Honey & Co, Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich’s tiny Middle Eastern cafe near Warren Street, was a huge hit with everyone (us included) when it opened back in 2012. But if there was drawback to the place, it was its tiny room, which was always packed and near enough impossible to get in to. When they opened Honey & Smoke, just round the corner on Great Portland Street in 2016, it was a huge relief – here you could now get a taste of their food, plus a bit of elbow room, in a site that was five times the size.
We went by Honey & Smoke again recently to check it out for lunch (it was only open for dinner when it first opened). The room is cool and spacious, decorated brightly with ochre walls, gleaming turquoise tiles and colourful circular patterns painted on one side.
We start with a selection of meze of course, and it doesn’t take long for our table to be filled with plates of hummus; fried cauliflower; and aubergine and yoghurt dip. The fried cauliflower is our favourite, small bites toasted to a golden brown colour and served with an ambra and sweet mango sauce, plus a good dousing of tahini. The aubergine is also excellent, served with crisp ‘lavoush’ crackers and fresh pomegranate seeds.
This is pretty hearty food, and we’re already slowing down by this point so beware of over-ordering! Luckily we’ve gone for just one main to share, a minced lamb kebab that comes with aubergine and burnt pepper. It’s excellent, with a tender smoked meat going perfectly with the sweet aubergine and pepper.
If you’ve been to Honey & Co for anything before, it was likely for one of their famous cakes and their signatures such as the feta and honey cheesecake, and the pistachio cake, are all present and correct here.
Honey & Smoke is a solid spot for Middle Eastern food in central, and if your only memory of these guys is squishing yourself into Honey & Co, then it’s well worth checking out its big sister instead.
216 Great Portland St, London W1W 5QW