Posted 12 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.
Posted 1 Reviews
I just went for a business lunch and was very disappointed .
Portions were awefully small although food was OK. I just was not expecting to pay 200 for a lunch you get anywhere else at 100.
I understand they must pay a crazy rent (Reel mall) but the value for money is just not there.
Will not go back I guess.
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.
Posted 1 Reviews
Yesterday first time to come Henkes with my friends, they chose the food, and I picked up the wines.
Actually I am a big fan of Italian Wines!! When I saw there are probably 10 wines by the glass, and the price for Ornellaia Le Volte by the glass really impress me, then I order a bottle of Gaja Promise, love this wine for always and price there is much lower than marketing price, for ourselves & plus a glass of Le Volte only for myself ;)...
Very enjoyable eating, drinking & chatting with my friends there last night!!
Posted 1 Reviews
First the Good:
1. The Service - Very rare to find a restaurant in Shanghai where the service is the high-point. However, the waiters were attentive and helpful and overall did a very good job.
2. The Space - I liked the feel of the restaurant quite a bit. Open kitchen, warm lighting, enough space between tables so you don't feel like you are right on top of another party. The bar area looks like a nice place to go for a drink with friends after work.
1. The Wine - They had an ok wine list, but very few choices for wines by the glass. There was one Cabernet/Shiraz blend and one Pinot Noir. I ordered the Cab/Shiraz. Not to be overly dramatic, but it was probably the worst glass of wine I have ever had in my entire life. I don't think the wine was defective. It was just horrible. I sent it back and tried the Pinot Noir which was ok. (Again, the service around this was fine. The waiter dealt with the issue professionally and appropriately) However, if they are going to offer only two choices of wines by the glass, it would be nice if they were at least drinkable.
2. The food - When I try a new restaurant, I usually try to order something very simple just to see how they do on a simple dish. At Henkes, I tried a Mushroom Lasagna. It was really just a big lump of melted cheese over pasta. Super, super heavy, devoid of much flavor and after eating about 1/3 of it, I really couldn't continue with it.
Since the point of a restaurant is really primarily about the food and drink, I would have to rate this overall as a negative experience. That being said, the owner has enough of a track record with me through Mr. Willis's and Alta Strada, that I would probably give it another try and see how it goes. (I could always just order a Pizza for instance and as long as it taste like an Alta Strada Pizza, I will enjoy it.)
Suitable for ...
Posted 36 Reviews
From: World Traveller
I have returned twice over the past week to a Henkes, once for a Sunday evening dinner, and more recently for brunch this past Sunday with some newly landed acquainted chaps from across the pond.
On both occasions I enjoyed the dishes that I choose, mussels to start with in a classic broth and half a roast chicken, real comfort food on these chilly nights, along with a reasonably priced Pinot Noir.
For brunch perfectly cooked poached eggs, without the smell or taste of vinegar that one normally gets in Shanghai establishments, with bacon that is not burnt to a crisp either, washed down with a sparkling wine that was served at brunch, all affordably priced I might add.
Judging by the number of patrons of varying nationalities, and as mentioned in my earlier post on Henkes, another winner from the Willis stable, Oh and without the screaming running brats, one experiences at other restaurants offering brunch.
Posted 36 Reviews
From: World Traveller
I tried out the set lunch at Henkes as I was in the area, as it says on the menu itâ€™s a set lunch, well table dâ€™hÃ´tel which means you have a choice and you pays your money for either a two or three course meal, nothing complicated really, and judging by the patrons, all well heeled business type people one would expect to find at an establishment offering a set lunch.
The service was friendly and prompt in serving the dishes that my colleague and I ordered, nothing fancy just plain honest to goodness food that one comes to expect from the likes of Craig Willisâ€¦..
My only complaint, the banquette seating depth is too wide, and no lumber support, so you have to pull the table away from your fellow diner so you can be seated comfortablyâ€¦otherwise another winner in the ever growing stable under the Willis portfolio.
Posted 33 Reviews
...not sure HOW one can get confused about lunch....and as Reel is not too far from my office I decided to have a quick business lunch with a friend over there to test what the buzz was about. Henkes is WAY bigger than i expected and has a great outdoor sitting area as well. The main dining area is decked in dark and earthy tones and makes you instantly feel at home. Service was prompt and fast. Lunchset is affordable and straightforward. I opted for the boiled cold seafood starter and the Minute sirloin as main. No complaints...the salad was marinated and showed mediterranean flavours and enough texture. Autumny in one word. The minute steak had the traditional fatty rim but the 2 large slices were sufficient to satisfy a grown carnivore like me. The meat was juicy and cooked a -point ! I liked the sauce and the wedges to round the picture up. I should have- in hindsight- not gone for the chocolate eclair which was not puffy enough for my taste. A double espresso concluded the lunch ! I'll be back Craig !
Posted 10 Reviews
From: French, Asian
As Craig Willis latest baby, Henkes carries a lot of promises and hopes. I must say it's reassuring knowing that there is enough seating at Henkes in case we get denied access to Mr Willis as the latter is always fully booked.
The service is actually much better than over there - I am not sure what is going on at Mr Willis but most often than not I get very rude service. Henkes is more friendly and perfect for the business crowd.
The food. I love Mr Willis food. The set lunch at Henkes didn't impress me at all. Maybe I should have ordered a la carte, but my pumpkin soup was nothing special. The waitress mentioned something about bacon in it and only now do I remember there wasn't any. The Australian sirloin was not very tasty with a big piece of fat. I'm confused.
Great location, great terrace, nice atmosphere and service, but the quality of food Willis has us used to is clearly missing from the business lunch. Venues like Mr&Mrs Bund or Issimo's set lunch are as consistent as a la carte, I can only wish Henkes to level.