get, “the food at Penny’s Grill stinks. Penny should go back to whatever day job.”
The upside is praise in its purest form, which is the case with Henry’s Kitchen. Henry is an excellent chef of upscale food and Henry doesn’t charge a lot. Beef bourguignon for $15. Don’t be misled; the restaurant is very no frills. However, the unintentional kitchy vibe (orange walls and mismatched plates) is charming, as is his cheery wife (the server/maitre’d), his two kids (studying busily in the back) and the menus which contain the requisite misspellings.
With no other staff, this 30 seat restaurant beams with happy patrons who occasional rear their smug faces as other reservation-less wannabe patrons get turned away. I was tickled pink to spot my table via the “Miss Ginger” tag.
I started with the Southern crab cake ($6.95) served on an avocado salad with tomato salsa. Having ordered many crab cakes in shockingly small servings at high end restaurants, I was skeptical about the portion. My doubts were quashed. Everything was nummy and the flavour filled cake was a handsome serving - so good, I thought about ordering two more as a main entrée.
Feeling naughty, my main entrée was the Penne Ciociaro ($8.25) which was served with ham and mushrooms topped with a cream sauce. No sophomore slump with this dish. Very nummy and a handsome serving. My other dining companions echoed my sentiments.
I thoroughly enjoyed my meal. Bless Henry’s Kitchen. More importantly, bless Henry.
I work in this area and come with my co-workers every so often. I have NEVER had a bad experience here and seem to always order the steak with redwine peppercorn gravy. It comes with the most delicious curried lentels and always in season veggies. I have also ordered their Mahi mahi which was also delicious. The creme brulee I have to admit is the best I've admittedly ordered it "to go" as an afternoon "snack" with the promise of bringing back the dish.
I've only ever had the one lady as a server (I believe she is Henry's wife) and found her to be very pleasant.
Will always recommend this gem to anyone.
After not being be seated at another restaurant (another story), one member of our party suggested this restaurant. I called at 8:20 pm to see if they could accomodate our party of 9. The restaurant closed at 9 pm but they agreed to take us. When our meal was done, it was 11 pm and not once did we get the impression that we were anything but most welcome to stay.
Everyone enjoyed their meals immensely. The quality is very good and the flavour even better. I have read the other reviews which state the meals are pricey but we all felt that for the quality, we were getting our money's worth. If this was a downtown restaurant, the meals would be anywhere from $10-20 more. We had a variety of different appetizers, salads, main courses and desserts. All of them equally good. The restaurant was not that full although it was scheduled to close within an half hour of us arriving there. We were very relieved that we had a place to eat after our other experience that evening at another restaurant (45 mins waiting to be seated with no end in sight despite our reservation). We will certainly be returning to Henry's. We hope others do as well because by the sound of it, it could use more customers. If you want an excellent, quiet meal, this is the place.
I did enjoy my meal, but I found it a tad bit expensive! I booked in advance, and there was no one there, i asked the waitress and she told me that they haven't been that busy for about a year. When I read the accompanying reviews, I think I get it?! It is a bit pricey. I has a very cheap looking, kind of tacky decor. That was part of the charm, a cheap, bistro with gourmet quality food. One of those elements isn't there anymore....and they haven't changed the decor.
I went to Henry's the first year they opened, on MacDonald St. It was kind of funky, lively, filled with ambiance. I don't recall the specifics of the food (we were in a large group) but overall value seemed good. I never did go back there.
This past week as I drove by King Ed & Oak I decided it may be neat to check them out for the second time, this time only my wife and I. I've known Henry's had moved to this new plaza location since I shop at the Safeway's regularly.
I'm going to skip the details and summarize our experience: NEVER AGAIN. The decor is reminiscent of a European restaurant in a small town. In the 70s. The menu, while looked promising, was much higher-priced than I recalled at their old location (when most mains were well under $20). The wait lady (family ?) was solemn, provided no sense of welcome nor enthusiasm whatsoever, described the specials to us as if it's her first day on the job. The appetizer smoked salmon salad was very mediocre with (canned ?) candied pecans, a tiny wedge of brie and what appeared to be belgian endive. $11 for that plate of mediocrity. My wife chose the grilled ahi tuna and I had the lamb ossobucco. Both were bland, uninspired, un-original and barely warm, on mis-matched plates. Both were priced in the mid $20's. Wife's glass of a run-of-the-mill BC white wine was $9. Even half way through dinner we were kicking ourselves for deciding to stay. So we rushed through dinner, skipped coffee and desserts, paid the bill ($70 before tips) and literally ran out of there.
