A couple of weeks ago, my friend Anne suggested that we tried out Honey & Co on Warren Street, London. I hadn't heard of it before, but I took a look at the menu and was sold. Just take a look. You want to go now too, don't you?
It's a tiny, cafe-style establishment, which sells hearty Middle-Eastern food with delicious, fresh ingredients. While it's not vegetarian, it absolutely could be - either you're confused at that statement, or you totally know what I mean. Vegetables are a big part of the menu, and although there are plenty of meaty stews, I don't feel like it's the key component. I had a purely vegetarian meal (because that's what I fancied) and it was wonderful - I feel like this is a place that knows their veggies.
They were fully booked when we tried to go (it really is small inside) so we got there early and managed to get one of their bar seats in the window which are saved for walk-ins, and it was perfectly pleasant. The stools weren't overly high, which is important when you're a short-arse like me. It's a little cosy with your fellow window-sitters, but that really wasn't a problem.
We got the Autumn set menu, which was wonderful and SO MUCH FOOD. The starter was their luxury mezze, which would have been a generous meal in itself. LOOK AT IT!
Red pepper falafel served with Greek garlic yogurt:
Black Bursa figs, goat’s cheese with wild honey, mint and pistachios:
Crisped cauliflower with tahini:
Vegetable salad, herbs, pomegranates & zaatar:
Homemade hummus, pickles & Kalamata olives:
Home-made bread (including potato bread!) and olive oil:
Olive maamool (delicious olive-stuffed pastries):
It was all AMAZING. Usually in a mezze, there's something you leave a little of, but all our plates were licked clean. Well, in a manner of speaking. We do have some manners.
After such a large mezze, I was expecting the mains to be fairly small, but when I received my lentil stew, I was mistaken. Like I said earlier, I ordered lentil stew because it was what I wanted, not because I particularly wanted to go for the veggie option - I was tempted by the lamb meatballs and the chicken tagine too, but ultimately I thought the lentil stew sounded really different, and was full of components that sounded tasty, whereas the meatballs and the tagine both sounded similar to things I'd had before (although after eating here, I bet they would have surprised me).
There was so much going on in this hearty dish - on top of the stew (beautifully seasoned and incredibly warming) was a blob of burnt aubergine (similar to babaganoush, with a smoky taste), an egg yolk, some tahini and chilli coriander relish. The thing that looks like a profiterole is sfinj bread. Quite. Google tells me it's a savoury Moroccan doughnut, and my tastebuds tell me it was warm, freshly made and fluffy. I want to eat this again, soon. It was so filling and there was so much going on, but everything went so well... YUM. I could easily go full-time veggie if it was all like this!
Anne had the Rabbit Bi'lban, which was braised in yogurt sauce with what looked like super-giant couscous (as in, bigger than giant couscous) along with sweet blackcurrants. The super-giant couscous was actually mougrabiah, which isn't as I suggested the place Aladdin is from (ho ho ho) but in fact *googles* oh, it totally is a large variety of couscous. Well, there you go. The rabbit was gorgeous - a lot more delicate than my dish, but really flavoursome and satisfying.
For dessert we... were too full. I know, I know, I was disappointed in us too! But that just goes to show how hearty and filling this food was, because we can ALWAYS manage dessert. I was pretty intrigued by the Knafe - "sweet and salty hot and oozy cheesy goodness with rose syrup & pistachios" but that'll have to be another story for another time.
I LOVED Honey & Co (you may have guessed from my enthusing), it was the perfect meal for a cold Autumn day, and what's more, it was all fresh and healthy too. I didn't feel like I'd gone off track with my diet at all, and didn't feel horrible and bloated the next day like I usually do after a meal out. The service was a little slow, but friendly and it had a pleasant atmosphere inside - small, yes, but it still managed to not be overly crowded. After Tabure, The Vine Leaves and now Honey & Co, Middle Eastern food is fast becoming my favourite type of food - I'm going to have to buy some new cookbooks, I think.
Honey & Co is at 25A Warren St, London W1T 5LZ. I was not compensated for this review.