Blazing the trail for middle-eastern cuisine in London
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : Modern European
Address : 216 Great Portland St, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 5QW, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : honeyandco.co.uk/smoke/
Opening Times : Mon-Fri: 12-10.30pm, Sat: 9.30am-10.30pm, Sun: Closed
Closest Tube : Great Portland Street
Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich led the way, blazing the trail for middle-eastern cuisine in London. Both of Tel Aviv, they launched the excellent Honey & Co on Fitzrovia‘s Warren Street, then wrote a brace of cookbooks, opened their takeaway shop Honey & Spice across the street, and finally looked towards something larger, opening Honey & Smoke just a quick jaunt away on Great Portland Street. Inspired by the grill houses of their native Israel and the larger Levantine area, we‘d heard great things about Honey & Smoke before venturing in ourselves.
The room is warm and inviting, split over two levels. The watchword in the design scheme is stucco - there‘s a uniform adobe hue pervading the space that draws attention to design accents such as Kandinsky-esque primary colour paintings, recessed walls, modernist Bauhaus seating, turquoise and gold tiling and funky orbital pendant lighting. In the back of the ground floor guests have a view into the kitchens, from which an array of delicious classics are created. Whilst sipping a whisky ginger with bitter lemon, we decided to go all in on the mezze.
They were all exquisite. Hummus was whipped to an incredibly creamy consistency then sprinkled with crispy chickpeas and green chilli tatbila. Grilled peaches were bathed in almond cream and studded with smoked almonds. Shards of oregano-dusted lavoush were instrumental in scooping up a creamy aubergine and yoghurt dish. Best of all was a puree of fried cauliflower with mango and amba, bathed in tahini. A main of charred octopus with crispy wedges of potato and a paprika yoghurt was a show-stopper. Adana kofte on charred pita with Aleppo pepper and an aubergine and pomegranate salad was similarly incredible. We wrapped up the meal with an intense deconstructed cheesecake with feta and honey served on a kadaif base.
All in, it was an excellent, earthy meal that left an indelible impression on the palate. We‘ll be back.