My wife and I visited Henri in Stockbridge for the third time today, and I now know I will become a regular here.
It is what it is: not 'fine dining', but certainly fine food, coffee and wine in a relaxed venue.
Each time we've visited, there have been a number of changes to the menu, which I believe is an important factor in any establishment. This has resulted in us both trying a variety of deli meats, breads and salads. We normally order a salad each, and a meat dish to share.
I challenge anyone who doesn't like salads to try one from here. I had a salad with asparagus wrapped in bacon with cheese and my wife had cous cous salad with baked aubergine, goat's cheese and fig jam. We cannot fault either, they were simply delicious. My salad came with lovely mixed tomatoes, rocket and a luxurious, but light dressing. My wife's salad's cous cous was one of the best we've tasted; perfectly spiced and packed with flavour. Aubergine we are normally nervous to order because we've seen it prepared badly far too often. It is definitely one of those foods that's outstanding when done right, and just tasteless when done badly. I'm pleased to say it's the former here.
In regards to the meats; they are absolutely top class; we've had pig’s head, pork belly, and today a first: smoked beef. They really do compare to deli meats we've tried from France and Italy. Today in particular, we bought some smoked beef to take home. The meat order usually comes out with some lovely sour dough bread (the crust is packed with flavour), cornichons, rocket and olives. I do have to make special mention of the olives; which are fabulous. My wife despises olives normally (so much so she ensures restaurants are aware of this before any taster menu!). Today I managed to convince her to try one because they are so delicate in flavour. Her response was that she would possibly like olives today if that was the first time she had tasted one.
One final mention, the coffees in Henri are very good quality indeed. I regard Leo's Beanery to be the best cappuccino in Edinburgh (in my opinion). Henri I regard as being the 2nd best. All too often I receive a coffee with no care taken in producing correct milk. Henri and Leo's consistently have perfect microfoam (essential in a good cappuccino) and of course, very nice coffee beans. One standout drink however, is the mocha. I am tired of mochas in most establishments simply melting in mediocre chocolate. Here it's a completely different drink; it's obvious that it contains very good quality, high cocoa chocolate. This results in a drink that's not sweet, but definitely deep in quality chocolate/cocoa flavour.
So to conclude, Henri, I believe, deserves 5/5 for being a fantastic lunch/light dinner venue. Nice variety, dynamic menu, friendly and efficient staff. I urge anyone to try this place, but be sure to book first if it's the weekend.
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