Thursday, 30 January 2014

Honey & Co: Eating Against the Clock

Honey & Co: Merguez sausage roll, fried egg, harissa
I really don't know what happened when I went to Honey & Co for brunch on Monday, but it was a huge disappointment. I've not read a bad word about the place and had high expectations but the breakfast menu that faced me that morning was so uninspiring. I expected fragrant baked eggs rivalling the lovely shakshuka at Nopi, or some unknown-to-me-but-super-tasty new discovery.  Sadly it fell well short. No shakshuka on the menu, and nothing eye-poppingly inspiring. Even our waitress recommended we come back for the lunch menu which she said was better. Probably, but I'm not really in a hurry. Speaking of time management, here's a funny story.

I booked a table for 11am because I'd heard of Honey & Co's immense popularity, but on a cold Monday the small room was only half full. Our waitress gave us the pick of the tables, but when we sat down she told us we could have the table until 12.30pm because it was booked for lunch. I was a little taken aback at the 90 minute slot, mainly because we had made a booking (and even the most regimented of spots let you have it for two hours), but also, come on it's just a cafe! Eating against the clock isn't something I enjoy.

The short menu had a number of dishes that weren't familiar to me, but most of what was available was on display in the window. The small savoury pizza-like dishes didn't really inspire me, so I went for the merguez sausage roll with the optional boiled egg and harissa despite the warning that it would take 12 minutes to prepare. Mentally knocking that off our allotted 90, I thought I'd use the time to enjoy my flat white and the fact that I had a day off while most people were at work.

Honey & Co: Potato herb and caper fritatta
A few minutes later I was told that they'd run out of boiled eggs, but they could make me a fried egg to go with the sausage roll instead. Just think about that for a sec. The sausage roll would take 12 minutes, they had no boiled eggs, but they could fry an egg. I don't know about you, but I've been able to boil an egg in less than 12 minutes before. I know peeling them can be a faff, but it still doesn't take 12 minutes. It turns out that the eggs are boiled in the morning but they'd run out and were now prepping for lunch so could only fry. Don't get me wrong, I love a fried egg, but the situation kind of bordered on the absurd.

As it turns out, the sausage roll was just two thin, not particularly zingy merguez encased in a decent enough pastry with a fried egg draped over the top. The harissa was obviously homemade and perked up everything it touched including Mr B's bland frittata. Both dishes came with a small side salad too, but the olives were salty little bombs.

All up, our meal came in at about 60 minutes and £14.50. On reflection that's pretty cheap, for two dishes and two coffees. So here's some advice if you're thinking of going to Honey & Co for a mid week breakfast: don't. Save your visit for another time when the menu could be more interesting. Yes, despite my dodgy experience, I'd like to return because I love Med food like that at Ottolenghi, and, supposedly, Honey & Co.

Time permitting of course.


Honey & Co on Urbanspoon Square Meal

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