Henry Sugar, Carlton North

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MELBOURNE | Henry Sugar is one of those neighbourhood bars that’s popular with locals but manages to fly under the radar for a while. It opened in December 2016 but it’s been relatively recently that those not local to the area have started paying attention. Named after a clairvoyant in a Roald Dahl story, Henry Sugar is the work of co-owners Michael Baker (ex Hell of the North, El Celler de Can Roca) and Daniel Mason (Joe Taylor, Cookie, Toff in Town). We’ve been several times for a drink and snack, but recently dined as guests as of the restaurant for a full meal.

There’s a big emphasis on local produce and native ingredients at this Spanish tinged, modern Australian restaurant. As each dish arrives at the table, the providence of the produce, and a little story about the farmers and producers is shared with you. We opted for the degustation, which at $65 for 7 courses, is one of the best value degustations in town.

Lime, chili spiced crickets, and peanuts provides a unique start to the meal, and sets the scene for what’s to come. Salt & vinegar tempura broccoli leaves and fantastic, and bring to life a part of the plant that’s usually discarded. Blackened sweet potato with saltbush and sesame provides another example of a dish that’s simple yet unique. Another must order is the ‘beetroot morcilla’, Baker’s take on the humble Spanish morcilla aka blood sausage. His vegetarian version combines beetroot with the usual herbs and ingredients you’d find in a traditional one minus the blood. It’s served atop Meridith goats curd and Beechworth honey.

For something meat focused, try the Bundarra Varham Berkshire pork neck with tarragon and fermented kohlrabi. The pork is melt in your mouth tender and the other elements compliment it perfectly. For dessert, a simple bowl of coconut, mango, and wild rice is the pick of the lot, followed closely by the ice-cream tart with chocolate mousse, soy sauce ice-cream, and pepitas.

The Australian focus carries on to the drinks list. Beer and spirits, and how they can be matched with food, are given as much focus as wine is, which allows for the exploration of some fantastic pairings. Almost all of the drinks available are Australian, from local craft beer on tap to natural wines and unique spirits. Henry Sugar’s take on the Aperol Spritz, for example, features all Australian components – rondo, okar amaro, fermented orange, and sparkling wine. Also try the ‘Golden Gaytime spider’ – brown butter rum, cacao nib, caramel soda, and golden syrup ice-cream float.

From the drinks to the food, to the causal relaxed space and vibe, Henry Sugar ticks all the right boxes. It’s everything you want from a neighbourhood bar, and well worth venturing too if you don’t live in the area.

Henry Sugar

298 Rathdowne Street
Carlton North
Victoria 3054
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9448 8196
E-mail: [email protected]
Website

Open
Tue – Thu: 3:00pm to 10:00pm
Fri – Sat: 3:00pm to 11:00pm

Henry Sugar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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