One of my favourite spots in Northbridge, Henry Summer bar is a stylish green oasis in Aberdeen Street located in the grounds and buildings which at various times have housed The Shed, Skye Bar and Secret Bar – and what a transformation it is. Snappy décor, plants galore from Little Green Scene bringing a cool tranquillity, and a menu that impresses with its accent on light and fresh dishes.
As well, a small wine list that nevertheless shows thought and effort – among the noteworthy inclusions are wines from La Violetta, Marchand and Burch, Swinney and Frankland Estate. They even have rosé on tap, and a good one at that – a blend of Tempranillo, Shiraz and Grenache from the dab hand of Deep Woods winemaker, young gun Julian Langworthy.
Henry Summer is open from midday each day – we dropped by for lunch this week, found a pleasant sheltered table with cool breeze flowing through the open shutters and got down to business.
As I said the menu has an emphasis on light dishes – but they have some more substantial offerings as well –with the seafood platter with prawns, oysters, mussels, crabs, bugs and bread and butter certainly appealing – big enough for three it seems. But we settled this time on a couple of the smaller dishes.
Beginning with snapper ceviche – succulent and juicy thinly sliced snapper draped across the plate, ringed by sweet mango dressing and dotted with coriander, jalapeno and a dash of lime – wonderful amalgam of flavours and texture with the chilli having a very pleasant zing.
Onto a plate of crisply fried chicken and mushroom dumplings, the filling moist, chunky and well-seasoned, sat on a bed of mild satay sauce, with its characteristic peanut and mild chilli flavours adding to the delight of the dish. These are a must if you have a craving for crisp dumplings.
For drinks, we tried the on tap rosé – dry and crisp – lots of strawberry and cherry aromas, flavours of cranberries and raspberries – very refreshing indeed.
That was it for us this day, but from past visits I can also highly recommend the poached prawns in Rose Marie sauce; the sashimi platter; and a top salad of grilled haloumi and watermelon – just the thing in summer.
Henry Summer deserves to be a major drawcard in Northbridge – and with the Fringe coming up it should be pumping all through the season. It has got everything – great fitout and atmosphere, good food, top wine. Get along quick!