Friday, 15 March 2013

Henry's Cafe Bar, West India Quay - review for Bon Appetit Card

My dinner - yum!

Henry's Cafe Bar is a stylish eatery with locations across London and the UK (including Covent Garden, Piccadilly, Cardiff and Leeds). Having recently signed on as a participating restaurant with the Bon Appetit Card, they invited me to their West India Quay branch for dinner and drinks. My brother's office is in Canary Wharf - just minutes away - so he popped by after work as my plus one.

Housed in a converted warehouse overlooking West India Quay - an oasis of calm amid the high-rise chaos of nearby Canary Wharf - Henry's has a fantastic waterside location. Sadly, the current weather conditions meant that we were unable to take advantage of the expansive outdoor seating area, but I'm guessing this is incredibly popular in the Summer months.

As one would expect for a "thirsty Thursday", the bar had a lively atmosphere, with plenty of people getting ready for the weekend with some post-work drinks. We were seated in a cosy booth, which afforded us privacy without cutting us off from the rest of the clientele.

We started our meal with a nice bottle of red - Malbec, my favourite - while we perused the food menu.
Henry's offers an unpretentious selection of solid, crowd-pleasing dishes; and with burgers, club sandwiches, British Classics like fish and chips and beef and stout pie, and a good range of pastas and salads, there really is something for everyone.

My brother opted for one of the daily specials - smoked salmon and artichoke carbonara on a bed of penne - while I went for one of the Henry's "Signature Dishes", a spicy chargrilled chicken breast served with sauteed potatoes, fresh guacamole salsa, and a refreshing mound of sour cream.

The food was very good: my blackened chicken was tender and full of flavour, its spiciness perfectly offset by the cool sour cream and creamy avocado, and the potatoes - with crisp golden skins and a pleasant hint of spice - were also delicious.

My brother's pasta went down equally well: with plenty of smoked salmon and artichoke in a rich cream sauce, it was an interesting take on the traditional carbonara, and he emptied his plate with enthusiasm.

Portions are generous, and I was pretty full after my main course and accompanying side salad. Luckily Henry's has a selection of mini desserts, which are perfect with coffee at the end of your meal. A dainty portion of two tasty profiteroles - served with a nice pot of tea - satisfied my need for something sweet (along with a few stolen forkfuls of my brother's rich vanilla cheesecake!). Served in a generous wedge, this decadent treat was drizzled with copious amounts of tasty chocolate and toffee sauce - definitely worth considering if you're in the mood for something a bit more substantial!

All in all, this was a great meal - the service was excellent (our lovely waitress was very helpful, and we felt well looked after despite the popularity of the venue), the food was very good, and the atmosphere and location were both spot on.

West India Quay is a bit out of the way for me - I work in the City and live further West - but my brother is already planning his return. Henry's is a fantastic venue for post-work drinks, with plenty of bar food and sharing platters to satisfy hungry drinkers, but it is equally well-suited for a family meal (the wide-ranging menu capable of satisfying even the fussiest eaters). And - if you need any more encouragement - you can get 50% off lunch or dinner with the Bon Appetit Card. Deal!

 Henry’s Café Bar – Canary Wharf on UrbanspoonSquare Meal