Honey and Co is really small. Proper tuck your elbows and listen to all of your neighbours’ private conversations small.
Over four or five visits I’ve heard (sad) family updates, (sleazy) music agents arse-kissing new clients, and (in intimate detail) about JDate.com – where a bonk is even more guaranteed than with Tinder, apparently. I wasn’t supposed, nor did I want, to be party to any of these conversations. I’ve caused the owner to spill very hot coffee onto another diner (an overly active elbow on my part; coming in on the blind side on his). And if you get up to leave, go to the loo, hang up your coat, or apologise for causing coffee scalding, it’s a 3D jigsaw puzzle of movements and awkward apologies (“sorry, after you”, “no, sorry, after you. Sorry”, “yes, sorry”, “sorry”).
Thing is, despite the squeeze, Honey and Co is pretty bloody great.
The pokiness is on just the right side of charming and the food is mostly delicious. Homely (if your home is faintly Middle Eastern and your Mum’s a great cook), comforting, sweet and lightly spiced. Interesting but unpretentious stuff. Grub that makes you smile.
Stand out dishes for me include the ‘Royal Mansaf’ slow cooked lamb on saffron rice, and sticky slow cooked chicken under some sort of Shredded Wheat nest, which is cut through beautifully by the simple but sharply dressed green and orange salad that accompanies it.
HOWEVER the One Good Reason to go, go again, and go again again, is the ‘what am I, chopped liver?’.*
The ‘what am I, chopped liver?’. I think they sometimes list it as kamooniya.
Two odd descriptors but, honestly, one of the best things I’ve eaten in 2013: a bowl of chopped chicken liver (cooked but served at room temperature), soft and tender with a mouthfeel somewhere between a tartare and a paté. It’s moreish, not overly offaly. There are hints of cumin, lemon, paprika and a tickle of chilli, maybe a bit of ground coriander too.
Spread it on the side of enriched bread it comes with and devour. Pile it into the gem lettuce leaves and eat in one bite. Cleanse your palate with a pickled cucumber … and start all over again. It’s delicious. F*@&ing delicious. (Sorry Mum, but it is.)
Honey & Co – 25a Warren Street, W1T 5LZ – 0207 388 6175
One Good Reason
The Chopped Liver.
* There’s a chance the dish won’t be available when you go as the menu is a revolving thing. But I’ve seen it (and had it) 3 times, so believe it’s a regular. If not, then the chopped liver is One Good Reason to look out for the Honey & Co book when it’s published (I predict an Ottolenghi / Jamie O style mahusive seller).