Restaurant: Henry’s Cuisine
Location: 301 E Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801
Date: May 22, 2016 & January 29, 2017 & October 30, 2022 & March 19, 2023
Cuisine: Hong Kong style Chinese
Rating: Really tasty
The oddly named Henry’s is a Hong Kong Cafe, an unusual blend of Cantonese and slightly more western influences.
The interior looks like an IHOP! Maybe it was a few years back.
Corn and chicken soup. One of those very pleasant mild Chinese soups. Taken up a notch by adding some vinegar and/or chili oil.
Drunken Pig Feet. Freezing cold, nearly frozen texture. Revolting. Yarom and a few Chinese liked this dish, everyone else hated it (or didn’t try it). I’m just not into the cold flaccid pig skin texture.
Drunken Chicken (aka Hainan Chicken) but without the sauce or rice. I don’t like this dish in general, but this one had a nice flavor. However, all but a few pieces were mostly bone and very difficult to eat.
2014 Sine Qua Non Gallinita. 93 points. 50% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre, 12.5% Syrah, 12.5% Petite Sirah….open in bottle for an hour and a half…..PRETTY brilliant rose color….GORGEOUS nose of smoke, strawberry fields, crushed cherries, dusty exotic wood spice…..exotic nose…reminds me of a young Vosne Romanee! Definitely big for a Rose..but I’ve seen bigger……the flavors from the nose translate to the palate….very bright and crunchy acidity…tart and sour….awakens the richness. Not the perfect of balance though….15.9 alc comes through a little strawberry martini-ish…but not too too much heat. The Rhone varietals add some interesting flavors….smoked underbrush, stem funk, garrigue, spice box, dried roses…..definitely a spice and heat kick on the finish! A Rose to drink and ponder with each sip like a red…..tasty…..and just so dog gone FUN!
House special Vietnamese style lobster. Lightly fried with a mild pepper flavor. You could really taste the meat.
Spicy Garlic Lobster. This was an interesting Chinese lobster prep, halfway between “dry” and “wet.” It was pretty fried and there was garlic, but the garlic wasn’t heavy or crunchy like in a real “Typhoon Style.” The meat was extremely moist and excellent. It wasn’t spicy at all. Only Cantonese Chinese “spicy” (aka a visible pepper or two).
From my cellar: 2005 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre. BH 94. This is a mild step up in overall class and elegance with a gorgeously perfumed white flower fruit nose introducing linear, precise, intense and powerful medium full flavors that remain splendidly focused on the stunningly long finish that drenches the palate in dry extract. This is a striking 1er and one to buy as it easily delivers grand cru quality.
Sautéed Shrimp with salted egg. The batter is drinking with egg yolk and is very pasty. These were super well executed for this dish, although I prefer a “lighter” fry myself. I don’t usually like this prep, it’s too salty and grainy. This one wasn’t grainy at least but it was salty. The shrimp was nicely done. Overall just “ok” but good for this type of dish.
Crispy Walnut Shrimp. A weird version of this dish as the mayo was on the side. It was very fried. I think if it had been tossed in the mayo nicely it would have been great. This way it was just fried shrimp.
House Special Tiger Prawn with Glass Noodle. The prawns were overcooked and had a shrimp paste funk to them, not super pleasant. People liked the noodles (I didn’t try for carb avoidant reasons). They had a bit of a pepper flavor.
2012 Henri Boillot Puligny-Montrachet. BH 89. Here too there is enough reduction to push what appears to be ripe fruit to the background. The pure and well-detailed middle weight flavors possess a highly seductive mouth feel along with lovely balance and excellent persistence for a villages level wine. The class of a fine Puligny is very much in evidence and this is worth your attention.
Stir Fried Fish Filet with Honey Peas and Golden Chives. This was a great dish. The fish was super delicate and light and the sauce super savory and full of “flavor” (MSG). The snap beans were crunchy. Very enjoyable, if light and sort of “Chinese American” (really just Hong Kong style).
Vietnamese Style Deep Fried Fish with Basil. The ultimate fish sticks. Very moist and light fish with a great batter.
1991 Bodegas Mauro Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León Vendimia Seleccionada. 92 points. Very nice mature Tempranillo.
Lamb with mushrooms and peas. Tender meat.
Sautéed Sliced Lamb with Garlic Leaves. Slightly weird flavor but kind of enjoyable. Nice texture. The garlic leaves were very nice. In 2023 slightly weird flavor but really enjoyable. Nice texture. The garlic leaves were very nice. I think this was better than in November.
2014 Joseph Drouhin / Drouhin-Vaudon Chablis 1er Cru Mont de Milieu. VM 92. (Drouhin used to purchase fruit from the top part of this property but then bought the entire vineyard; this sunny slope is one of the first parcels Drouhin harvests): Pale, slightly hazy yellow. Ripe aromas of lemon peel, pomelo and apple, lifted by a rose petal topnote. Densely packed and pliant, offering a lovely balance of fruit sweetness and acidity (4.5 grams per liter). Finishes floral and long.
Stir Fried Green Bean with Garlic Sauce. The beans were nice and crunchy.
1995 Maison Roche de Bellene Clos de la Roche Collection Bellenum. 93 points. Very powerful, expressive floral nose that jumps out of the glass upon opening (pop and pour). Still very concentrated and rich, this will likely improve over the next three-five years, as it still has a lot of light red fruit and is just starting to show signs of secondary flavors.
