Posted 15 Reviews
My wife and I like to try somewhere new each week and last Saturday we unfortunately decided to try Henkes (I was a bit wary as we tried Mr Willis years ago and it's basically the same, nice decor, but nothing else to write home about).
They've done a really good job on the decor, but that's where the positives end and the negatives begin.
We were seated promptly, by the cash register, so there was a stream of staff constantly standing behind me, no problem, the menu looked good. They weren't too busy, but still we had to try to get the attention of 3 separate staff to take our order (I know, I know, service in China etc etc)
We ordered two pizzas and two drinks. After about 15 minutes our drinks still hadn't come, and neither had our free bread that I noticed all other tables had. When we inquired to the lady that had taken our order she said the bread would come with the starters, to which we reminded her, "you took our order, there are no starters".
Eventually the bread came with olive oil and the smallest amount of balsamic vinegar you can imagine. Then the drinks came, my coke, which was RMB30 (daylight robbery) didn't taste like coke and I'm sure it came out of post-mix (the soda machines like they have in fast food places) We'd noticed the drinks waiting on the counter and twice the staff went to get them only to twice stop and get the bill for other tables.
When the pizzas came they were enormous, which was surprising as we'd ordered two, not one member of staff told us about the size or advised we should perhaps order one between us, they were so big the table next to use were giggling saying no way we could finish them both.
Not one to turn down a pizza, it looked great, arugula, cheese, parma ham and tomato sauce base on a thin crust, I dug in. This was probably the most disappointing pizza I have every had in my life, and not just because it was RMB118. The dough was dry and bland, there was so much arugula (which I love) that it was very messy to eat. The cheese was flavourless and there was no taste from the tomato sauce. My wife asked for extra cheese, the staff went to get it and came back 10 minutes later with a white cheese which she promptly put down on the opposite side of the table from my wife and without even looking at us walked away.
Not once were we asked how the food was or if we wanted another drink, there was a western gentleman there dressed up in a dickie bow that I assume was the manager, but he was even less engaged in the customers than the staff.
Henkes, if you're going to charge the prices you do, get a manager and staff who actually look after paying customers and perhaps add some MSG to the food so there is at least a hint of flavour.
We will not be going back.
Second time round I had dinner in Henkes. Last time it was OK but this time we left disappointed. The ambiance is great and the manager was very welcoming and helpful but overall service is lacking and not attentive. We had to ask for wine refills, water and for the table to be cleared, all in all there were plenty staff but all hanging around the bar chatting with each other. The verdict on food is not much better unfortunately. The appetizer which was a salad of octopus with grapefruit and leaves was tasty and well executed. However the main course - rack of lamb on lentils - a complete disappointment. There was hardly any meat to eat and the huge rack ended up cut and sliced in bits of fat but we left the table with hardly anything eaten, except for the lentils which were tasty. Unfortunately after two tries I am going to go elsewhere as service and food did not live up to the expectations at all which is a shame as the restaurant itself is well designed and pleasing.