In the heart of Cronulla's up-and-coming foodie district — which includes a hip hop-inspired oyster bar and an ace brunch spot — Henrys takes prime real estate. The black and white-schemed interior is well in-line with the upscale, beachside neighbourhood and has an outdoor space perfect for the beautiful beach weather to come. It's a local brunch-goer's oasis.
And loved by locals it is — it's only been open seven months and is already a go-to for the area's residents. The popularity is surely due to Executive Chef Rafael Tonon's (ex-Barrio Chino) thoughtful and delectable share menu, starting with the fan favourite crispy flathead tacos ($6.50 each). Spicy, citrusy and with a bit of tang, these little bites are worth a visit in themselves. The whipped goats' curd ($14) is another must-order — and, with some earthy, sweet truffle honey, it's an easy crowd-pleaser. The kingfish crudo ($20) is another signature dish; with an unorthodox combination of horseradish and oyster emulsion, it has both a briny yet very delicate taste.
If you're looking for something a bit heavier, the prosciutto San Daniele ($28) is on another level and very worth the price point. The smoked buffalo mozzarella perfectly complements the prosciutto, which is also smoked for 18 months and paired with house-made grilled focaccia. Across the board, the menu is fresh and seasonal, and is a perfect match for the beachside surroundings.
But what would brunch be without a drink or two? The wine menu is well put together, but the cocktail menu — which has been curated by Publica Group's (who own Henrys) general manager Julian Damjano — should not be overlooked. Our favourite among them is the La Dolce Bitter ($17) which is reminiscent of a Negroni and a perfect spring drink.
Henrys entire gig is local as, with the restaurant itself named after Henry Tugwell who was Cronulla's first police officer back in 1904. The Publica Group seems to be looking to emulate this sense of community among The Shire's foodie scene, starting with the massive redevelopment of Pavilion Gunnamatta, which will open next year.