Henry Lee's Bar & Dining
The popular Redfern cafe has expanded its space — and its operations to serve dinner and drinks four nights a week.
When Cake Wines Cellar Door closed down in June 2019, it left a sizeable hole in Redfern's Eveleigh Street Creative Precinct. Thankfully, that gap has now been filled by another of the site's tenants, with Henry Lee's opening a new bar and restaurant.
While the existing Henry Lee's cafe is still open for brunch and bites daily until 3pm, its sibling venue now serves up share plates and cocktails from 6pm from Thursday–Sunday. Thanks to a soft opening last week, it's already open and trading, with executive chef Antonio Saco (ex-Merivale) overseeing the kitchen.
If you're keen on stopping by for a tipple, the three-page drinks list includes 26 vinos (complete with a couple of Cake Wines' tipples), a range of craft beer and ciders, a small selection of spirits and a ten-strong cocktail offering. It's the latter that's a highlight, especially the margarita with a black salt rim and the rhubarb-infused vodka and tonic. For folks having a few beverages with a friend, there's also an absinthe fountain.
Food-wise, Saco's menu features both a cheese-heavy grazing board and a charcuterie board, as well as fresh Coffin Bay oysters served with mirin, lemongrass and sake salsa. Or you can get stuck into garlic labneh with rosemary and olive crumb, raw tuna tostadas with avocado mousse, and three-mushroom ravioli with shaved truffles. As for the small dessert range, it includes a whiskey, hazelnut and macadamia crumble with orange sponge and caramel, plus a combination of lime yoghurt mousse, sweet vegetable coulis, raspberry sponge, meringue and mascarpone ice cream.
Showcasing local and passionate producers continues to be one of Henry Lee's aims, so while you're tucking into all of the above, you'll be enjoying bread from Brickfields Bakery, brews from The Grifter Brewing Co and Moo Brew, and gin and vodka from Hartshorn.
You'll also be soaking up the bar and restaurant's rustic atmosphere, with Atelier Andy Carson charged with making the most of the building's existing character. Think plenty of light, an undone feel, and the use of construction and industry materials. The venue also celebrates a rotating lineup of artists-in-residence, with Margie Doyle doing the honours first up and creating bespoke pieces for the site's launch.
Down the track, Henry Lee's Bar & Dining will also join forces with its courtyard counterpart for boozy brunches, with other events also planned once the weather warms up. And if you fancy taking a few drinks home with you after dinner, the venue also has a hotel license, which means that all of its wines and beers are available to takeaway.