Chestnut and Free Range Chicken in Hot Pot. I hadn’t had this dish before. The chicken was very tender. The sauce was a bit sweet and the chestnuts added a nice nutty crunch. Really good.
Ginger chicken (1/29/17). Very simple but tasty well cooked chicken with ginger.
Broccoli with garlic. About as good as straight up broccoli gets. Actually very nice for American broccoli, but still just broccoli and very basic. Would have been better with a different green.
Greens (1/29/17). Typical Chinese colon sweeper.
Mixed light vegetables (1/29/17). Nice crunch.
2011 Saxum James Berry Vineyard. VM 96. Dark red plums, exotic spices, crushed flowers, menthol and new leather are some of the nuances that blossom as the 2011 James Berry Vineyard opens up in the glass. The use of 33% whole clusters adds texture and aromatic complexity in a wine that impresses for its purity. Some of the Grenache was done in concrete, which allows the true personality of the fruit to shine. Hints of tar, game and licorice meld into the expressive finish.
2004 Ovid Experiment E0.4. 92 points. This is the only Ovid Experiment wine that predates the first release of its proprietary wine, so it must be from relatively young vines. Good cab franc-centric nose of violets, cassis and a little pepper. This is a rich, almost heavy, wine tasting of cassis and spices. The oak and alcohol were evident to me but not too off putting. This is a good wine but for me it lacks the balance, complexity and seamlessness of the Ovid wines that have come after it (of which I am a huge fan). It will last for several more years but I don’t know if it will get any better.
Singapore Curry Beef. In a mild yellow curry with tender beef, weird gelatinous tendon and potatoes. This is one of the best yellow curries I’ve had. The sauce itself, probably coconut milk based, was extremely delicious and a straightforward version of the English/Hong Kong yellow curry. The meat is tender put packed with collagen and/or tendon.
Lamb stew (1/29/17). Very mild, and lamb was super tender, but good flavor.
2011 Peter Michael Les Pavots. VM 92. Opaque ruby. Smoky, deeply pitched aromas of cassis, blueberry and dark chocolate, with a hint of truffle adding a musky, earthy nuance. In a substantial style for the vintage, offering sweet dark fruit preserve flavors and a touch of candied licorice. Tangy acidity adds lift to the round, gently tannic, persistent finish, with the blue fruit note echoing.
Steamed Pork Belly with Preserved Vegetables. We didn’t try this, but I took a picture next door as this seemed a super popular dish. Light, I’m sure.
2000 Mckeon-Phillips Cabernet Sauvignon Ardison A.D. Valley View Vineyard. 91 points. Medium bodied cab. Fruit forward but not overpowering. Goes down easy but not a long finish. Decanted for two hours prior to drinking. Opened up well. Drink now as it has evolved as much as it will.
Crispy Noodles with Pork and Mushrooms. I just love this stuff once the sauce seeps through into the noodles. Excellent version.
House Special Fried Rice with Seafood and Minced Garlic. Great stuff.
Lasagna! (1/29/17). Yeah, being a Hong Kong cafe they have some weird western stuff.
Spaghetti! (1/29/17). Tasted like spaghetti-o’s!
1983 Château Suduiraut. 91 points. Medium golden yellow in color. Full, forward & attractive nose of complex, developed, lush, ripe fruit aromas of apricots, peaches & dried figs with floral notes of honeysuckle, caramel, honey, spices, minerals and a bit of vanilla. Medium bodied with a good concentration, balanced, smooth textured, mature, develop & lush ripe fruit flavors of apricots, peaches, almonds, honey, caramel, spices minerals and a touch of vanilla. Lingering finish. Drinks quite well at present and although it may be at its peak of development, it has the fruit/structure to hold onto this present plateau for a few more additional years although any further development would be minimal.
Hong Kong Egg Waffle. Fresh baked and light.
Yar! Ghostly skeletal praline pirates are marauding — Pecan Pirate Praline Gelato — An eggy Texas Pecan base layered with my creepy skull-shaped New Orleans style Vanilla Bourbon Pecan Pralines and Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Pumpkins — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #vanilla #bourbon #pecan #praline #candy #halloween #spooky
Baileys Irish Gream Gelato — Stabilized 13% Bailys Irish Cream recipe, with a touch of seasonal coloring! — I have trouble resisting these once a year flavors — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #expresso #whiskey #baileys #StPatricksDay #cream #green
Chocolate Butterfinger Crunch Gelato – The base is made with Valrhona 62% Satilla Chocolate and then layered with Peanutbutter Cream Cheese Ganache and chopped Butterfingers! — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #Valrhona #chocolate #creamcheese #ganache #icing #peanut #butterfinger
Looking at the photos on Yelp, I wasn’t expecting too much from Henry’s. There were a bunch of breakfast dishes and odd “macaroni and ham” Hong Kong fusion plates. But I have to admit I was dead wrong. The place is great. It’s not the oddest or most extreme Chinese, but Henry’s really delivers on execution and flavor. These were for the most part darn tasty dishes. Lots of great ones, and the rest quite solid. The overall effect was a great meal somewhat in the vein of Newport Seafood or Boston Lobster. I guess in all three cases it’s that hybrid of Southern Chinese and “Vietnamese” (in quotes because this seems to me more of a Vietnamese influence on Chinese food than actual dishes as I experienced them in Vietnam).
Wines from another night and below are the wines from 1/29/17. I’m too lazy to write them up: