When Honey & Co Warren Street announced it was closing, there was – understandably – much discontent from fans. But fears remained at bay as plans were quickly put in place to reopen a new spot in Bloomsbury, on the lovely Lamb’s Conduit Street specifically. Sitting directly opposite the marvellous Noble Rot – a name all readers should have stashed for a special occasion – and adjacent to La Fromagerie, this feels like the holy trinity of the academic dining scene. These institutions being within winking distance of each other feels wholly correct: they’re all restaurants that have quietly become stalwarts of the London dining scene. As such, Honey & Co’s new home couldn’t be more appropriate.
Having worked as Head and Executive chef at both Ottolenghi and NOPI, power couple, Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer, have become known for serving some of London’s finest Middle Eastern food. Also nearby are their grill-house Honey & Smoke on Great Portland Street and deli Honey & Spice on Warren Street. The restaurants catapulted them to new heights and the pair now write cookbooks and columns, host podcasts and teach classes. Honey & Co., it’s fair to say, has become so much more than just a bricks and mortar venue.
Around three times larger than the Warren Street site, Honey & Co Lamb Conduit St’s space features floor-to-ceiling windows and is divided into four smaller spaces. This helps retain that intimate feel of its predecessor. The space is light and calm, dotted with potted plants and full of printed tiles in a nod towards its Middle Eastern heritage – it feels casual, comfortable and charming.
Though Itamar and Sarit both hail from Tel Aviv, their menus reflects their travels across the Middle East. Dishes are familiar from their old site but have been reworked. And true to all their sites, what makes Honey & Co stand out from any other Middle Eastern restaurant is the detail and the finishing.
To start, I went for the Spiced Pumpkin Falafel (£12.50). This is not just falafel but the freshest and most seasonal of falafel lending a crunchy exterior. Made with the sweetest of pumpkins and seasoned with all the warmth of cinnamon, that sweetness was only enhanced by the lick of date syrup doused on the accompanying tahini, and the super sweet winter cherry tomatoes sitting alongside.
In the mood for another small plate, I went for the recommended Beetroot Sabzi (£12.50). A salad of perfectly cooked salt baked beetroot and grapefruit, this was beautifully seasoned with a heap of fresh greens (mint and dill). The herby finish offset the sweetness of the beetroot and grapefruit effortlessly well.
To finish, we shared the vegan Chocolate terrazzo cake (£9.50), a three-layered affair featuring a dark chocolate mousse base, a sesame interior and a nutty almond and pistachio crunchy topping. Served with a sesame tuile and a refreshingly light marzipan sorbet, the plate offers everything you want from a desert: chocolate, nuts and freshness. Unbeatable.
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 with the warm service – you’re carefully looked after by young, knowledgeable staff – and failingly delicious plate, this is easy to overlook. 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.
Honey & Co Bloomsbury, 54 Lamb’s Conduit St, London WC1N 3LW