The café culture of Sydney is coming into its own -causing some competition for its java arch rival Melbourne. With an increased focus on boutique blends and making coffee, well... cool. You may need to double take upon walking into the ultra funky Henri Marc in Penrith - with its light industrial finishings and 'outside the square’ menu.
The welcoming and funky front of house of Henri Marc.
Rustic industrial décor.
It's Saturday morning and there is not a spare table in sight. Diners are rugged up in their scarves and winter attire, sipping Reuben Hills coffee that permeates through the air. The word is out and this is the it cafe of the region.
Popular with locals and visitors alike.
Steel beams, mis matching cutlery and recycled gas cylinders hang from the ceiling as light fixtures-adding to the rustic chic décor. The open galley style kitchen has a bench running along it allowing for diners to watch their meals in the making.
Gas cylinder light fittings.
This attention to detail and quirky style doesn’t just stop with the décor, it creatively translates to the menu, which is full of variety and clever flavour combinations.
Vintage styled bottles of water.
We are shown to our table by a fashionable and friendly waitress who hands us the menus. The musical sounds of Hank Le Gault and Jace Everett fill the airwaves with a retro, Southern American style twang, which just adds to the overall ambience.
Cow hide seats for the outside seating.
Diners are spoiled for choice with the flavoursome and robust pour of Reuben Hill’s House Espresso ($3.50), Teas by The Rabbit Hole Organic ($4.50) or in the warmer months tea over ice- featuring delicious varieties of Turkish delight and ginger with orange.
Delicious Reuben Hills Coffee and a rustic tea spoon.
There is no shortage of breakfast items to choose from. Those with a sweet tooth will swoon over the indulgent caramel on toast ($5), whilst healthier kids will love the granola with natural yoghurt and berries ($11).
The busy kitchen.
If eggs are your breakfast thing then try the duck eggs and soldiers ($10), eggs on toast ($10) or the chorizo with poached egg, mushrooms and parmesan ($16).
Lunch menu items are also available and feature dishes like braised pork neck roll with sriracha mayo ($16), spiced lentil soup with toasted sourdough ($15) or roast pork belly, parsnip purée and brussel sprout salad ($24).
In the mornings I tend to lean towards the savoury side of things, so I ordered the chorizo with poached egg. Plated with simplistic styling, the meal was delicious. There was a gravy like sauce which bought all the textures together- the meaty chorizo, the crunchy baby leeks and mushrooms; filling and clever flavours.
Poached eggs with chorizo and baby leeks.
A delicious saucy like gravy leftover.
I also tried the granola, which is so bright and bursting, not only with fruitiness, but a delicious roasted crunchiness. A refreshing and creative dish that is also generous in it’s serving size.
The granola; bright and full of flavour.
It is well worth a visit to Henri Marc. The food and coffee is amazing and the staff are warm and lovely. Henri Marc is perfect for a catch up with friends or a romantic cosy lunch.
Old school and quirky tin used for presenting the bill.
Where: Shop 2, 438 High St
Why: Reuben Hills Coffee, a creative menu and lovely staff.
Cost: Breakfast from $5, Lunch from $10.
When: 8am - 3pm Monday to Saturday.
Good for kids: No
Take away: Yes, coffee and baked goods like muffins and brownies.