This establishment is run by a husband and wife team. Sarit Packer worked as a pastry chef at Orrery, and Itamar Srulovich worked in several Tel Aviv restaurants (where the couple met) before moving to London. Ms Packer later worked for Yotam Ottolenghi as executive chef at Nopi. Together they prepare Middle Eastern food at their restaurant, which they opened in the summer of 2012 in a quiet street just off the Euston Road. The premises are simple, the tables small and packed together, with paper tablecloths and menus printed on recycled paper. There was a small selection of wines, such as Vrignaud Chablis 2013 at £30 compared to a shop price of £14, and Bruno Paillard champagne at £49 for a wine that retails at £39.
The winter menu began with a selection of small dishes. Falaffel with cianammon and sesame seeds with tahini was crisply fried but I found the filling rather unexciting, and overly dry (11/20). Radish and yoghurt salad was simple but pleasant (12/20), as was fairly creamy hummus (12/20). Tomato fatoush salad was the star dish, the toasted pita bread and tomatoes combining well, with what I think was some sumac livening it up (13/20).
Tabule (parsley, tomatoes, mint and onion) was pleasant (12/20). Carrot, butternut and tarragon fritters had a clean taste (12/20). Bread on the side was fine, as were pickles and olives. Roast chicken breast was served on a bed of freekah (usually spelt “freekeh”, a wheat grain) and winter greens, with a goat cheese dressing and pomegranate seeds, and a little mild red chilli. The chicken itself had little flavour but I liked the accompanying elements, the grain providing a nice textural contrast (12/20).
A cheesecake with kadaif pastry (cheese pastry soaked in sweet sugar-based syrup) used honey from nearby Regents Park, and had smooth texture (13/20). This was vastly better than a special of the day, a lemon cheesecake whose filling was OK but had an extremely acidic lemon topping whose mouth-puckering sourness overwhelmed the rest of the dish. I have rarely met a lemon dessert I have disliked but this did not work at all (8/20). The waitress seemed surprisingly untroubled about this when I explained the problem.
The bill was £31 a head before tip, with just water to drink. If you shared a bottle of wine then a typical bill might be £45 per person. Honey & Co was pleasant enough, though the cooking did not seem quite as refined as Nopi, and the one disappointing dessert was rather jarring given that the rest of the dishes were perfectly competent. The place clearly has its appeal, and tables were being turned even on this weekday lunch. However whenever I eat lunch at this sort of price a part of my memory nags away and reminds me that I could have gone to Alyn Williams and had a Michelin-starred three course meal for the same price (£30 at the time of writing). I was hoping for rather more from this particular taste of honey.