When Honey & Co lost its original home in Fitzrovia back in February, there were howls of despair from its fans. Over ten years in business, chef couple Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer turned a perma-packed little room into a site of pilgrimage, attracting a cult-like following who raved about their lavish mezze spreads and transcendent feta-and-honey cheesecake. But their landlord who turfed them out might have done them an accidental favour: Honey & Co’s new Bloomsbury premises offer double the space, without losing the slightly ramshackle, homespun feel that made it so popular in the first place.
Honey & Co is now part of a bourgeois-bohemian foodie triangle on Lamb’s Conduit Street, with wine nook Noble Rot across the road and cheese haven La Fromagerie basically next door. But for the love of God, don’t try and visit them all in one go, especially if you’re opting for Honey & Co’s £55 set menu. This kicks off with the kind of epic mezze spread that gets you rearranging cutlery and glasses to make room for the endless parade of little dishes. On our visit, it was a late-summer-themed selection, as evidenced by a dreamy fig and goat’s cheese dish. Figs that make it to these shores are often pale and anaemic, hardly justifying the deaths of the wasps that fertilise them. These ones had a jammy richness, artfully offset by sharp cheese and a generous crunchy topping of pistachios. The Yemeni falafel were huge spheres, crunchy outside and appealingly herby within, sitting on a moreish bed of whipped tahini. And the memorable labaneh came topped with pickled grapes, a sweet-savoury silk freshened by the lightest breath of mint.
After a particularly involved mezze sesh, main courses often feel like a formality. But these ones were worth holding fire for. We accidentally opted for two dishes that were drenched in tahini (definitely a Honey & Co obsession): a blackened whole aubergine messily sandwiched with the stuff, and a warming dish of seabream topped with a rich, toasted layer. And for pudding? Obviously, it had to be the cheesecake that helped make Honey & Co's name: a snowball of feta and cream cheese whipped into salty lightness, drenched in honey, and perched on a birds' nest of crunchy kadaif pastry. You can find the recipe on their website but come now, you know how much better it'll taste if there's no wrecked kitchen to clean up afterwards.
Perhaps the prices are a bit high for Middle Eastern food that, although consistently delicious, doesn't always have the boundary-pushing eclecticism of Ottolenghi or the veg-centric inventiveness of Bubala. But its diners don't seem to care, happily buzzing on a wine list curated by the team behind Noble Rot, and carefully looked after by young, knowledgeable staff. After only a few months in business, Honey & Co already feels like it's been in Bloomsbury forever, as mellow and welcoming as the bookish streets beyond.
The vibe Justly hyped Israeli food in a cosy corner of Bloomsbury.
The food Expansive mezze spreads, tahini-laced mains and an unmissable cheesecake.
The drink Carefully-sourced wines, cocktails, and orange blossom-scented ice tea.
Time Out tip For a cheaper meal, try canteen-style sibling Honey & Smoke nearby.