The Fresser

The Middle Eastern dessert you need to try — at Covent Garden's Hotel Amano

Move over Honey & Co cheesecake, there's a new dairy dessert in town — and it's sublime


The dream dessert (Photo: Victoria Prever)

For years, the iconic Honey & Co feta and honey cheesecake has been the dairy dessert of choice for lovers of Middle Eastern flavours.

The signature sweet from London’s favourite Israeli husband and wife team is so popular it has become a menu regular — served at both their restaurants (Honey & Co Bloomsbury and Honey & Smoke). There would be outcry if it left the list.

And while there will always be a place in my heart — and on my plate — for Sarit Packer’s iconic kadaif-based cake, last night, my head was turned by a new dairy delight. And it was love at first bite.

The romance happened at Penelope’s — the street level restaurant in Covent Garden’s Hotel Amano. I discovered a sweet treat that not only competes with the Honey’s recipe but could knock it off its pedestal.

Chef Fez Ozalgan’s baklava cheesecake is a honey soaked, pistachio packed, rosewater scented stunner.

Out for a review meal with my very lovely old school friend, P, we'd reached that place where you’ve eaten far too much to justify dessert Of course we were persuaded to order - I was duty bound. Thank goodness we did. As the spoon left her mouth, her eyes rolled with delight, and we almost clashed cutlery in our hurry to scoop it up.

Strewn with rose petals and pistachios, shored up by a golden brown collar of crisp filo with a slim middle layer of honeyed chopped pistachios it’s the real deal. The pool of rose-scented light syrup it sits on makes it even more indulgent. And it’s as pretty as it is delicious. Be warned though, it’s super rich and generously proportioned.

The restaurant manager shared that it’s the most popular dessert on their menu and regulars pop in for a slice with afternoon tea or coffee. If I was local, I’d join them.

Cheesecake lovers beat a path to the Penelope’s and dig in.


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