Let us tell you about our new favourite restaurant in town: Honey & Co. We dined at this Middle Eastern restaurant in Fitzrovia for the first time about a month ago, and by the time we ended our meal we had already made reservations to come back twice within the month. Tuesday night marked our third visit, and it certainly won't be our last.
The bare walls and minimalist decor leaves one with the lingering suspicion that the restaurateurs just moved in (even though the restaurant opened in 2012), and presents a stark contrast with the ebullient service. The lack of wall adornments also prevents the eye from wandering away from the star of the show: creative, mouth-watering dishes that take their inspiration from various parts of the Middle East. Honey & Co. is the type of restaurant where one can sense the meticulous attention that is paid to even the most subtle ingredient that ended up in our food. We were not surprised to hear that the couple who run the place have impressive résumés that include stints at Ottolenghi, Nopi, and the Orrery - three of our favourite London restaurants.
While the menu is relatively small, they do make an effort to rotate dishes on a regular basis (supposedly monthly, but we've noticed differences in the menu every time we've been). For dinner, one can order a set menu option for the whole table, which includes a mezze platter with a variety of appetisers followed by a main of your choice (£26.50 or £29.50 with dessert). However, we ended up selecting dishes from the à la carte menu - assorted breads, 3 appetisers, 3 mains and 1 dessert - which ended up being the perfect amount for a table of four.
Now, on to the good stuff:
Our wine for the meal
The wine selection is limited (roughly six offerings for each white and red) but diverse, and this young and round merlot was a great match for the food.
Yemeni style falafel with coriander & cardamom, tomato, chili & pomegranate salad, tahini
This dish is simply irresistible. We have had it on each of our visits, and probably will continue to, as these falafels are easily some of the best we have ever had. The delightfully crunchy and spicy exterior did not preclude what lay behind it from being moist and smooth; and the sumac and olive oil topped on to the creamy tahini was a great touch.
Orange, mint & date salad with Turkish red pepper flakes & blossom dressing
This salad's dates and oranges helped generate explosions of sweet and sour, and the freshness of the bed of greens lent the salad a delicate character that kept the whole dish nicely balanced.
Roasted violet aubergine, tahini, egg yolk, lemon parsley dressing
Another dish we've continuously come back to. The smokey eggplant was cooked to perfection--extremely soft and yet not soggy, as eggplant often turns out. The egg yolk and tahini added a creamy, buttery dimension to the dish, and the herbs/spices add that final kick of bursting flavour. It's a dish we'd die to recreate at home--that is, if we can ever get that grilled eggplant right.
Patlijan baked in pitta - slow cooked lamb and aubergine stew wrapped and baked in crispy flatbread
Heaven in a pita. We were a bit worried that the stew would end up rendering the pita wrapping soggy, but that definitely was not the case. The lamb was cooked to perfection - we could have this every day, and never get tired of it.
Shish brick - braised brisket dumplings, rich yogurt sauce, dried currants & pistachios
These brisket dumplings are seriously addictive. The meat manages to remain intensely moist inside those wonton-like delicate wrappings, and that sauce is so delicious that P would have ended up licking the plate had C not kept him in line.
Greek orzo cooked in tomato and herbs with feta, chilli & Kalamata olives
P being an avid meat lover, he has long had an aversion to vegetarian main courses - but dishes like this pasta salad just go to show what an idiot he has been. The crumbly, milky feta lacked that excessive sharpness that can often define this type of cheese, and thus ended up blending perfectly with this warm, tomato-infused orzo. A surprisingly full-bodied dish.
Cold cheese cake, Kadaif pastry, Greek pine & Fir honey
We were completely stuffed after those six dishes, but could not help but come back to this unique cheese cake which C had ordered once before. Dense yet refreshing, what really makes this cheesecake is those roasted almonds, which infuse the cake with a deeply nutty character.
Rose & cinnamon infusion
No Middle Eastern meal is complete without tea; C has been rather infatuated with rose since our visit to Morocco a year ago, so this was the obvious choice for her. Unlike other light herbal teas, this one had a nice spicy kick from the cinnamon. P went with a delightful fresh mint infusion.
We are continuously impressed by Honey & Co's creativity, and there is no doubt that we will return soon. We've heard that their breakfast is outstanding, so perhaps that will be our next excuse to come.
Since the restaurant only does two seatings per night for no more than twenty people per seating, it is not easy to make a reservation; we recommend booking at least 1-2 weeks in advance. Including a bottle of wine and service, the meal was roughly £35 pp.
Honey & Co.
25a Warren Street
London W1T 5LZ
Tube: Great Portland Street or Warren Street
020 7388 6175