Once again, we found ourselves in need of a good breakfast early on a Sunday morning. Luckily, we had some company this time, which is always welcome and pleasant. We decided to give Little Henri a go, on the corner of High Street and Dundas; a perfect spot for some breakfast in Thornbury.
The imposing figure the café cuts on the street makes it eye catching, and with some delightful art on the side wall, provides a compelling reason to find out more. The interior is nice and cosy; close to an Italian-style bistro set up, with a large centre table and plenty of good seating available.
Coffee orders were taken quickly and efficiently, with the resulting brew quite delicious on a cold winter’s morning. The coffee had a kick to it but wasn’t burnt or over-extracted, and we appreciated the change of pace from our regular coffee flavours.
While our recent struggles against the dichotomy of savoury vs. sweet have been well documented, surprisingly at Little Henri we decided to avoid the sweets and to stick wholly in the traditional breakfast roles. Boring, I know!
The first dish savoured was the Smashed Avocado, served with thyme buttered mushrooms, Persian feta and basil. Now, we could have had this with a poached egg, but our golden rule is “don’t put the breakfast before the egg” (i.e. not everything needs an egg to be called ‘breakfast’) and this dish certainly didn’t need the egg. The avocado was heaped on (no wonder we’re so broke!), with the feta providing a lovely counter point to the richness of the avo. The mushrooms weren’t as moist as we would have liked, though they were nicely cooked with a nice thyme taste throughout. Overall, a strong Smashed Avocado dish.
Our second dish was the tried and true Eggs Benedict, with thick-cut grandma’s ham, hollandaise and young herbs. Again, Little Henri offered up a very generous portion, with perfectly poached eggs and loads of sauce making this a wonderful dish. We appreciated the use of ham instead of bacon; certainly, a more traditional approach, but one that is often sidelined for the more popular crispy, crunchy option. The ham was a wonderful sweetness contrasting the richness of the eggs and hollandaise sauce. For two simple dishes, both were expertly crafted with care and affection.
Overall, we were very impressed with Little Henri. It can be hard in environs such as theirs, with not a lot of nearby, big imposing space that you need to grow into, and a lack of shop-front appeal. But they do it with aplomb, offering one of the more traditional (and terrific!) breakfasts in Thornbury.