Latest opening: Honey & Co. Bloomsbury

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

Honey & Co. Bloomsbury Middle Eastern restaurants chefs Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer

Related tags: Honey & Co, Middle eastern cuisine, Itamar Srulovich, Sarit Packer, Noble Rot, Chefs

In Lamb’s Conduit Street, Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer have found the perfect home for their flagship restaurant.

What:A new chapter for beloved Middle Eastern restaurant Honey & Co.​ The highly-rated venue launched in London's Warren Street a decade or so but was recently forced to close its doors following the landlord's decision not to renew its lease. Honey & Co. Bloomsbury is located in the space that was once home to Jake Hodges’ respected Spanish restaurant Cigala, which closed its doors just ahead of the pandemic. 

Who:​ Chefs Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer. The husband and wife duo also run grill restaurant Honey & Smoke on Great Portland Street and a deli on Warren Street close to the original Honey & Co. site. While the pair were sad to leave the site where it all started the move has allowed them to evolve their flagship. The original 20-cover site was tiny and in many ways wholly unsuited to being a restaurant (the electrical capacity was such that the oven and the air conditioning could not be run concurrently, for example). More covers and prep space has allowed Srulovich and Packer to expand the menu and reintroduce some of the more labour and space intensive dishes that turned out not to be viable at their previous home. 

The vibe:​ Around three times bigger than the Warren Street site, the space is divided into four smaller spaces and therefore channels the intimate feel of the original to some extent. The space is light and calm with lots of potted plants and the odd nod to the Middle Eastern source material. Downstairs, there is a large kitchen, a cold room, a prep room, an office, wine storage and - perhaps most importantly for the team - a dumbwaiter (every single plate had to be run upstairs at the previous site).

The food:Srulovich and Packer both hail from Tel Aviv​ but their menus also reflect their travels throughout the Middle East. Lots of the dishes will be familiar to fans of the original Honey & Co. but in many cases have been reworked. Dishes include Yemeni falafel with tahini sauce, tomato and chilli salad; taramosalata, pickled red onion, chopped egg and crispy pitta; chicken dumplings in fragrant broth, chickpeas and fresh herbs; aubergine shawarma, marinated tomato salad, coriander, tahini sauce and pitta; and the pair’s famed feta and honey cheesecake. Alongside a la carte, Honey & Co. Bloomsbury offers a sharing menu for £45 per person (£50 with a dessert) that starts with a generous selection of mezze before moving onto a main of each guest’s choice. There’s also a breakfast menu that kicks off with a large selection of mezze for guests to share followed by a selection of egg dishes including shakshuka, and boureka (burnt potato and feta in a pastry parcel served with tahini, egg, pickles and salad). 

Honey-&-Co-food

To drink:​ The duo have opted to put their wine list in the capable hands of Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew, whose original Noble Rot site is directly opposite. Keeling Andrew & Co has created a tight list of around 20 bins that is focused on the Mediterranean (and a few neighbouring places). Greece is particularly well-represented and the selection also includes wines from Israel and - even more unusually - Palestine. There are also Middle Eastern-inspired cocktails, a few beers and a small selection of house-made softs that include lemonade and orange blossom ice tea. 

And another thing:​ Honey & Co. Bloomsbury doesn’t really feel like a new restaurant. The staff are experienced and clued up - which is something of a rarity for new openings these days given the current recruitment crisis - and the service has the efficiency of a place that’s been ticking along for some time. The feeling of the restaurant already being nicely bedded in is bolstered by Lamb’s Conduit Street being such a good fit for Honey & Co. “The street just feels right to us,” Srulovich told us when we caught up with him recently. We couldn’t agree more.

Related topics: Restaurant

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