Honey and Co. is a restaurant near Great Portland Street which specialises in food from the Middle East. Husband and wife team, who are both based in the kitchen, run the place and as it’s proving to be rather popular, I was looking forward to our Saturday lunch.
As we walked down a quiet, sleepy street we nearly walked past the place as it wasn’t much to look at from the outside. The same could be said for the inside too – it was a very simple affair which had more of a cafe look and vibe than a restaurant. It was positively packed though, so much so that we had to wait ten minutes for our table even though we’d booked (booking is essential). It all felt a bit chaotic to be honest.
To start we decided to share the roasted violet aubergine, tahini, egg yolk and parsley dressing (Â£7.50). I was expecting it to be a warm dish but it really worked being cold; the flavours came through much stronger being at room temperature. The gooey egg yolk, along with the creamy tahini, was so good we used the particularly good bread selection (Â£2.50) to mop up every last drop.
Mains were less satisfying. The fasenjan (Â£13.50), which was slow cooked duck in walnut and pomegranate sauce with minted split peas, looked pretty and the duck faultlessly fell off the bone, but the split pea concoction underneath lacked any minty flavour and was stone cold. Even the mint leaves scattered over the top didn’t seem to provide the desired kick. There was also a lack of any sauce meaning the whole dish was a tad dry.
The shish brick (Â£13.50) which was braised brisket dumplings, rich yoghurt sauce, currants and pistachios was luke-warm at best. The dumplings were slightly stodgy versions of ravioli and the filling inside was dry and devoid of flavour. At least the yoghurt sauce that the whole thing was drenched in was delicious though.
For dessert we decided to share the cheesecake (Â£5) which was probably the best thing we ate during our lunch. It wasn’t your standard cheesecake; the traditional biscuit base had been replaced with a Middle Eastern pastry called Kadaif, which was seriously light and crispy. The dollop of creamy loveliness atop it, along with halved almonds and blueberries, made for a wonderful combination of flavours.
Our lunch at Honey and Co. wasn’t a disaster but it wasn’t a huge success either; to be honest, I struggled to see what all the fuss was about. Service was friendly, but considering the room was so small, I struggled to understand why empty plates and glasses were left on our table for so long. I imagine when it’s good, it’s really good, but we seemed to catch them on a day when it wasn’t quite so.