This weekend I attended the much awaited London Halal Food Festival at Tobacco Dock. London’s food scene has always been dynamic and exciting and the increasing ability for restaurant’s to cater to the halal market is just one of the reasons I love this city so much!
As one of the nine official bloggers or ‘halal heroes’ (LOL) I felt honoured to be associated with an event spreading information and love for halal food.
It was my son’s 1st birthday party so unfortunately I could not attend the event on Saturday which meant I sadly missed the Hussain Brother’s Qawali show which I had very much been looking forward to! When I arrived early on Sunday I found very cheerful staff from Algebra events (the organisers of this festival and the Muslim Lifestyle show). Feedback was that Saturday had been a huge success with many vendors selling out!
Enough chit chaat – I had a lot of food to eat! There were loads of vendors so rather than writing about everything, I’ll recount the highlights of my day.
I could hear the cries of ‘Garam masala chai’ (translation: hot masala tea) coming from Inito Indian Street food. Yes please!
Juicy steaks were being smoked over charcoal at Gaucho Asado – I didn’t fancy a steak wrap but I’ll definitely be heading to their restaurant soon to try a proper steak.
Meat & Shake had brought along an enormously impressive smoker for their brisket burgers. When I arrived these were still smoking and when I returned to get one later they’d sold out! Luckily they still had some pulled chicken left which was delicious and definitely the best food I had on the day!
I finally had a chance to meet the brains behind Halalnivore, the online gourmet meat club company. Walli had so much passion for luxury halal produce and it was exciting to see how well-received the meat has been. I was intrigued by the new steak rubs and salts he’s been putting together that I bought one of each to try at home!
Newbies Nojito have filled a gap in the halal market with their cool and innovative non-alcoholic bottled virgin mojito. On a hot day like Sunday, I gave it two thumbs up for being a refreshing thirst quencher.
I’m a little bit in love with Apple Blue Patisserie for their stunning cakes. They were a little too pretty to eat! Loved the edible flower details and being a medic, the chocolate-filled syringe was irresistible.
Moreish spicy sticky chicken wings from HS&Co were scrumdidliumptious! Their Philly steak sandwiches were proving popular too judging by the long queue.
Chaatit had the most amazing masala fries I have ever had – I need more of these in my life!
Another new face Amoricana had beef patty and brisket burgers – sadly I think the meat had been barbecued to death because it was dry like the Sahara when I had it. I won’t write them off straight away as everyone has teething problems at the start.
I got chatting to Imran from Haloodies, a fellow medic (I’m noticing a trend that doctors like their food!) Their meat is sourced worldwide and farmed ethically. It was great to hear how Imran supports local farming projects but maintains the highest standards on halal and the quality of the meat. I’ve been lucky enough to already try out their new line of ready-to-eat chicken which is now available in most Tesco stores.My favourites were the mini Southern chicken fillets and the Thai skewers.
I spotted the e-shisha lounge downstairs and I couldn’t resist trying the not-so-halal-sounding ‘Sex on the beach’ shisha with a cold mango lassi. I was surprised at how similar the taste was to normal shisha and much healthier too- might be time to make the switch!
For non-foodies, there were many other things going on too – Caligraphy, henna. sweets, live cooking and halal eat-offs!
The day seemed to be getting busier and busier and the feedback from vendors and other customers was overall very good. I’m hopeful these annual events will go from strength to strength and it would be great to see some of the high-end halal restaurants at the next one! Do keep an eye out of the Muslim Lifestyle Show which will be held on 15-16th April 2017 and promises to be another great weekend!