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August 6, 2015

City bagel guide: Tell Henry

Our love for bagels has now been diagnosed as a very real addiction. While teetering on the eastern fringe of town recently, we discovered our favourite doughie delicacy featured at the newly opened Tell Henry - so we had no choice but to pay them a visit.

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  • Words: Tiarne Cook
  • Pictures: Julian Cebo

The sight of a beautifully plump, shiny bagel atop any counter these days really does make our hearts race. Sourced from local legends, Bagel Boys in Marleston, Tell Henry’s bagel selection looks inviting and instantly catches your eye.


Visit Tell Henry at 20 The Parade West, Kent Town from 7.30am, Monday to Friday and from 8am on Saturdays.

They are a little larger than most of the bagels we’ve tried, and have a very noticeable sheen to them. We order a coffee, grab a menu and get ready to get stuck in.

The menu is concise, but features the classics – almond croissants, danishes brownies, gingerbread men and of course bagels. All perfect snacks on the run.

The decision is easy, as the menu explains they are served simply, toasted with cream cheese – just the way we like them, no fuss.

On display today is a purple, speckled blueberry variety, everyone’s favourite sesame and the original.

After a recommendation from co-owner and operator, Brad Bonar, who admits he lived on bagels while at university, we opt for a savoury and a sweet. We figured he must know his stuff, having sampled so many.

As we sip at our coffees – made well with Industry Beans from Fitzroy – we can’t help but detect the very distinct aroma of blueberries. It is, in fact, our bagels toasting.

Served with generous portions of cream cheese, the bagels arrive sliced in two on matching wooden boards.

After we thickly administer cream cheese blended with dill, the sesame bagel doesn’t really stand a chance. It’s devoured immediately. The verdict – it’s soft and dense, with good chew and a lovely outer layer.

And now for our ‘breakfast-dessert’ accompanied by yet another coffee. The blueberry bagel is sweet, but not overpowering. The perfect option when the lure of something sweet is too great to deny – it’s the sugar hit we need without that sickly feeling afterwards.

So after yet another positive bagel experience, something pretty ground breaking dawns on us. There really is no substitute. We are hooked. Slowly but surely they have crept into our daily lives, popping up around every corner and now there is no going back.

It’s a bagel or it’s nothing.

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