Word of advice. When a restaurant says it’s fully booked when trying to book a table online, don’t let this put you off going. I’ve been wanting to go to the much praised Fitzrovian restaurant Honey & Co for ages now, but every time I try and book, it says ‘nothing available’ or offers me the 9:30pm slot. So last week, having read that they do allow some walk ins, I decided I was just going to risk it.
I arrived at 6:30pm and it was full. This was to be expected, and I was not put off. Things looked positive when I spoke to a very friendly waitress, who said she’d take my name and number, and call me when a table was available. Seemed reasonable. My friend Emily and I grabbed a glass of wine at the pub next door and eyed up Honey & Co’s small outside terrace. It was a beautiful, warm September evening, but we could sense that people were leaning towards eating inside. After about 30 minutes I got a call, ‘We’ve got a table free, but it’s outside I’m afraid. When can you be here?’ Bingo. We were there in seconds.
There is one disappointing thing to mention first, then we’ll focus on the positives. Emily is a vegetarian and, despite the Middle East being so good at vegetarian food, she was disappointed to have only one choice of main course. Which was, incidentally, a very delicious baked aubergine dish. But still, I had five other options to choose from. Funny also that all the starters were vegetarian. It just doesn’t quite make sense. Perhaps they should offer the starters also in larger portions as mains?
However, moving on swiftly. The starters were delicious – we shared a basket of fresh bread (how do they make pitta quite so good?) and a labaneh and a spicy pumpkin and pepper dish. The ideal first course, filling but not overly so. I could have licked the plate. As Emily devoured her aubergine, I opted for the roasted lamb salad with plums, tarragon, greengages and fennel seeds as my main course. While lamb is my big go to, the rest of the accompaniments were not very ‘me’ (I don’t really like fruit in my food, unless it’s pudding). But the combination worked beautifully and it felt both healthy and delicious.
The place has a very local, neighbourhood feel to it. Everyone is friendly, the staff lovely, and there is a pleasant buzz about the place. It’s one of those places which makes you want to return. It’s as far from a chain restaurant as you can get.
Too full for pudding, I decided I would return here for brunch, as this seems to be most legendary here. Since drinking wine at the pub at 11am at the pub next door may not be quite so appropriate, I might have to surrender and actually book that (well) in advance.
25 Warren St
London W1T 5LZ