What Hnly lacks in vowels, it makes up for in location and style. As you sip cocktails while the sun sets over Henley beach, it’s east to see why co-owners Angelas Papas (Diaspora Kouzina) and Peter Louca (Louca’s Restaurant, Diaspora) and George Kasimatis (George’s on Waymouth) undertook the mammoth task of transforming a pair of apartments into a restaurant. The spot is too good not to share.
From an oversized doorway off Henley Square, you enter a plush, second-storey dining room with generous north and east-facing balconies. Sandstone and soft furnishings make the space feel sophisticated – like the linen suit you’d wear to lunch on the Costa Del Sol.
Head chef Ricardo Plazola (formerly at Allegra Dining Room) and Louca’s executive chef, Grant Schooling, have created a Mediterranean-inspired menu that speaks to the venue’s beachside location.
You might order an entrée of Harvey Bay scallops served in a half-shell, accompanied by a simple kohlrabi remoulade and finger limes. And for a main dish; Coopers beer-battered whiting with fries or blue swimmer crab spaghettini with chilli, tomato and lemon. If you’re not swayed by the sea air, a couple of land-loving proteins also grace the menu.
Seafood dominates the specials board: in-season whole fish, say, or fresh ceviche. But if you’d rather someone else steer the ship, go for the four-course chef’s selection menu for around $70. A separate, snacky menu is served on the balcony, featuring oysters, goat’s cheese and truffle arancini, tuna tonnato, and more.