Honey & Co is a joy. There’s a really, really good reason why everyone wows about it and why it won the Observer Food Monthly Awards 2013 Best Newcomer. Step inside and the place exudes passion and happiness. They call it love. “12 years in the making, [Honey & Co] is a labour of nothing but love and an extension of our home. The food we cook is the food we grew up on and also the food we grew to love, our moms’ and aunties’ food, the street food we always crave, the food we tried at our friends’ houses, sometimes, things we only heard about or imagined, and most of all, the things we miss from our childhood.”
The husband and wife team (who met working in an Italian restaurant in Tel Aviv) have serious credentials. They grew up in Israel and travelled to London. She worked as the Head of Pastry at Ottolenghi and then Executive Head Chef at Nopi and he as Head Chef at Ottolenghi. Their flavours are of Israel and the Middle East – think pistachios, honeyed hazelnuts, rose water, roasted fig, merguese sausage. There’s a casualness to the presentation but, in the small, whitewashed cafe, it works. And somehow even magnifies the brilliance of the food and the cooking.
I’ve been for breakfast a couple of times. The first time was over a year ago, when it was easy to get a seat(!) They didn’t have anything on the menu that was gluten-free and dairy-free but, without hesitation, they cooked something up. I was served a completely delicious, enticingly fragrant herb omelette.
Then I went again recently and had the Sabich – aubergine, tahini and egg. Oh my it was good. Creamy from the tahini and soft melting flavours from the roasted aubergine. A simple recipe that comes together deliciously.
Now I’ve had a taster with the Breakfasts, I need to go back for Lunch, Tea (to try the gluten-free cakes) and then Dinner (especially for the Flourless Chocolate Slice with Prunes in Whiskey & Salted Caramel)!
Honey & Co is at 25a Warren Street, London W1T 5LZ.
This delicious crumble is made with gluten-free oats. Recently it was discovered that oats don’t actually contain gluten – but because they are generally produced and packaged alongside other gluten products, especially wheat, they often have a certain amount of gluten in them. Great news! I’ve always loved oats but have definitely experienced reactions from them in the past. But Coeliac UK have confirmed that oats are naturally gluten-free, within their parameters of less than 2 parts in 1 million (although not all organizations agree). For me, the gluten-free oats you can now get are definitely ok, and I don’t get any reactions. My favourites are made by Nairns and you can find them in most supermarkets and health stores.
This is a great recipe for everyone, especially little ones. I’ve made the crumble with honey and apple juice instead of sugar, so it won’t cause a ‘sugar hit’. Oats are one of the best slow-release carbohydrates so they helps concentration and brain function. Hazelnuts are particularly rich in omega-9 fatty acid, also known as oleic acid, which boosts the immune system. And the humble apple is a brilliant fruit. High in antioxidants, including vitamins B3, C and beta-carotene, it’s also packed full of a soluble fibre called pectin, which helps to regulate your digestion. Make sure you use lovely ripe blackberries, preferably picked fresh on a leisurely Sunday afternoon…
gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, soya-free, egg-free, seed-free
Serves 4 Preparation time 10 minutes Cooking time 35 minutes
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
- 225g/8oz/scant 2 cups blackberries
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp apple juice
- 60g/2¼oz/½ cup hazelnuts, chopped
- 175g/6oz/2 cups gluten-free porridge oats
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp apple juice
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4. Put the apples and blackberries in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with the lemon zest and juice. Drizzle over the honey and apple juice.
- Mix together the hazelnuts, oats, oil and apple juice, then spoon the mixture over the fruit and press down gently.
- Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown, then serve.