It's been on the never ending list for far too long. Now it's been crossed off, but all I want to do is go straight back.
A tiny little room of warming light on Warren Street was a welcome comfort on what was an absolutely miserable Saturday evening. Every review we'd read and everyone we'd spoken to who'd been had fallen in love with this place, including those who are hardest to please, like Jay Rayner, and papa.
Ushered inside out of the rain by the beautiful waitress, and nestled in a corner table, it felt like we were being welcomed home. Not in an overly-friendly, overly-fussy way, nor in a formal, rigid way, but in an entirely natural, generous, gentle manner. That manner which is so rarely found in restaurants anymore, as they tend fluctuate between the 'Alright mate, What' up?', to the 'Good Evening and welcome to the xxx. May I take your coat from you Madam?'.
With a saffron, poached pear and pomegranate bellini and a menu to cast an eye over, we were already happy customers. Instantly entranced by the Honey & Co magic.
Our main aim in life to be to try as much as we can from every restaurant menu, we shared the mezze selection to start with. This involved small bowls of the tastiest nibblets being placed anywhere we could find space on the table. Bread selection with olive oil (those breads... my taste buds were so happy), homemade pickles with kalamata olives, creamy hummus, falafel with garlic yoghurt, labne with aubergine, bulgur with apricots and parsley... Self-control went out the window and we fought over the last morsel of everything. I had to stop B using his fingers to wipe out the last of the labne from the bowl.
Already stuffed, a steaming bowl of lentils, aubergine, egg, tahini was placed in front of me, with a huge hunk of deep fried bread for dunking next to it. I could eat this every day and still have a smile on my face every time I got to taste that deeply smoky aubergine flavour.
B went for the not-very-beautiful but oh-so-moreish Royal Mansaf. A decadent plateful of slow cooked lamb on saffron rice, almonds & golden raisins. A dinner fit for a King. More than fit for a King. A dinner fit for the gods.
By this point I was about to explode, but we couldn't leave without pudding. It would be a crime to walk out this (by now very warm) restaurant without tasting some of the London-wide famous baking that goes on here. So we shared a Znoud-al-sett - otherwise known as hot apple and pear pie with cardamom custard. The little treat was dunked and crunched alongside a pot of fragrant rose and cinnamon tea. I really struggled forcing myself back out into the rain afterwards.
And for those of you who are wondering, yes, we do now own a copy of the book. And yes, we have been cooking from it all week.
Lowlight: Our next door neighbours. They stank of aftershave and kept repeating that the labne was like Philadelphia, which was more than a little annoying.
Honey & Co, 25a Warren Street, W1T 5LZ