I think I might just have found one of the best dinner deals in London. Honey and Smoke, Middle Eastern newcomers from the same team as Honey and Co is serving delicious grilled meats, meze and sweet treats in Fitrozia.
I visited Honey and Co back when it first opened and with memories of incredibly tasty food I've been dying to return. Cue a dinner date with a good friends who doesn't mind splashing out, we decided to book ourselves a table to see if the menu was as good as my memory. First thing I noticed about Honey and Smoke is the ample sized dining room. I've you've been to Honey and Co you will know how small the place is.With plastic chairs that reminded me of being in school the restaurant has a distinctly casual vibe but don't let that fool you into thinking the food isn't anything special.
I noticed a set menu option where £34.50 will give you a taste of ALL the meze, and a choice of grill, side and dessert per person. One of the best things about Middle Eastern dinning is the meze and it can add up when you start ordering copious amount so it felt like a no brainer to go with the set menu and try everything.
The gin and tonic is slightly sweet and so delicious that I told our waiter to keep 'em coming.
First up was the Moroccan sourdough, Kalamata olives, pickles and Greek olive oil. I'm not a fan of pickles or olives so I skipped straight past those for the bread. Fluffy yet dense, this loaf was extremely tasty and acted as the perfect vehicle for wiping up leftover dips.
The baba ganoush and seeded lavoush was delightful. I love the texture of the creamy deep and crunchy crisp bread. The baba ganoush was less smoky tasting and more tahini based, but still delicious.
The burnt celeriac with urfa chilli butter, sour cream and chives had a distinct earthy taste with an addictive sauce, perfect for using the bread with.
I loved the spicy and sweet contrast in the warm goats cheese with red onion, walnut and pomegranate.
The falafel and tahini was perfect.
I really enjoyed the charred pears, almond tahini and raw honey. Sweet and moreish.
The cauliflower florets with homemade amba and tahini was cooked perfectly, with just the right bit and a addictive tasting sauce.
The winter tomatoes and citrus salad was wonderful, so fresh, juicy and packed full of flavour. A hint of chilli gave this dish a nice kick of heat.
I love chickpea dish and this msabaha dish did not disappoint. Flavoursome, moreish and comforting on a cold winter night, it was delicious.
For mains my friend chose the charred octopus with lentil meshwiya. I only had a small bite of this but it tasted great. The chopped salad looks lovely but I didn't manage to try any (too much food on the table).
I went for the short rib of beef with spiced quince glaze and pickled quince. The meat was so tender that it fell away from the bone with the slightest touch. The quince gave it a nice sweetness. I opted for the sweet potato in embers with date honey and spring onions which I loved. Even though I sometimes find sweet potato too sweet the honey brought out the earthiness in the dish and the slightly sticky texture made it taste incredibly satisfy. Whilst I probably wouldn't order the short rib again as I left it was the most exciting of flavours, I'd definitely try the sweet potato again.
Middle Eastern desserts aren't usually my thing, I find the sweet and savoury balance doesn't really appeal to me. However, I really did enjoy the signature feta and honey cheese cake. The kadaif base gave this a crunchy element I haven't experience in cheese cake before whilst the topping tasted fresh and not as heavy as I was expecting. I didn't try the warm chestnut cake with salted caramel sauce but I've been told it was delicious.
I was really impressed by the food at Honey and Smoke. Some of the meze options stood out more than others but I did enjoyed everything. The amount of food you receive for £34.50 per person and you'd need to be ravenous to finish it all. We struggled which is saying something. It wouldn't take long to reach this amount if you order a few meze dishes, a main and dessert individually so you might as well go the whole hog and order the set menu. I'd love to return once the menu changes as I think this is a wonderful restaurant to enjoy a casual yet special dinner, all for an excellent price.
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