Best Halal Dishes I’ve Eaten in 2018
I’m not sure how I feel about saying goodbye to 2018. It has certainly been life changing for me, especially now that I’m responsible for a whole little human being – very scary! A few HGAT projects had to go on hold and things definitely slowed down for me, whilst I tried my best to get some sort of structure with a baby. Thankfully, I’m slowly getting back into the groove of things thanks to my close knit of friends and family, and I’m really looking forward to what 2019 has to bring. Only positive vibes from here on out!
Anyways, you’re here for the food so I’ll get right to it. This year brought hundreds of exciting new restaurant openings and whilst only a few of them were halal, things are certainly looking good for the halal restaurant scene given the quality of the food . Here are some of the most memorable halal dishes I have eaten this year:
SUNDAY LAMB ROAST AT PITTA BUN
Pittabun is a small and chic Greek eatery is tucked behind Carnaby. Crisp, buttery pittas stuffed with soft pieces of roast lamb, chips, creamy feta cheese, and sweet peppers, all dressed in a tangy lemon oregano sauce. Each bite was like a Greek Sunday roast with all the trimmings – really, really good.
BUTTER ROAST BEEF BONE MARROW AT FARZI CAFE
This was an extremely late addition to the end of year list; Farzi cafe opened up on 26th December but I was lucky to have a sneak peek of the menu a few days beforehand. Whilst most of the dishes were great, the roast butter beef bone marrow dish was my favourite by faaaar. I know bone marrow is not for everyone but this was insanely tasty, and I’m excited to return there in the New Year – good thing they are just around the corner from BW’s work!
AFGHAN LAMB CANON KEBAB AT BRIGADIERS
Found in Bank, one would assume Brigadiers is just for the brokers and city boys, but they are a hidden gem amongst the Indian restaurant scene. The grills are the best in London, especially the Afghan Lamb Cannon kebab, which was out of this world good. Mouth-melting pieces of lamb fat sandwiched between soft pieces of lamb that had been barbecued on a skewer and was so good that we ordered three portions!
CHILLI GARLIC CHICKEN WINGS AND SINGAPORE LAKSA AT LAKSAMANIA
I’m cheating and choosing two dishes from Laksamania, although if I could, I was choose all the dishes I had there. Laksamania was one I did not expect to be so good and ended up making it one of our local haunts. The chilli garlic chicken wings were satisfyingly crunchy when biting into and the laksa is the perfect definition of creamy coconutty comfort in a bowl.
CHENJEH KABAB FROM BERENJAK
My love for Persian food on this blog is no secret; I may as well have shouted about it from the rooftop. So when the JKS group launched Berenjak, I was there on the first day being a nuisance with the stroller, crying baby, and all. The chenjeh kebab stole the show for me – it was so, so soft that I felt like I was eating butter. Other notable items are the joojeh, hummus, and mast o khiar.
CELERIAC FROM FROG BY ADAM HANDLING
Embarrassingly, this is the only vegetarian dish on this list, but this celeriac parcel from Adam Handling’s Frog still has me salivating 4 months later. It definitely is not a looker but crikey, was it good. The salt-baked celeriac had been stuffed with truffle cream, crispy apple sticks, sweet dates, and a runny duck egg yolk, which burst everywhere upon cutting in.
LAMB DUMPLINGS AND SKEWERS FROM ETLES UYGHUR
Etles can be found in Walthamstow and their menu is of the typical Uyghur Chinese cuisine. Forget sweet and sour chicken and crispy aromatic duck, this is not Chinese food like you know it. The lamb dumplings (do not forget to add the house vinegar and chilli oil on top) and chilli cumin lamb skewers were my favourite items from the menu, with the Da Pan Ji (Big Plate Chicken) coming a close second.
And there you have it, my favourite dishes from the 2018 halal food scene.
Here’s to a great 2019; thank you for all the support and feedback across the years.