Honey & Co. – Fitzrovia, London

There’s little I prefer in life than an intimate restaurant with good food. In my experience, the staff tend to be more friendly and the food better. Honey & Co. is definitely what you would call an intimate restaurant. There are approximately 8 small tables inside all fairly close together (and 3 or 4 very small tables outside). So intimate in fact that if you needed to have a very confidential conversation (for example relaying juicy gossip or plotting a bank robbery) this may not be the appropriate setting, as your neighbour is quite likely to hear every word you say. In keeping with the stereotype though, the staff were very friendly and the food was very good.

The menu was exotic and exciting. We opted for the set dinner menu as it seemed to be good value and it featured most of the a la carte menu so there was no risk of ordering badly. It was £26.50 per person for a “luxury” mezze selection to share followed by a main course each. The bread selection that came as part of the mezze included an excellent challah (yeast-leavened egg bread, usually braided, traditionally eaten by Jews on the Sabbath, holidays, and other ceremonial occasions), pitta and focaccia. Also included in the mezze were kalamata olives, potato and feta fritters (which I loved, perhaps partly because the fried element made them so naughty), home-made hummus, watermelon and feta salad (which I also loved), falafel with tahini and an aubergine and tomato salad. All very good.

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For mains, we chose siniya (spiced lamb baked in a tahini crust with pinenuts and parsley) and fish mafroom (round courgette filled with fresh hake and herbs in a fragrant lemony broth, with summer beans and samphire). The siniya was good, and very similar to a lamb moussaka in taste and texture. The fish mafroom was something quite spectacular in terms of originality and taste. In all my years I have never come across a round courgette, not least filled with hake. The filling could almost be described as a designer version of what goes into a fish ball. It went fantastically well with the courgette, and the broth was delicious.

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To finish off we shared a malabi (a milk-based pudding perfumed with rose water, one of the most popular desserts across the Middle East) and drank cooked cardamom black coffee. It tasted great and looked beautiful, but I didn’t love having to dodge the petals (perhaps I was being a wimp and should have eaten them?). The coffee was wonderful.

Including dessert, coffee, wine (one glass each) and tip it came to £42 per person, which seems rather a lot given we started off at £26.50 per person (so it might be necessary to plot the bank robbery after all). Whilst a tad on the expensive side, there are some very unique dishes, the food is very good quality and the atmosphere is friendly. image image_1

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