For hearty modern fare in the dining room of a historic hotel, head to Henry’s.
Henry's on Rouse is located in the large art deco-style dining room of the Henry Parkes Motel in Tenterfield. It’s a three-room set-up, with two dining areas and a central lounge divided by grand double archways whose detailing matches the ornamental pressed-tin ceiling. An exposed brick chimney forms the centerpiece of the room, housing a 360-degree slow-combustion fireplace. It’s really quite a lovely space, with tasty food to match.
The menu has a slight Asian influence yet retains hearty European elements like sweet potato mash, glazed vegetables and ratatouille. It seems an unlikely fusion, perhaps even accidental, but we weren’t disappointed with the delicious food that was placed before us.
The entrée menu provides classics like oysters (natural or Kilpatrick) and a tricked-up pumpkin soup with leek and black rice, as well as more inventive offerings including soy and sesame caramelised duck breast with vermicelli noodles and peppers served in a crispy wonton. Or perhaps you’d prefer to stay European and go for the anchovy, olive and Camembert puffs served with a garlic and cheese dipping sauce. Whichever way, you’ll be licking your lips in anticipation of mains. Entrées varied in price from $8-19.
The main menu provides a diverse range for meat eaters, with fish, chicken, lamb, pork, duck and beef all represented, but vegetarians will be restricted to the open lasagne with wild mushrooms and olives.
I opted for maple-glazed salmon fillet served on sweet potato mash, with delicate baby carrots and buttered green beans. Artistically presented and served with two little wedges of orange, it was a delicate, light meal and every mouthful was a pleasure.
The other choice at our table was the pasta of the day, chicken boscaiola; a rich, creamy dish, it had comfort food written all over it. It was winter, after all, and we weren’t sorry.
Other menu standouts included the smoky barbecue slow-cooked pork belly with creamy herb mash and charred vegetables and the sticky star anise honey duck breast with a medley of char-glazed root vegetables and pickled cabbage. Mains ranged from $24-35.
The dessert menu changes daily; we treated ourselves to a deliciously rich sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream.
The wine list is quite comprehensive, with a great range of local wines, including Tenterfield’s own Deetswood and Kurrajong Downs, while also jumping the border into the Granite Belt of Queensland with Ballandean Estate and Mason Wines. Prices on local wines were $29-35.
Standouts on the national and international side of the wine list include the Jim Barry Watervale Riesling from the Clare Valley, the Roaring Meg Pinot Noir from Central Otago in New Zealand and, as a splurge, the Penfold’s Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz.
Henry's on Rouse is located at 144 Rouse St, Tenterfield, NSW.