I hate to even think what a stellar meal we could have had for about the same prices (table d'hote) at Salade de Fruits Cafe, the new Le Faux Bourgeois (excellent ambiance and good value, by the way), or even Pied-a-Terre.
I sure wish the proprietors of Henry's wake up and get their act together. We all know Vancouver is a VERY competitive city when it comes to dining. Charging the kind of prices they charge and to be compared against even modest competitors is un-thinkable.
Please ..... don't run Henry's like a budget Chinese restaurant. For your own sake, improve your service, ambiance and pricing practice and you just might make it another 6 months or so.
Thanks for reading.
I have heard nothing but great things about this restaurant.
I had low expectations for the ambience/decor because i was told it is nothing special. This was true. But, I had high expectations for the food based on much feedback. I knew going in that the entrees ranged from $18. - $40. Half way through my dinner the reality of how all people are different became so unbelievably true.
We started with a crab cake- and it was mushy and bland. They served it with some type of tangy guacamole. We had a nice salad though-butter lettuce with pear and walnuts.
For the main I stuck with a special because I thought it would be fresh and the daily "inspiration". It was red snapper with prawns with some vermouth sauce. It was gross. The fish was bland and over cooked. The sauce was rich and salty. It was served in a big pile with lentils and wild rice and rubbery mushrooms. It was texture hell. Mushy, crunchy, rubbery, and pasty all at the same time. I couldn't even finish it.
I had a bad feeling when they put it in front of me because it looked like something you'd pile on your plate at a buffet or cafeteria, the sprig of dill finished it off and made me feel like I was back in the 90's. This was a feature dish. Shouldn't it be top notch for $25??
My husband had osso bucco and it was average. Lacking flavour and the rice was mushy.
Overall, I think that it is more quantity than quality. For the price it is actually insulting. We asked for some bread and we were charged $4 for 5 small pieces. For a restaurant to have such high price points, bread should be complimentary.
All in all, we ordered a starter and main each, a $49 bottle of wine, a bottle of water and the bill was $140.
I will never go back, or tell anyone to go there.....why would I when there are dozens of amazing restaurants in Vancouver at the same price point that actually serve great food, in a great atmosphere and even give you a piece of bread or two?
Went to Henry's Kitchen for dinner this evening with 5 other people. Not our first time there so knew, we thought, what to expect.....little did we know!
It appears that the restaurant will nickel and dime you to death in name of the almighty dollar.
The food was good, no question about it. Prices have been raised in the last month of so. We asked if we could have some lemon for our waters. They brought lemon for us to put in our glasses of water....we also asked for one cup of hot water for one of our party to drink.
We could not believe it when our bill came. The restaurant added
$1 on for the total bill for the lemon and anohter $1 for the cup of hot water!! They also added to the bill a 15% gratuity tax.
When we questioned the bill the waiter informed us that the restarant had to add on the extras in order to keep the cost of the food down!! That is the silliest coment we had ever heard as we do not call $23 - $30 per entree keeping the cost down. Oh, and they also charge $3 - $4 extra should you want bread.
The food was good but they certainly cannot compare themselves to a first class restaurant...especially when they do not provide tablecloths nor do they give you bread and butter with you meal and to beat all, they nickel and dime you to death!
Be careful what you order in this restaurant as everything has a cost including the water from the tap and lemon for the water. It took all the enjoyment out of the meal when the bill came and all the extras were added including the 15% tip!!
We are semiregulars at Henry's even before their move and are therefore used to their usual acceptable service. Recently we booked a lunch for 2 at 12 noon. The waitress came over at 12:45 with the unrequested bill, while we were still at mid-entree, and informed us that we had to vacate the table by 1:15. This was never mentioned either at booking or while we were seated. Needless to say, we were shocked. We could have kicked up a fuss, of course, but we decided instead not to return to Henry's for the foreseeable future. We have informed all our friends who (used to) love Henry's, and now, you dear readers.