Often, with all the hubbub about celebrity chefs, Good Food Month can be mistakenly just associated with fine dining. Well it really is about celebrating all the aspects of good food, and this time, it’s about the pub grub.
As part of the festivities, The Henson has put together a Wagyu Beef Cheek and Tail Cottage Pie with Roasted Brussel Sprouts and a Coopers Pale Ale for $25.
Wagyu beef cheek and tail cottage pie, cheesy mash, and roasted brussel sprouts, and Coopers Pale Ale, $25
The pie was really comforting, and I love how the mash on the top was just slightly cheesy. The roasted brussel sprouts (my favourite way of having brussel sprouts!) really brought home the heartiness of it all. Beef cheek and tail was a great choice for the filling as well – chunky pieces of meat weren’t lost in the thick gravy like mince would otherwise have been, and it added a depth to the pie as well.
Ocean trout ceviche ‘san choy bow’, smoked corn, radish, ponzu, witlof cups, $18
But don’t let the classic nature of the pie fool you – The Henson’s menu offers dishes with influences from all over the world, from Japanese to the American South. To give us an idea of what they are all about, we also tried two other dishes – Ocean trout ceviche ‘san choy bow’, with smoked corn, radish, ponzu, witlof cups, $18 (pictured above), and the Watermelon, olive and mint salad, with queso fresco and lime(pictured below), $15.
Watermelon, olive + mint salad, queso fresco and lime, $15
I love a mixture of influences, but I almost felt like for my palette, there was a bit too much going on on both the plates. The Ocean Trout Ceviche was slightly less tangy than I expected a ceviche to be, but carried a nice balance of richness from the trout and the citrus zing of the ponzu dressing. I wasn’t entirely too keen on the bitterness of the witlof, but I’ve never been much of a witlof person anyway. The Watermelon Salad I was really looking forward to – watermelon, feta and mint is one of my favourite combinations – but the salty/sour of the olives AND the pickled red onions was a little too much for me.
In fact, I much preferred eating the watermelon with the house-roasted chipotle salt!
But I do really like the motivation behind what they’re doing, though. Head Chef Megan told me that they are all about seasonality and ordering from local producers, which means that ingredients often gets substituted and changed out depending on the time of year. They also really encourage creative input from the team, which means that the menu is as varied as the team is in cultural background. There is really a sense of effort and pride from the team, without taking themselves too seriously, which is always a plus in my book. Sure, that might mean that from time to time I may not love everything on the menu, but with motivation like that, you know that you’re never going to get lacklustre food.
Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Month and The Henson.